Ruth McBryde Hill
Ruth McBryde Hill
  • May 22, 1928 - June 13, 2017
  • Falls Church, Virginia

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Ruth McBryde Hill of Falls Church, VA died June 13, 2017.

She was born in 1928 in Ft. Defiance, VA to the late Ruth Jones McBryde and the Rev. John Malcolm McBryde.

She graduated from Robert E. Lee High School in 1944 and from Mary Baldwin College in 1948 with a B.A. in English. An educator all her life, she taught school at Wilson High School for one year after graduating college and then moved to Auburndale, FL to teach. In 1951 she moved to Charlottesville, Va and married Joseph Eldred Hill, Jr. of Martinsville, VA in 1952. They moved to Richmond, Va where she continued teaching public school until 1958 when she stopped to help focus on her husband's political career and her growing family. She was active in the Democratic Party, becoming President of the Democratic Women's Club of Richmond in 1966. She moved with her family to McLean, VA in 1968 and began volunteering as a docent at the National Portrait Gallery in 1972, working with elementary school children. Mrs. Hill became an employee of the National Portrait Gallery in 1982, first as a scheduler for the Education Department and later as an Education Specialist in charge of secondary school programs. In that role, she mentored many graduate students who now work as education professionals in museums, historical sites and schools in the Washington area and across the country. She retired from the Smithsonian in 1998. Her husband predeceased her in 2007.

She is survived by her sister, "Duffie" Gray; her children, Joseph Eldred Hill III of Shenandoah Junction, WV, John McBryde Hill of McLean, VA and Rebecca Ruth Hill of Falls Church, VA; six grandchildren and one great grandchild.

A graveside service will be held on June 26th at 11:30 a.m. at Augusta Stone Presbyterian Church Cemetery with Rev. Elizabeth McCrary. The family will be available to greet friends at 11:00 a.m. at the church.

In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the Ellington Fund at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts. Please note Museum Studies/Ruth Hill Memorial on the check. Contributions can also be made on line at

Arrangements have been entrusted to the Staunton Chapel of Reynolds Hamrick Funeral Homes.