Mrs. Deeadra Martin Hill, of the Woodlands, died on Sept. 19, at the age of 76.
DeeDee was born on April 23, 1944 at the Fitzsimmons Army Hospital in Aurora, Colorado, to John Joseph Martin and Norma Ellen Eastes. She was adopted at the age of three by her stepmother, Ada, who loved her unconditionally. Part of a large family with eight children, DeeDee often joked that she was so young when she started cooking for large groups, she had to stand on a stool to reach the stove.
As the daughter of an Army Master Sergeant, the family moved between Colorado, Oklahoma and Illinois. At the age of 23, she moved to New York, first working at a summer camp, and then at Shraft’s Coffee Shop, where she met her future husband, Ernest Gerlach. They moved to San Antonio in 1967 and married the next year. In 1973, they had a son, Eric, and a year later, a daughter Erika. Though always good friends, they divorced in 1976, and DeeDee moved around between Austin, Conroe, Porter and New Waverly. Dee was always creative and used her hands; at one point, she was so involved in ceramics she had a kiln at her home. She worked a variety of jobs becoming a nursery manager, a cafeteria worker, a bus driver, and eventually, a night clerk at a convenience store, where she met her late husband, “Sonny” Hill. They married in 1990 at the Christ Tabernacle in Huffman where his family attended. Eventually they moved to Liberty to attend the Apostolics of Liberty Oneness Pentecostal Church.
DeeDee was always willing to cook enchiladas or sew doll clothes for the people around her, but there was no doubt that the light of her life was her husband, and her three grandchildren. After her husband’s death, she stayed in Liberty a few years, quilting and volunteering at the library before moving to the Woodlands to be closer to family.
DeeDee is preceded in death by her parents and stepmother; sisters, Betty Boone and Joyce Phillip; brothers, Michael and Robert Martin; her daughter, Erika Mary; and her loving husband, William “Sonny” Hill. DeeDee is survived by her brothers, Thomas Martin of South Carolina, Charles Martin of Oregon, and Kenneth Martin of Colorado; her half-sister, Anne Buchanan of Brantford, Ontario, Canada; her son and his wife, Eric and Bethany Gerlach, and their children, Emily, Devin and Callie; her ex-husband, Ernest Gerlach and his wife Patricia Ezell; and her well-loved dog, Buttercup.
A memorial service will be held at a future date; interment will be at the Hardin Chapel Cemetery in Hardin, Texas. Donations can be made to the Alzheimer’s Association at alz.org.