Patricia McGowan Payne Hill
Published: December 19, 2012
Patricia McGowan Payne Hill, 82, died on December 15, 2012. Patsy was born in Petersburg, Virginia on December 5, 1930, to William Hal Payne and Audrey Rose Bozel Payne. She attended Petersburg schools and at age sixteen attended Mary Washington College of the University of Virginia in Fredericksburg, Virginia graduating in 1951. Following graduation, she was a school teacher in Petersburg where she met a handsome young U.S. Army officer stationed at Fort Lee. It was definitely love as this young second lieutenant from Little Rock was successful in a marriage proposal that resulted in Patsy crossing the Appalachian Mountains to live in the wild west of Arkansas. Jay French Hill and Patsy Payne were married on a very hot June 27, 1953 in Petersburg. Following a honeymoon in Nantucket, they made their home in Little Rock.
Mrs. Hill is survived by her husband of 59 years, Jay French Hill, a son, James French Hill, his wife Martha McKenzie Hill and two grandchildren, Sarah Elizabeth McKenzie Hill and William Payne Hill, all of Little Rock.
Patsy was a member of the Little Rock Garden Club and, along with Jay, devoted to garden study and design. They enjoyed many garden trips throughout the United States and Europe. She is a direct descendent of many valiant heroes of the American Revolution and Civil War, including her great grandfather, Francis Marion Ridout, who was the last surviving Confederate soldier from the April 8, 1865, Battle of the Crater, in Petersburg. Patsy was a long time member of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) and the American Herb Society. She was a sustaining member of the Junior League of Little Rock. Always a teacher and always a student, Patsy was a wonderful mother and grandmother assisting with every history or art project along the way. She loved the anonymous tribute to Virginia that reads: "To be a Virginian, either by birth, marriage, adoption or even on one's Mother's side, is an introduction to any state in the Union, a passport to any foreign country and a benediction from the Almighty God."
Following a Mass of Christian Burial at the Cathedral of St. Andrew, she was buried in Calvary Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that one make a contribution in Patsy's memory to the Historic Arkansas Museum Foundation, 300 Third Street Little Rock, Ark. 72201; the Episcopal Collegiate School Foundation 1701 Cantrell Road Little Rock, Ark. 72201; or, the Catholic High School Foundation, 6300 Father Tribou Street Little Rock, Ark. 72205. Arrangements by Ruebel Funeral Home, www.ruebelfuneralhome.com.