Marie Sharon Hill, RN
On November 8, 2020, Marie Sharon Hill passed peacefully from the world due to complications from cancer.
Born on August 31, 1945, to Placida “Pearl” and Hugh O’Connor in Baltimore. Sharon grew up a bright, inquisitive, and friendly young woman in Highlandtown and Eastpoint surrounded by a large extended Irish-German and Italian family. Losing her father in 1956, Sharon and her brother, Tom, were raised by Pearl as a single mother until 1962, when Pearl married James “Jim” Piluk, who easily became a true, dedicated, and loving father for both siblings; subsequently Jim and Pearl became the adored heads of a close extended family.
Sharon graduated from Kenwood High School in 1963, and soon took an administrative job that suited her considerable talents in organization, analysis, and communications. She held subsequent positions at Maryland School for the Blind, T. Rowe Price, and Williams Scotsman of Baltimore, and eventually earned an Associate of Arts degree in Business from Essex Community College.
In 1974, she married Walter R. Hill of Essex (div. 1996) and had two sons, Matthew and Joshua. She was an extraordinary mother who raised her sons with grace, compassion, kindness, a fierce sense of fairness and responsibility, a world-class sense of humor, and a devotion to family. Sharon took the time to teach her boys to cook, passing on to them the love of making food and feeding people that so defined her; copies of her recipe book, containing all her “greatest hits” are prized possessions in both her sons’ kitchens.
Sharon also instilled in her boys a deep curiosity and thirst for education in all its forms, which led Joshua to an advanced degree in Architecture and a successful small business, and Matthew to a doctorate in English Literature and a job as a college professor. Later in life, Sharon was not only a devoted mother to her sons, but a close friend to them as well, offering wise and good-humored advice and unwavering enthusiastic support for whatever they undertook. She loved to travel and did so all around the world with Joshua, from Bar Harbor Maine to the Yucatan in Mexico to her mother’s hometown of San Lorenzo, Italy.
When Sharon was in her late 50s, she decided to leave the business world in which she had found so much success, and pursue a lifelong dream: becoming a registered nurse. She enrolled in the CCBC-Essex nursing program—populated with students less than half her age—and completed her degree in 2004. She worked in various nursing jobs, eventually finding a home as a radiation oncology nurse at Good Samartian hospital, where her extraordinary compassion and care for others found its greatest expression. This mid-life career change, coming when many are considering retirement, showed her sons and those around her that anything was possible if one is dedicated enough to it.
Over the years, Sharon’s family grew, as Matthew married Bethany Brown of Dundalk, and had two daughters, Katherine Irena, and Juliet Marie. Kate and Juliet were appropriately spoiled by their Nana Sharon at every opportunity, from long weekends at her house, trips to the nail salon and apple orchard, late-afternoon “2nd lunch” outings after school, and seemingly endless numbers of Christmas presents. For years, Wednesday afternoons were “Nana” days for the girls, and they had the opportunity to deeply know and feel Sharon’s kindness, caring, generosity, and humor. Sharon showed the same support to Kate and Juliet as she did for her sons, attending as many recitals, sports games, school conferences, and events as she was able, often cheering louder than anyone.
Sharon’s hosting and culinary skills were legendary among her family and friends. Even casual “stop-by” visitors to her house would be treated to a spread of delicious appetizers, entrees and desserts that would intimidate even the hungriest of guests. Her dedicated practice and love of cooking for others explained how amazing her food was; how she conjured such meals with seemingly no notice is a mystery for the ages. Her sons do their best to follow in their mother’s footsteps in this regard, wanting nothing more than to leave their dinner guests impossibly full and happy.
When Joshua married K.K. Wong in 2019, Sharon was an overjoyed mother-in-law again, welcoming her new “third son” with characteristic openness and love, and feeding him as much as possible in true Sharon form.
Sharon’s later years were spent with who she always described as the great love of her life, Barry Gossett. She and Barry were seldom separated during the last few years, often traveling, winter-vacationing in West Palm Beach, spending time with their families, or simply enjoying each other’s company.
Sharon’s openness and genuine caring for everyone she knew impacted everyone she met; rarely was there a room that didn’t feel more like home when Sharon was in it. The world will miss her loving smile and her infectious laugh, and the way her hand would rest on your back and make you sure that things would work out just fine, and gently guide you toward the giant table of appetizers she just made, just for you.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in her name to the Food Bank of Delaware (http://www.fbd.org), an organization with which Sharon volunteered.
Visitation will be held on Sunday, 11/22 from 2-3pm at Singleton Funeral Home in Glen Burnie. This will be followed by a short memorial service from 3-4pm. Due to COVID restrictions, the memorial for service will be by invitation only.