The symphony began to play for Linnetta Ann Johnson Hill as she made her entrance into life on May 1, 1946, to the union of Cecil Marcus and Marjorie Dorestine (McBrier) Johnson of Manhattan, Kansas. The music remained in her life until the final curtain call on November 2, 2021, at 4:15 am.
Linnetta grew up in Manhattan, Kansas attending Douglass Elementary school where her mother was a teacher. She attended Manhattan Junior High School and was a proud alum of Manhattan High School class of 1964.
Linnetta received her Bachelor of Music and then received her Master of Music in 1982 at the Kansas State University from 1964-1968. While attending KSU Linnetta played for the Gospel singing group the United Black Voices and was a founding member of The Delta Sigma Theta Sorority.
Linnetta married Billy D. Hill on July 19th, 1974, at the Salem Baptist Church, Kansas City, Kansas and remained married for 47 years. She and Billy had a musical ministry that spans five decades with her playing and Billy singing. They touched many lives through music and would also perform for special services, weddings, and funerals. They would often "Have Church" in their own home praising the Lord.
Linnetta absolutely loved music and loved making her music for the Lord. She began her musical talents at an early age playing the piano and cello. She was a musician extraordinaire. Her professional career included teaching instrumental strings in the USD 383 School District for 30 years, retiring June 16th, 2001. She mentored many children and taught private strings and piano lessons for many years. Linnetta's impact extended well beyond the school district and stretched into the community in which she lived.
As a child she joined Pilgrim Baptist Church and was baptized by the late Rev. J.N. McGee and began playing the piano for the youth choir. By age 12, she was playing piano for the Sunday School Department that led to a long lineage of playing for the church including for choirs, groups, and services. She played for Pilgrim Baptist Church for 58 years,giving her total self until May 31, 2016, when she was told her services were no longer needed. She then played for the Strangers Rest Baptist Church in Kansas City, Kansas for 17 years. She played for the Sanctuary Choir on the first and third Sundays of each month. She would also drive for Thursday rehearsals before each Sunday she was scheduled to play. She also played for First Lutheran and Bethel AME.
After the separation from Pilgrim, God lead Billy and Linnetta to First Baptist Church in Manhattan. They joined the fellowship October 16th, 2016, and was gladly received with love and open arms. Linnetta remained a member until her passing.
She is preceded in death by her parents, 1 half-sister, Arnetta (Johnson) Black, 2 half-brothers, Cecil M. and Leo Johnson, a granddaughter, Leilana Ann-Marie Hill, 1 best friend like a sister, Gwendelrae (Edwards) Shari.
Left to fill this void is her husband, Billy D. Hill; her children Gwendelrae (Hill) Hicks (Scottie); Hyda-James Hill (Jennifer); Megan Hill-Mann (Felice) Grandchildren; Jocelyn Victoria Ann Hicks, Koliya Jenae Brielle (Hicks) Wilson, Noah Dale, Adrianna Revae, and Alorach Brianne Hill, 2 great grandsons; Aahmeka and Alan Nevel, 1 brother; Marcus L. Johnson (Ramona), 3 brothers in law; Dr. Harry J. Hill (Lorine), Kelsey T. Hill (Linda), Michael D. Hill (Trudy), several nieces and nephews, first cousins, Willetta Jones, Joyce Kindard, Nathan Beasley, 3 best friends Patricia Smith, Cathy Roebke and Paul Fuller; extended family and friends.
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