Janice (Dale) Hill died at home on Saturday, September 12, 2020 at age 76. She was a two-time survivor of breast cancer, but it was metastatic pancreatic cancer that ended her life. Jan was born in 1944 in Akron, Ohio to Thomas Adam Dale and Agnes Innes Dale, both now deceased. She graduated from Akron’s Buchtel High School in 1962. Her first year of college was at Ohio University, but she then transferred to the University of Akron and earned her B.A. degree there in 1966 with a major in English and a minor in history. She then married her high school sweetheart, Charles (Chuck) Hill, and they began their journey that took them to Durham, NC; Ann Arbor, MI; Silver Spring, MD; and Philadelphia, PA before landing in Longmeadow, MA for 24 years and then West Springfield, MA for the past 21 years.
While in the Philadelphia area, Jan worked at the University of Pennsylvania as Assistant Director of the College of Thematic Studies and Director of Freshman Seminars. When Jan and Chuck moved to Longmeadow in 1975, she focused for 10 years on raising her family but also did some substitute teaching. Then in 1986 she joined The MacDuffie School as an English teacher and spent 27 years there before retiring in 2013. Her responsibilities at MacDuffie, however, were not solely as a teacher, as she also spent time as Middle School Head, Academic Dean, Interim Department Chair (English), and as a mentor to fellow teachers. In 2004 she was the recipient of a Harold Grinspoon “Excellence in Teaching” award, selected by a vote of her peers. After retiring from MacDuffie, Jan continued her interest in helping others by working for a few years for the West Springfield school system in a part-time capacity as a paraprofessional.
Jan had many and varied interests. An avid reader, she was a member through the years of several local book clubs. She derived great pleasure from both movies and live theater. She always seemed to have multiple avocational projects going at the same time – stained glass, jewelry, sewing, and, especially, knitting. And she was a terrific cook! Her friendships, both local and distant, were numerous and strong. Growing up, Jan had a particularly close relationship with her mother’s parents, who had immigrated to the USA from Scotland. In the mid-90’s Jan decided to learn more about her Scottish ancestry, and that led to rewarding relationships with relatives and friends in Scotland -- and many wonderful visits and international trips with them. In the last few years, Jan spent considerable time working with the West Springfield Democratic Committee (Secretary for two years) and with groups working to prevent the unnecessary extension of gas pipelines in this area.
Jan leaves Chuck, her husband of 55 years, two sons, Benjamin and Gregory, and four grandchildren. Ben, his wife Sherika, and their children, Avery and Amelia, reside in Chapel Hill, NC. Greg, his wife Maggie, and their children, Brandon and Logan, reside in Wayland, MA.
Most sincere thanks to everyone who helped Jan and her family during these recent, difficult months. A memorial service will be planned for a later date. Please do not send flowers, but you would honor Jan with a contribution to the American Cancer Society.