Cynthia Hill, 69, succumbed to Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease at the Mesilla Valley Hospice's LaPosada in Las Cruces, N.M., on Dec. 23. She was born Aug. 16, 1943, to Arthur and Sara Hill of St. Charles, Ill., but lived most of her adult life in Detroit, Mich. She graduated from the University of Michigan-Dearborn in 1966 and worked for three years as an elementary school teacher in Detroit's inner city. She married Keith Orloff in 1968 and they had three children. While at home with her children, Cindy had a daycare center in her home. She earned her MBA in accounting from Wayne State University and was hired by the state of Michigan as a tax auditor, a job she held from 1984 until 2002 when she retired. She was divorced in 1987 and entered a relationship with Jan Thompson that lasted until her death. Upon retirement, she returned to her first love of teaching by opening an after-school tutoring business in her home where she worked with fourth- and fifh-grade boys, helping them develop their math and reading skills. Cindy moved to Las Cruces in early 2007 and soon began substitute teaching in the public schools. She was an active member of the Unitarian Universalist Church in Detroit and in Las Cruces, serving many elected and voluntary roles. She also volunteered her time at Casa de Peregrinos, the local food bank. Cindy is survived by her partner of 25 years, Jan Thompson; her sister, Priscilla Hill of Southfield, Mich.; her daughters, Caroline Hirano (Shinichi) of West Bloomfield, Mich., and Katherine Tremblay (Joseph) of St. Clair Shores, Mich.; her son, Jonah Phoenix (Judith Gonzales) of San Francisco, Calif.; one granddaughter, Mika Hirano; three grandsons, Tatsuya and Kazuto Hirano and Gabriel Phoenix; and two nephews and a niece. She is preceded in death by her parents and two of her siblings. A memorial service will be held at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 2000 S. Solano Ave., Las Cruces, on Sunday, Jan. 6, at 1 p.m. The family suggests memorial gifts to the UUCLC, either to the capital campaign fund or to purchase hymnals, or to Casa de Peregrinos. A memorial service will also be held at the First Unitarian Universalist Church, 4605 Cass Ave., Detroit, on Sunday, Jan. 20, at 1 p.m.
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Published in Las Cruces Sun-News on Dec. 30, 2012