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Ellsworth Bassett
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This Book of Memories memorial website is designed to be a permanent tribute paying tribute to the life and memory of Margaret-Ellen Hill. It allows family and friends a place to re-visit, interact with each other, share and enhance this tribute for future generations. We are both pleased and proud to provide the Book of Memories to the families of our community.

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Obituary for Margaret-Ellen M. Hill

Margaret-Ellen M.  Hill
Margaret-Ellen Minson Hill (“Ellen” as she was known to family and friends), of Altoona, FL, was born on January 16, 1942 and she went to be with Jesus on October 17, 2020. Ellen graduated from Robert E. Fitch High School in 1960. She attended East Carolina College and then graduated from the University of Miami in 1964. She received her Master’s degree from the University of Central Florida in 1988. Ellen was united in marriage to Frederick A. Hill (Fred) on June 17, 1961 at the United States Coast Guard Academy Chapel in New London Connecticut. The Lord blessed them with 2 children and 1 grandchild.

Ellen loved Jesus and dedicated her life to serving God, her husband and her children and anyone who needed anything at any time. Ellen and Fred served in numerous churches over their 60+ years together. Most recently, they attended First Baptist Church Umatilla and before that they served in the People Helpers Ministry at the First Baptist Church in Leesburg. Prior to moving to Altoona, FL; they attended the First Baptist Church in Orlando, FL and the Northwest Baptist Church in Miami, FL.

Ellen truly embodied God’s love. She never met a stranger – in just a couple minutes she would share her life story and find out yours….even if you were just waiting in line in front or behind her at the grocery store. She loved freely and cared deeply and always “made room for one more”. It didn’t matter who you were, where you were from, what you looked like, what you did or didn’t have – she LOVED EVERYONE! She would quite literally give you the shirt off her back if you needed it. Mom never missed an event. Mom and Dad came to everything regardless of where it was or when it was. Family First. Always.

Ellen loved the water and was a strong swimmer, excellent at water ballet, an outstanding lifeguard and swim instructor and an avid sailor – having won numerous medals and competitions starting at a young age. She thoroughly enjoyed boating and being out on the water – especially with family and friends. She was always laughing and looking at the positives of everything. She was always up for an adventure…and completely embraced riding the ATVs, the go kart, the dune buggy, etc…in Florida; as well as snowmobiling, tobogganing and other colder weather activities from earlier in her life. Oh the stories!

Ellen LOVED chocolate. Plain M & Ms were her favorite. She would often “squirrel them away” in all sorts of obscure hiding places. She had a special talent for extracting almost all of the chocolate chip cookies from the Entenmann’s box without ever actually opening the box. She also loved chocolate chips of any kind…and whenever making chocolate chip cookies, she always made sure to make a double batch so at least a few pieces of cookie dough actually made it into the oven. Mom was a talented baker and cake decorator.

“Mrs. Hill” was a teacher for decades and loved her students. She taught everything from little ones in Montessori school to Calculus at the University. She taught high school math and science at several Christian schools including Northwest Christian Academy in Miami, FL and The Master’s Academy now in Oviedo, FL. She taught Sunday school and Vacation Bible School. She also taught math and science at Lake Brantley High School in Altamonte Springs as well as several advanced mathematics courses at the University of Central Florida. She would spend her own money on her students. She would pick them up, drive them home, and tutor anyone for free. If there was something you were interested in and there wasn’t an opportunity yet, she would organize it and get it going…She started a computer club, a robotics club, a math club and others. She spent countless hours driving students to math competitions often leaving in the wee hours of the morning driving in the dark.

After her retirement, she continued teaching and volunteering her time in the Coast Guard Auxiliary and her and Fred went all over teaching boating safety and other critical survival courses to numerous individuals. Ellen served in the USCGA for more than 17 years serving the division at the SO-HR and SO-PE. At the flotilla level, she was an FSO-CS, MA, HR and SR. Her qualifications were: Radio Watch stander, Boat Crew, Instructor, Master Instructor, Vessel Examiner, Telecommunications Operator, Aids Verifier, and she was an AUXOP member. She received many awards including: Auxiliary OPRNS Service Award (6), Auxiliary Commandant Letter of Commendation (2), Presidential Unit Citation, CG Meritorious Team Commendation and others. She volunteered on many missions and logged 7,676 total mission hours!, which included: Marine patrols: 704 hours, Search and rescue: 330 hours; USCG Administrative Support: 1,477 hours, USCG Operational Support: 482 hours, Environmental Protection: 12 hours, Public Affairs: 53 hours, Public Education: 24 hours, Vessel exams: 39 hours, Member Training: 307 hours, Administrative Support (99a): 2,018 hours, Recreational Boating Safety (99b): 2,229 hours.

Fred and Ellen traveled extensively together. Starting on their honeymoon in 1961, when they drove from Connecticut to Florida visiting many states along the way and continuing until recent years. They have visited all 50 states and quite a few foreign countries. Fred and Ellen volunteered their time and talents on many mission trips. They have also supported numerous charities with their time, talents and treasures.

Fred and Ellen bought property in Altoona, FL in 1968 and slowly built the place they planned to retire. They moved to Altoona full time after completing their house in 2001. It is here where Ellen was prayed home to Jesus on Saturday evening. Having celebrated Christmas with her children and granddaughter earlier that day, while holding her husband’s hand, Ellen peacefully went to sleep enveloped in the arms of her Savior.

Ellen is survived by her husband of 59 years, Frederick A. Hill and her children, Jonathan (Kathy) Hill and Elizabeth (Eric) Semrau and her granddaughter Alessandra Semrau. She is also survived by her sister, Betty Lee Minson (Robert Catlow); sister-in-law Donna Horton; her nephews Michael (Jen) McCarthy, Daniel (Karen) McCarthy, Matthew Minson and niece Monica Minson; God-Daughter Ellen Synder Charles (Lee) and their families; as well as other relatives and friends.

She was preceded in death by her mother, Margaret Davis Murphy; her father, Frederick Lyon Minson; her brother Frederick Vernon Minson (“Butch”); her sister-in-law Janice Caulkins Minson as well as several aunts, uncles and cousins.

A visitation will be held Sunday, October 25, 2020 at the First Baptist Church Umatilla, FL from 2:30 p.m. until the time of the funeral service at approximately 3:30 p.m. Pastor Brooks Braswell will officiate. Internment will take place in a private family ceremony the following day. The Hill family requests that all attendees wear a face mask for the health and safety of Fred and others in attendance. Additionally, it is requested that hugs and physical contact be saved for a time in the hopefully near future.

If you would like to make a donation in memory of Ellen, Fred has requested that memorials be directed toward the: Good News Jail & Prison Ministry, J24 (official Jurisdiction designation for Lake County, FL.) Or Online giving- Goodnewsjail.org

Beyer’s Funeral Home in Umatilla, FL is serving the family.

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" Philippians 4:13

“Delight thyself in the Lord and he shall give you the desires of your heart” Psalm 37:4

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