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Shirley I. Nichols Hill


October 3, 2020


Shirley I. Nichols Hill, 86, formerly of Danville, and Selinsgrove PA was reunited with the love of her life early Thursday morning, October 1, 2020 at Geisinger Medical Center, Danville PA. Her care had been entrusted to the Mountain View Nursing and Rehab in Coal Township PA where she contracted Covid-19, and became a statistic of that facility, and of the pandemic.  She was born April 12, 1934 in Chapman Township Snyder County, the daughter of the late John and Jennie Flanders Nichols Herrold. 

While attending high school, Shirley met James Hill, a young man who would constantly tell her that she was “enough to make a man leave home”. They graduated together in the Selinsgrove Area High School class of 1952 and were married on April 4, 1953.  They had celebrated 62 years together of marriage when Jim passed in 2015. 

Jim and Shirley’s first date was at the Stanley Theater in Selinsgrove.  He could not afford her ticket, so they met inside at the seating.  After Jim passed, the family found a letter that gave specific instructions that she should look for him in the lobby, as this time her ticket was paid, and they would reunite at the greatest movie of all. That theater lobby became the place of their first business – Susquehanna Hobbies. 

Shirley and Jim were very active in their communities.  They participated in chaperoning school events, and Shirley baked endlessly to provide special treats for many school dances. They were part of the founding group for Selinsgrove White Christmas.  Shirley and Iva Jean Shipe would work for months, and enlist the help of the community to cut out and decorate styrofoam ornaments and string foam peanuts into garland, to decorate all of downtown Selinsgrove with high school students on decorating day. Shirley also worked hard at making her many homes and yards picture perfect, worthy of magazine articles and garden tours.   

Shirley loved managing the many shops she and Jim owned together including Susquehanna Hobbies and later Hill’s Decorating Center in Selinsgrove, where she used her interior decorating skills to help many customers select paint, wallcoverings and window treatments, while Jim did the installation of the design, in the customers’ homes.  

After trying retirement, Shirley missed sharing the wonders of all things beautiful, so she and Jim opened Collectables Unlimited in Lewisburg, and eventually moved the shop to Danville.  This shop was well known as one of the largest Fenton Art Glass Dealers in the East.  They hosted annual Fenton Family signing events and bus trips for their customers, who all became friends, to go to the Fenton factory in Williamstown, West Virginia to tour the factory, meet the Fenton family and witness the hand blowing of the glass first hand. September of 2014 marked the final closing of Collectables Unlimited, as the shop just wasn’t the same without the addition of new beautiful glass.   The Fenton factory closed in 2011 marking the end of an era for the Fenton and the Hills businesses. Customers could not enter any of Shirley’s stores, without hearing stories of her family. She was always beaming with love and pride for her family to all who met her. 

Shirley was generous and loving.  She never missed an opportunity to spend time with her grandchildren, Terry and Jamie.  She taught them all about cooking, and to sample your dessert first, so that they were never too full to enjoy the best part of their meal. She shared her love of gardening with them, picking rocks from the creek, learning about flowers, trees, shrubs, and even mushroom soil; always reinforcing them that manure makes the best fertilizer. She even allowed them to drive her gardening golf cart, and often found their lack of skills leaving obvious marks behind in her yard, flowerbeds and into the shed.   

As a Mother, she gave her daughter memories that will be forever remembered including shopping at Bowmans followed by a treat at Keithan’s Bakery and school shopping at the Lowly Clothier.  All special days in her daughter’s life were always designed by her to be one of a kind.  She was lovingly known as “Mother Hill” to all who were friends of MaryAnn.   

She always had one special room which was filled with her beauty and many perfect touches.  In later years, this room would be jokingly named by her grandchildren as the “Reindeer Room” for Christmas morning and the opening of gifts.  Anyone who entered too early would be caught, as she would see the footprints in the carpet. Her love of art glass was contagious, and her family all have that special area for a cabinet of glass, that will forever remind them of their days together. They all admit that they have more than just a little, as she saved huge collections for each of them. 

Shirley is survived by her daughter, Mary Ann Hill Lynn and her husband Scott of Danville PA. Also surviving are four grandsons; Jamie of the greater Pittsburgh area, Terrance of Danville, Derrick of Fayetteville NC, and Scott of Turbotville, all of whom she adored.  Also surviving are seven great- grandchildren. She is also survived by one sister, Sylvia Aucker of Linglestown and one brother John “Joe” Nichols of Myerstown, as well as many nieces and nephews. 

She was preceded in death by twin daughters, Debra and Cheryl in 1957, as well as one brother, Ray “Gene” Nichols, and two sisters; Ann Blasser and Marcella Gelnett. 

A Celebration of Shirley’s life will be held at a later date.  The family asks that you take Covid-19 seriously, so that everyone will have a better future than we have had this year. 

The family would like to express their gratitude to the Geisinger Medical Center Emergency Department and ICU, for the compassionate and dignified care they provided to Shirley in her last days.  

Memorial contributions may be made to csgiving.org/make-a-donation marked for the Selinsgrove Area Community Foundation, or mailed to Central Susquehanna Community Foundation, 723 W Front St Berwick PA 18603, attn: Selinsgrove Area Community Foundation. 

Arrangements are under the direction of the Visneski Funeral Home, Inc. 42 West Mahoning Street Danville PA 17821.

Links:  Facebook.com/visneskifh  ~  Twitter.com/visneskifh  ~ www.Visneski.com


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