Everyone is not fortunate enough to know or experience the love of a father or father figure.
Sure, we’ve heard the jokes about Father’s Day versus Mother’s Day when there appears to be a clear disparity in the gift giving arena.
Many athletes have smiled for the cameras and said “Hi Mom” or declared that as soon as they became a professional athlete, they were going to “buy Mom a house.”
In times of distress, like in the cases of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin who was beaten and murdered by George Zimmerman, 46-year-old George Floyd who died as Officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on his neck, and most recently Tyre Nichols brutally beaten by several officers and later dying from those injuries; they all called out for their mothers.
Fathers are equally important and necessary in our lives. Unfortunately two many children die without ever knowing their fathers or knowing a father’s love.
And sadly too many men die never knowing that they had planted a seed, that they’d helped create another life.
Which brings me to my truth.
I had the benefit of a father’s love. Whether he was stopping by my school to help teachers understand that he was present and accounted for or doling out money to my friends and I because we all wanted to be ready when the ice cream man, Mr. Softee drove down the street ; I could count on Daddy.
When I went away to college, he made regular visits to FAMU’s campus and he always made sure I was taken care of.
Joe Smith was also good at vetting potential mates. Just imagine a cross between Will Smith and Martin Lawrence in “Bad Boys” and “Uncle Bernie” on the Bernie Mac Show. Young brothers had to come correct and they still didn’t stand a chance!
He was there to uplift and could always brighten my day because he was strong and fearless. He was an astute businessman who was a visionary.
He loved his daughter and he wanted the best for her!
I witnessed a love just as strong between Clarence Hill, Sr. and Clarence Hill, Jr. They shared a father – son love that was an example worthy of showcasing and celebrating. They also shared a love as Omega Psi Phi brothers, as Jr. followed his son into the fraternity.
This week, The Hill family will celebrate the life of their patriarch.
Chief Financial Officer/Human Resource Director
Clarence E. Hill, Sr. was the Business Manager/Chief Financial Officer at Lewis Funeral Home, starting as a bookkeeper in 1995.
Mr. Hill was born in Lavaca County, TX in 1937 and graduated from Asberry High School of Yoakum, TX in 1954 as the Valedictorian of his class. He earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mathematics and Industrial Engineering in 1958 from Prairie View A&M University.
He started his teaching career as a high school mathematics teacher in El Campo, TX in 1958. He later accepted a position as the head of the mathematics and science department of Elgin High School in Elgin, TX in 1966. Clarence moved to San Antonio, TX in 1968 accepting a position in the San Antonio School District as a mathematics teacher at Wheatley High School and retiring from Jefferson High School in 1995.
Mr. Hill furthered his studies in Mathematics, Science and Education Administration and received a Masters Degree in Education Administration in 1986 from Prairie View A&M University.
He also served as an Adjunct Instructor from 1969 thru 2003.
He was married to Mrs. Jewel Hill, who preceded him in death and they had two children, Tina and Clarence and five grandchildren. He, like his wife, was a strong HBCU supporter and mentor to many. He will be fondly remembered by relatives, friends, alumni, former students and coworkers, and his fraternity brothers.