Susan Hills: 1950-2021
In Hebrews chapter 11 the writer speaks of many heroes and heroines of the faith, adding that time would fail to tell of others who were commended for their fruitful obedience.
We can add to that list the name of Sue Hills whose life was marked by faith and loving service to her Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Sue was born in Stepney, lived in Dagenham and educated at Romford County High School for Girls, passing A levels in French, Latin and German followed by a degree in French and PGCE with French as a general subject. These bear witness to a highly intelligent, organised and reliable person whose abilities were maintained throughout her life and were used to the full.
Sue’s achievements in education were put to good use by her work as a teacher and in a voluntary capacity serving as a School Governor, including being Chair of Governors. Her commitment to care for young people was seen in her work in the Guide movement (most recently as Chair of the local branch of the Trefoil Guild) and leading toddler, family and pre-school groups in church and at “Leading Edge” (the one time Baptist Holiday Week).
Her capacity for reliable and patient team work was seen in service for the Baptist Union when Sue gave administrative support to Paul, her husband, in his work as General Superintendent of the Eastern Area of the BU and then as Regional Minister/Team Leader of the Eastern Baptist Association. This supportive work was also evident in her devoted service to “Connexions”, supporting the spouses of Baptist ministers and missionaries. Many have known the warmth of friendship, fellowship and hospitality from Sue and Paul.
Sue’s loving concern for Paul, Libby and Richard, Steve and Amy, Beccy and Chris and her eight grandchildren showed her thoughtfulness for others and their well-being. Her sense of humour was allied to a fearless tackling of injustice and bad behaviour (especially in adults!).
Her courage was fully evidenced in her final years after cancer was diagnosed soon after Paul’s retirement. Sue did not let cancer defeat or define her. She continued to live life as fully as possible and carried on serving her local church.
Psalm 91, given when Sue became a Christian, affirmed that God would be her deliver and that he would show her his salvation, which was seen in the final days of her passing from this life into the next. She died peacefully, surrounded by the loving care and attention of her family, strengthened by the faith that had sustained her.
Sue lived her life and bravely faced her death as one who overcame through the love of Christ – her heart was in heaven but both feet were on the ground. We rejoice with Sue in her entrance to the haven of happiness - heaven in all its fullness of life.
David L Taylor