Hilda Lorraine Clemons\n1927-2019\n\nHilda passed peacefully on the morning of October 17, 2019, about 12 weeks shy of her 93rd birthday. She was at home and surrounded by loved ones as was her wish.\n\nHilda was predeceased by her husband Kenneth, daughter Julie, granddaughter Amy, sister Thelma and brother Gilbert. She is survived by her daughter Jody, her son Jeff (Teresa), her grandsons: Zachary Lyon and Jack Clemons and many more loving relatives and caring friends, including Kenneth's brother Ormond, who was always like a little brother to her and niece Linda, who was like a daughter to her.\n\nHilda was born in the small, rural town of Mineral, Virginia. She was the youngest of three children born to Joseph and Chloe Towsey. During the Depression, her father moved the family to Alexandria where he could get a job with the railroad. There she grew up playing make-believe all day with her best friend, Dot. She loved the wide-open fields of 1930s Alexandria where she and Dot could imagine any number of stories and characters, but mostly cowboy. No doubt her prodigious talent for telling stories began here. Hilda attended (the original) Fairfax High School where her enthusiasm for life translated into a spot on the cheerleading squad. It was there she fell in love with a "troublemaker" (Kenneth) who got kicked off his school bus and rode home on her bus one day.\n\nHilda was in high school on December 7, 1941 when the boys of "The Greatest Generation" went off to war. She served as well on the home front caring for her mother and working for the military in various support capacities. Despite being in the Navy, Kenneth was able to come home to escort her to her prom.\n\nKen and Hilda were married in 1948 and began their life together. In 1955, they moved to Fairfax where they raised their family and continued to live for their almost 70 years of marriage. Their home was open to all who needed a place. Hilda's mother made her home with them followed over the years by relatives, including her son and his family, and friends whom they could briefly support for whatever reason. The first day that the family went to the Fairfax Methodist Church, Hilda agreed to teach Sunday School. Thus, began her involvement in the life of this church. She served in too many capacities to recount them all, but some of her favorites were Superintendent of the Primary Department, Children's choir director, and the go-to lady if a Sunday School class or women's club wanted a great program. If a program was to be given in October, she started working on it in August.\n\nHilda was a writer. She wrote stories, essays, devotions, prayers, greeting cards-just about anything. Her family affectionately called her "The Poet". She could write a poem (a really good one) while she was cooking dinner and folding laundry. She got inspiration from the smallest of observations often saying "that'll preach." Her love of words also revealed itself in her love of books. She was a voracious reader and each of her books was a treasure that could be returned to as she remembered a quote or passage that she could use somewhere else. Later in life, her hobby was to go to book readings and signings. She would always get there first for a front row seat so she could ask lots of questions.\n\nHilda's career was her family and friends, but she worked for and retired from the Department of the Air Force. She found herself working as an assistant to some high-ranking officers and took great pride in her work. Because of her exemplary work ethic and abilities, Hilda was able to leave work several times over her career to deal with family or other matters but was always eagerly welcomed back whenever she chose to return to work. She was especially proud of her work during one of these hiatuses as scheduling director for the Senatorial campaign of Sen. William Scott. She enjoyed the energetic pace and the relationships she made with reporters. Sen. Scott offered her a chance to work in his office after his election, but she declined as it might take away from her role as wife and mother.\n\nHilda took an early retirement and she spent her time relaxing with a book outside surrounded by nature. She watched her hummingbirds and butterflies and watered and weeded her flowers. Most likely, she was composing a poem while she worked. She loved nature. She and Ken took trips to the beach and the mountains frequently. Despite enjoying a well-deserved break, Hilda changed direction again to care for her grandson while her daughter worked and a new generation of family entered their home.\n\nIf Hilda had a nickel for every custom card that she mailed, she would have been a very rich person. One friend said the walls of her house in heaven would be papered with her greeting cards. She was proud that she could figure out how to create cards, search the internet and do this all on her own. Each card she sent was individually designed. Some cards went out daily to her loved ones, some to people she never met. Hilda was a learner who never stopped. She made a difference in so many lives even beyond her card ministry. She reached out as a volunteer. One of her favorites was the Virginian Sing-Along group she led for over 10 years bringing joy to the most vulnerable at this Methodist retirement/nursing home.\n\nHilda's deep faith was obvious in the way she lived her life. She touched so many lives and she leaves those she touched rich in memories and lessons on how life should be lived.\n\nShe was everyone's friend. She will be missed.\n\nA memorial service will be held at Fairfax United Methodist Church, 10300 Stratford Avenue, Fairfax, Virginia 22030, on Saturday, November 2 at 12:30, followed by a reception at the church.\n\nInterment will be at a date to be determined at National Memorial Park in Falls Church.\n\nIn lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Brave Beginnings, Helping Preemies Thrive at bravebeginnings.org or Ronald MacDonald House.