Ann “Nancy” Gilbride Hill

DEDHAM, Mass. – Ann “Nancy” Gilbride Hill died peacefully of complications from dementia on April 13, 2021 in Dedham, Mass. She was 90 years old.

Born on July 10, 1930 in Lowell, Mass., the third of Henry and Helen Gilbride’s four daughters, Nancy graduated from Lowell High School in 1947 and the Columbia University School of Nursing at Presbyterian Hospital in 1952. While in New York she began her nursing career and met Kevin Hill, a medical student from Waterville, Maine. The two were married on June 28, 1956, and settled in the old West End close to her work at Mass. General Hospital and his residency at Mass. Eye and Ear Infirmary.

In the early 1960s, Nancy and her family moved to Waterville. It was here that she became active in local and state politics, chairing the Democratic City Committee in 1964, serving as a delegate to multiple Democratic Party state conventions, and chairing the Maine Milk Commission. Nancy was an engaged citizen, playing leadership roles in numerous organizations including the Waterville Boys Club, the Kennebec Valley Girls Club, the Cub Scouts, the Maine Municipal Association, the National League of Cities, the Kennebec Federal Savings Bank, and the Kennebec Valley Mental Health Center. In 1972 she attended the Democratic National Convention as a delegate for Sen. Ed Muskie. At the convention Nancy was elected to chair the foreign policy subcommittee. In that role she presented and defended the committee’s work on national television from the convention floor. That experience changed her sense of herself. She went back to school, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology from Thomas College. Five years later, she entered elective politics when she ran for and won the first of two terms on the City Council. In 1981 she made history as the first woman elected mayor of Waterville (and the third in Maine’s history). She was reelected in 1983 but, after Kevin’s sudden death in January 1984, decided to retire from politics at the end of her second term. She then embarked on a career in the private sector, working as an executive at Maine Yankee for 15 years.

A lifelong, knowledgeable, and enthusiastic basketball fan, Nancy attended Bill Russell’s first and last games at the Boston Garden for the Celtics. For as long as she could speak, she would argue vehemently with anyone who claimed Michael Jordan was the greatest basketball player ever. She loved to cook, bake, knit, and travel, and was a longtime parishioner of Sacred Heart Parish in Waterville and Sacred Heart Parish in Roslindale, serving on the parish councils of both churches.

She is survived by her sister, Sheila Greene of New Smyrna Beach, Fla.; her children, Luke Hill and Mary Driscoll of Roslindale, Mass., Mary Ann Hill and Patrick Dober of Newton, Mass., Michael Hill and Jill Glickman of Barrington, R.I., Christopher Hill and Karen Seaver Hill of Alexandria, Va.; and grandchildren, Benjamin and Porshai Peters, Nora Hill, Mary Hannah Dober, Kevin Dober, Michael Dober, Rachel Hill, Sarah Hill, Caroline Hill, Maeve Hill, Aidan Hill; her beloved nieces, nephews, grandnieces, and grandnephews of the Bothwell, Churchill, Droney, and McGurrin families; as well as numerous other friends and families for whom she was a second mother or grandmother. Few things gave Nancy as much joy as being a grandmother. (In a three-way tie for second place were the sound of Ella Fitzgerald singing, the sound of Louis Armstrong’s trumpet, and the first spoonful – or lick from a cone – of ice cream.)

A funeral Mass is scheduled for 10 a.m. on Friday, April 23 at Sacred Heart Church, 169 Cummins Highway in Roslindale, Mass. A graveside service and burial will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, April 24 at St. Francis Cemetery, 78 Grove St., Waterville.

In lieu of flowers, please send donations to:

Sacred Heart Parish, Roslindale or:

the Waterville Boys

& Girls Club or:

the Kevin Hill Scholarship Fund at Colby College

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