Velma Hill passed away Friday, Feb. 9, just feet from where she had been born 103 years, two months and six days before. The daughter of Duvall pioneers Arthur and Pauline Hix, Velma lived her entire life in her beloved Duvall house.
As a young girl in the Snoqualmie Valley, Velma swam in the river, took the steam train to Everett, played baseball and explored the small town. Velma’s earliest memory was of bonfires in Duvall celebrating the end of World War I when she was 4 years old. Velma was a Camp Fire Girl and attended Camp Sealth on Vashon Island, where she earned a bead for swimming in Puget Sound.
Velma attended school in Duvall, graduating in 1933 as the valedictorian of her class of 11. After graduation, Velma went to work in her parent’s store, Hix Market. In 1940 she was appointed postmaster of Duvall and a corner of Hix Market became the Duvall Post Office. As postmaster, Velma knew everyone in Duvall, and everyone knew Velma.
During World War II, Velma volunteered in the Ground Observer Corps and after long days at the market and Post Office, she joined her friends scanning the skies above Duvall for aircraft. Velma also worried about a young Marine she knew who was fighting in the Pacific, and in 1947 she married the now-civilian Cliff Hill.
Cliff moved into the family home and helped Velma care for her parents while they worked side by side in the market and Post Office. In 1953 Velma and Cliff added daughter Paula to a now three-generation family home.
Velma and Cliff worked together until his death in 1977. With her husband’s death, Velma closed the market and retired as Duvall postmaster. During her working life her commute was walking out her back door, across the alley and into the back door of the market.
After she retired, Velma traveled the world with friends and her daughter, but she always was eager to return to her little house in Duvall.
A music lover, Velma sang in the Monroe Choral Club, and played piano and organ for the Duvall Evangelical Methodist Church, Cherry Valley Grange and Holy Innocents Catholic Church of Duvall.
Velma is survived by daughter Paula Pearl Hill Herd (Pat), granddaughter Rachel Hill Herd (Brayton), cousin Cathy Greenbaum, and numerous nieces and nephews.
A private family graveside service will be held. A celebration of her life will be held at a later date.