Obituary: Sydney Jane Hill

Nature enthusiast, loving mother, lifetime Claremont resident

Sydney Jean Hill, a lifetime resident of Claremont, died Friday, November 29, after a long battle with cancer. She was 51.

Sydney was born April 1, 1968 at Pomona Valley Hospital. She is the youngest of three children born to Mike and Bobbie Hill, longtime Claremont residents.

Sydney attended Sycamore and Oakmont elementary schools, El Roble Intermediate School and Claremont High School, where she graduated in 1985. She attended Citrus College and earned an associate’s degree in social science as well an aesthetician’s certificate.  She lived and worked for several years in Santa Cruz.

Sydney’s pride and joy was her son, Wyatt Hill. Her happiest years were camping along the California coast and hiking in the Claremont foothills with her son and nephew, Max Hill. Her son’s beaming smile and friendly attitude are the greatest reflection of Sydney’s best qualities.

Her life’s passions were nature and gardening, looking after several neglected rose gardens in town, as well as sprinkling California poppy and wildflower seeds in bare and abandoned spaces. She cared for all things small and vulnerable.

Ms. Hill also had empathy for people most of us ignore. She carried gift cards, and if she saw someone in need, she would stop to talk to them and give them one of the cards.

She saw beauty where no one else did, becoming a champion recycler with an artistic eye for what could be repurposed. She loved beautiful wood, and for the last few years, helped supply her father with the wood he used in his artworks. Ms. Hill had a studio space where she created small custom tables from found objects and other materials.

Her mantra was “We are all precious beings here to grow, evolve and love one another.” Through her life’s journey and challenges, she remained, at her core, the same sweet woman.

“Syd was always still Syd, so genuine as a mother, artist, friend, daughter and kind spirit,” her family shared. “She taught those close to her, and those whose lives she touched, that no matter what is happening in your life, try to remain kind and show care for people, roses, animals and abandoned gardens.”

Many of the flowers she planted and tended will be blooming soon, and though that may be considered a small legacy, it will forever repeat itself with each coming spring. It is the way she would have wanted it. Her favorite saying came from Margaret Mead: “Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world. For, indeed, that’s all who ever have.”

Sydney died during the Thanksgiving holiday, surrounded by her family. She is survived by her son, Wyatt, and nephew. Max; her parents; her brothers, James Hill (Diana), and Tom Hill; as well as her aunt, Sharon (Leonard), and cousins Sharli and Avery.

Her family is grateful to everyone who assisted Sydney in her life’s journeys and challenges. They would especially like to thank the medical staff at Norris Cancer Care Center at USC and Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center for their care during her brave and courageous fight against breast cancer.

Her family would love remembrances and photos to be sent by mail to Memorial donations can be sent to the Claremont Forum, 586 W. First St., Claremont, CA 91711.

A memorial service for Sydney will be held in the spring.


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