Dr. Betty Jean Hill

Betty Jean Hill

MARQUETTE, MI – Dr. Betty Jean Hill, age 79, of Marquette, passed peacefully on Sunday, July 23, 2017, surrounded by her loving family.

Born November 27, 1937, daughter of Azarius and Evelyn (Herring) Parsons, Betty was raised in Ishpeming and graduated from the Ishpeming High School, class of 1955. Betty had a passion for the nursing profession and enrolled at St. Luke’s School of Nursing beginning what would become a lifetime of service dedicated to the health care profession. After graduating first in her nursing school class in 1958, Betty married Edwin Hill and the couple moved to Bellaire, Michigan for a time. Returning to Marquette, Betty was employed at Marquette General Hospital as a nurse, while also raising her children. Desiring to increase her expertise, Betty returned to the classroom to earn a Bachelors Degree in Nursing and later a Masters Degree in Counseling. She would continue her education over the next few years by commuting to Wayne State University to earn both a Masters and PhD in Nursing. In 1978, Betty was named Interim Dean of Nursing at Northern Michigan University, and later promoted to Dean of the School of Nursing and Allied Health Sciences where she taught and expanded the nursing program until her retirement. While serving as Dean, Betty did also did post doctorate work at Harvard.

While Betty forged many new frontiers in the nursing program, she was also involved in several civic organizations. She was the first woman member of the Marquette Rotary and the first woman member of the Marquette Economic Club, later serving as president of the Economic Club. In addition to her extensive professional career, Betty enjoyed dancing, walks along the beach in front of her house, spoiling her many dogs, cross country skiing, fine chocolate, country music, and a good glass of wine. Her many friends and family will miss her generous nature, philosophical insights, and fiery passion. The world will be a little less shiny without her.

Betty is survived by her husband, Hal Pawley, whom she married in June 1981; her daughter, Cheryl Hill of Marquette; her son, Ken (Ingrid) Hill of Bar Harbor, ME; step-children, Jeff (Sallie) Pawley of Columbus, OH, Lori Pawley of Athens, GA, and Keith Pawley of Durango, CO; her grandchildren, Ian Hill Oates and Devin Hill Oates, Jeffrey Pawley, and Archer Hill; her sister, Evelyn Irene (Guy) Maurer of Chicago, IL; two nephews, Steven and Timothy Maurer.

Betty was preceded in death by her first husband, Edwin Hill; and infant son, David Bruce Hill.

The surviving family would like to extend sincere gratitude to all the Brookridge care aids and private duty aids (especially Cheryl and Mary) who took such good care of Betty. Your kindness and dedicated care was appreciated more than words can relay.

The family will receive relatives and friends at the Swanson-Lundquist Funeral Home on Thursday, July 27, beginning at 11:30 am until the time of service at 12:30 pm Thursday afternoon. Rev. Leon Jarvis will preside. Interment will be made in the Ishpeming Cemetery.

Memorials are preferred to the School of Nursing, Northern Michigan University.

Condolences may be expressed online at swanson lundquistfuneralhome.com.