Maureen “MoMo” Starr Hill, 86, of Gulf Breeze, Florida, loving and dedicated wife, mother, grandmother, aunt, and friend, passed away peacefully on October 5, 2021.
After graduating from Murphy High School in Mobile, AL, MoMo attended the University of Montevallo where she received a Bachelor of Science in Home Economics. Upon graduation, she moved to Pensacola where she worked for Gulf Power as a Lighting Advisor to home builders and architects. In the summer of 1959, MoMo met the love of her life, Carlos E. Hill, Jr., at a summer dance at the Bayfront Auditorium even though they were both on dates with other people. Carlos and MoMo married on May 7, 1960, and were devoted to one another for the next 61 years.
MoMo was a true trailblazer for career women of her generation. During this era, women were encouraged to be stay-at-home moms or choose careers in the fields of nursing, teaching or secretarial work. MoMo, however, embodied the spirit of “women can do anything the boys can do and perhaps even better.” For years, she worked her full-time Gulf Power job only to come home each night to work alongside Carlos as they built their family business, Hill Enterprises, from the ground up. Once established, MoMo left Gulf Power and joined Hill Enterprises full time as a working vice president.
MoMo was not only a career woman, but she was also a lifetime volunteer. She spent countless hours dedicated to the health and well-being of students of all ages around Gulf Breeze. She was the past president of the Parent Teacher Associations at Gulf Breeze Elementary, Gulf Breeze Middle School and Gulf Breeze High School. Known as a staple around the ballpark and football fields at Shoreline Park, MoMo supported sports activities that would shape future generations. She held many different positions at “Shark Park.” She was a board member, the Commissioner of Baseball, Commissioner of Football and eventually the Commissioner of the Gulf Breeze Sports Association. She did all of this while raising a family and working full time. In her spare time, MoMo loved to read, go to the movies, cheer on her beloved Mississippi State Bulldogs, and enjoy wonderful meals out with family and friends.
Above all, MoMo was a true champion of others. She had an uncanny gift of hospitality. She first gathered you in with her eyes and every single action thereafter was one for your benefit. There was no task – big or small – that she wouldn’t do for you. There is truly not a person who knew her who didn’t completely believe that they were her favorite child, grandchild, or friend. She put us all first – with every hello, every word of encouragement, every hug, every unsolicited honest opinion, every conversation. She saw each and every one of us and loved us completely.
Although we all thought we were MoMo’s favorite person, her very favorites were her grandchildren, Jordan, Max, Hayden and Hallie. They were her everything and she made it a priority to immerse herself into each one of their lives. Her love and devotion to each of them was nothing short of remarkable. Their activities were her activities. Their friends were her friends. Their achievements and difficulties were hers. MoMo made certain that their lives were rooted in the very best she had to offer, her unconditional love. We are all so grateful that MoMo spent her entire lifetime teaching us all how to love and serve others. There is no better gift she could have left us.
MoMo is preceded in death by her parents, Viola and Charles Wellington Starr. She is survived by her husband Carlos; daughter, Lauren Kirchgessner and son-in-law, Doug; son, Tripp Hill and daughter-in-law, Susan, all of Gulf Breeze, FL; her beloved grandchildren, Jordan Kirchgessner Lollar and her husband, Heston of Starkville, MS, Max Kirchgessner, Hayden Hill and Hallie Hill all of Gulf Breeze, FL; brother, Robert Starr and sister-in-law Diane of Fairhope, AL; many beloved nieces and nephews, her circle of friends and her precious dog and faithful companion, Lulu.
A special thank you to Emerald Coast Hospice for the tremendous care and compassion shown to MoMo during the last month of her life. A celebration of life will be held at the Pensacola Country Club on Wednesday, October 20th, from 4:00 – 6:00 PM. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to Gulf Breeze Will Do, a non-profit funding source for individuals trying to make a difference in the greater Gulf Breeze Community. This organization was established in 2014 and MoMo was proud to be a charter member. Donations in honor of Maureen “MoMo” Hill can be made to Gulf Breeze Will Do, PO Box 1193, Gulf Breeze, FL 32562.
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