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Madalene Louise Hill

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MADALENE LOUISE HILL, born in Rock Island, Texas on November 7th, 1913, Madalene Hill passed away on March 5, 2009 in Brenham, Texas. The oldest of 13 children, Madalene led a wonderful, adventurous life as a person who always " bloomed where she was planted." She married Jim Hill in 1950 and together they established Hilltop Herb Farm in Cleveland, Texas. The farm was a world-renowned haven of rare plants and wonderful food enjoyed by thousands of guests over the years. She moved to the International Festival-Institute at Round Top, Texas in 1993 where she established and volunteered as curator of the extensive gardens. Madalene served as National President of the Herb Society of American from 1986 1988 and received the Helen de Conway Medal of Honor. In 2007, she was honored with the Catherine H. Sweeney Award for extraordinary and dedicated efforts in the field of horticulture by the American Horticultural Society. The Knot Garden at the National Arboretum is dedicated to Jim and Madalene Hill. Madalene had two children, Jerry Cummins and Gwen Cummins Barclay. Preceded in death by her husband Jim in 1982 and her son Jerry Cummins in 1992, she is survived by her daughter, Gwen Barclay of Round Top, Texas and three generations of grandchildren. A Celebration of Madalene's Life will be held on Sunday, March 22, 2009 at 2 PM in the Festival Hill Concert Hall. A reception will be held immediately following at Menke House. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Gardens at Festival Hill, or to the Herb Society of America Library Kirtland, Ohio.
Published in Houston Chronicle on Mar. 8, 2009
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