This story was updated at 2:45 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 20.
VALDOSTA – Vivian Beatrice Hill turns 106 years old this week.
A Valdosta native who strived to become the longest living person, Hill was born Oct. 20, 1914, to Daniel and Barbara Hester, said Annette Murray, her niece.
Hill is a resident of PruittHealth Crestwood where she’s been since November 2019. Until the COVID-19 pandemic, Murray visited her aunt daily.
“She said the secret to longevity was to treat others how you would want to be treated,” Murray said of Hill.
Hill grew up in the Mt. Vienna community near Cat Creek Road and was the third of six children. Murray said Hill outlived her siblings.
Hill graduated from Dasher High School in Valdosta in 1935, the only member of her family to graduate from the high school, Murray said.
She was a member of Mt. Vienna AME Church.
Having been raised on a farm, Hill knew she had another destiny.
“She knew that farm life wasn’t for her,” Murray said.
Hill, who had family in Michigan, went to Detroit where she attended beauty culture school and worked as a cosmetologist.
Murray said Hill joined St. Paul AME Church and served in several ways including becoming a member of the church usher board, the Traveling 10 Club, the Crafts Club and the Friendly Bridges Club.
She met her husband of 27 years, Millous Hill, in 1941. They had one adopted son, three grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
“Her last three years in Detroit were spent as an instructor for low-income interior design” for a county community college, Murray said.
Upon retiring, Hill returned to her roots. She relocated to Valdosta, built a home and began attending Mt. Vienna AME Church once more where she was an usher.
She joined the Charmette Club and senior citizens arts and crafts.
Hill is an experienced traveler having been to other states, as well as countries and international cities such as Switzerland, Rome, Paris and London, Murray said.
On her 100th birthday, Hill received a recognition from former President Barack Obama and became a member of the National Centenarian Awareness Month Club, Murray said.
Hill’s hobbies include sewing, arts and crafts, quilting and gardening. She loves to watch “Jeopardy,” “Family Feud,” “Judge Judy” and “Dr. Phil,” Murray said.
Hill is the family historian and values her family the most, Murray said. Hill is straightforward, curious, creative, resourceful, headstrong, witty, honest and organized, Murray said.
“What I’ll remember most about her is the pride she took when she (told) our family history,” Murray said. “We would all sit around amazed at the details she would share. She deserved our deepest respect and love. Happy birthday, Aunt Bea.”