Sherrill-Dorothy Mae Claus Hill passed peacefully from the arms of her family to the arms of her
Savior on December 3, 2014 at the home of her daughter in Houston, Texas after an extended illness.
Born 91 years ago on August 27, 1923 to Huron and Theresa Claus, Dorothy was a member of
the Mohawk tribe. Dorothy was raised in Niagara Falls, New York and graduated from
Niagara Falls High School. Dorothy and her siblings were musically trained by their mother
and became The Claus Indian Family, known for their Christian testimony and gospel music
ministry on radio, at churches and Youth for Christ rallies throughout New York State,
Pennsylvania, Ontario and Chicago, Illinois. She worked in banking and general office
She was married to Chief John J.HiII of the Tuscarora tribe for 61 years. Her beautiful soprano voice and piano skills were widely used in their Niagara County home area where she performed at churches, civic organizations, many special occasions and was known for her performances at the Maid of the Mist Festivals in Niagara Falls. The Hills left their home on the Tuscarora Indian Reserve, Lewiston, New York in 1965 to pursue a career opportunity with E.I. DuPont de Nemours and Co. which relocated them to operations in Texas, Louisiana, West Virginia, Puerto Rico, South Carolina and Delaware. Seeking Christian fellowship in a church family and participating in its music ministry was a priority for the Hills in each location.
Dorothy, quickly known for her musical talent and as a Native American woman of faith, became a public speaker for women's and men's civic clubs, business organizations, Scout troops, public school assemblies and became a featured speaker for Christian Women's Clubs. She also served as a youth mentor for one season to Native students at Stockbridge Central School.
Although Tuscarora Baptist was their "home" church, Dorothy and her husband spent 22 years as a retired couple in Sherrill, New York. Dorothy became an active member of Plymouth Alliance Church there.
Enjoyed for her wit and keen sense of humor, Dorothy was respected for her integrity, tenacity of purpose and steadfastness in her Christian faith. She was predictable in her passionate approach to all challenges, tasks and obligations. She leaves her family and friends with a gallery of memories and a legacy of the power of Christian faith and love for The Lord.
She is survived by daughters and sons in law, Barbara and Tom Montalbano of Oneida, NY, Joan and Edoardo Mazza of The Woodlands, TX; two grandchildren and their spouses, Dr. Stephen and Suzanne Boyer of Huntsville, AL, Stephanie and Tim Arnold of Malta, NY.; six great-grandchildren; sisters in law, Alfreda Claus of Phoenix, AZ., Dorothy Hill Printup of Niagara Falls, NY; brother in law, Rev. Kenneth Antone of Oklahoma City, OK.; four nephews and four nieces. She is predeceased by her husband, John; her sister, Shirley Antone; her brother, Rev. H. Thomas Claus and her niece, Dorothy Printup Winden.
Dorothy's family extends their love and special thanks to her faithful caregivers, Jean Roach of Sherrill, NY. Debra Davis of Montgomery, TX. and VITAS Hospice, Houston, TX.
Family and friends may call on Monday from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m. at the Malecki Funeral Home Inc., 464 Sherrill Rd., Sherrill. Mrs. Hill's funeral service will be held on Tuesday at 11:00 a.m. at the Plymouth Alliance Church, 169 Kinsley Street, Sherrill, NY with Pastor Kurt Johnson officiating. Burial will follow Valley View Cemetery, Oneida, New York. The family requests donations be made in lieu of flowers to CHIEF, Tuscarora Baptist Church, Plymouth Alliance Church or VITAS Hospice. Online condolences may be sent to maleckifuneralhomes.com