Victoria Hill had a simple formula for living: What you do comes back to you. Good deeds will come back to you, and so will the bad.
"We lived by that," said her son, Tommie St. Hill. "She used to say never break the law, never take short-cuts, serve God, the community and the country, and the good deeds will come back to you."
Victoria and her late husband, Sherman Hill Sr., had nine children, then took in the seven children of their oldest daughter, Joanne, after her death.
It made for a rather crowded household, but Victoria knew how to handle it - with love, compassion and a firm hand.
She died Thursday at the age of 92. She was living in a nursing home but had lived most of her life in North Philadelphia.
"She never let us get in trouble," said Tommie St. Hill, former writer for the Philadelphia Tribune, aide to the late Congressman Lucien Blackwell and Marine veteran of Vietnam. "She taught us to respect people, be friends with everybody. Everybody respected her."
Victoria was born in Kissimmee, Fla. She came to Philadelphia at an early age and married Sherman Hill, owner of a wallpaper and painting business. He died in 1976.
For a time, she worked as a domestic with private families in the city.
Over the years, Victoria's already extensive family grew to include 38 grandchildren, 73 great-grandchildren, 27 great-great-grandchildren, and two great-great-great-grandchildren.
Victoria was proud of them all.
She was a 33rd Degree member of the Eastern Star and was active with the East Bethel Baptist Church.
She also survived by five daughters, Barbara Thomas, Mattie Majida Ali, Elsie Bell, Debbie Anderson and Lena Hill, and another son, Milton. She also was predeceased by a son, Sherman Hill Jr.
Services: 11 a.m. Thursday at East Bethel Baptist Church, Broad Street and Erie Avenue. Friends may call at 9 a.m. Burial will be in Chelten Hills Cemetery. *