On Sunday, December 27, 2020, Carl R. Black and Bernice D. Black’s youngest daughter, Priscilla Laverne Hill age 71 was called home to Glory. Priscilla, wife of Malcolm M. Hill, Sr. lost a valiant battle with an illness. Priscilla was born in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, then moved to Harrisburg with her family when she was a child. In her teenage years, Priscilla returned to Pittsburgh. While attending Westinghouse High School, she became a majorette in the band and graduated with her high school diploma in 1967.
After high school, Priscilla married Samuel Thomas and had three children; Antoinette L. Castillo, Nico C. Thomas and Carl L. Thomas. In the late 1970’s, Priscilla attended Triangle Tech and became a certified welder. She was the first black woman in the state of Pennsylvania, to work as a welder for the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PENNDOT). Priscilla always had a flare for fashion, which led her to a local modeling career in the City of Pittsburgh. The invaluable skills she gained from modeling, empowered her to transition into community activism. Priscilla even threw her hat in the ring, and ran a grassroots campaign to become a Commissioner in Allegheny County. She travelled with her late mother Mrs. Bernice Black to the country of Cuba to organize and advocate for human rights. Priscilla’s mother Bernice was a co-founder of a local organization called, “Welfare Rights” with the late Mrs. Frankie Mae Jeter, which helped low income families in the City of Pittsburgh. Upon returning from Cuba, Priscilla became involved with a non-profit organization called, “The Thomas Merton Center.” She was a life long learner, who enjoyed listening to jazz, went to musical performances, attended college lectures, studied history, kept abreast of current politics and had a historical quilt. Priscilla always shared her recollections, about the Smithsonian Institute’s interest in obtaining her quilt because it is a powerful reflection of our Black history.
Over the years, Priscilla became a successful entrepreneur. She had first learned, how to become a businesswoman from her grandmother Mable “Nanny.” Being a caregiver, inspired her to operate a daycare for over five years called, “Prissy Nanny.” During this period of time, Priscilla launched a second business as a subcontractor who assisted people in obtaining employment opportunities. Later when Priscilla retired, she focused on her growing family which included numerous grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
Priscilla is survived by her daughters Antoinette L. Castillo, Nico C. Thomas, son Carl L.. Thomas and step sons, Samuel Thomas Jr. and Malcolm M. Hill, Jr; father of Priscilla’s children and dearest friend, Samuel Thomas; numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren; brother Carl (Collen) Black, and a host of nephews, nieces, family, friends and loved ones. She was preceded in death by her parents, husband Malcolm M. Hill, Sr., brother James Black, sisters Goldie D. Hurtt, Rebecca Porter, Dorothy Dantzler, and Carol Jones.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Priscilla Hill, please visit our floral store.