Known in his native Ireland as Uncle Mick; loved all things Gaelic 

Published October 28, 2020

WAKEFIELD — Michael Hill, 91, passed away peacefully, surrounded by his family, on Oct. 27 at Brightview in Wakefield.

Michael was born in Killucan, Ireland, on Jan. 14, 1929, to James and Ann (Hughes) Hill.

He was predeceased by his wife, Kathleen (Fitzsimons) Hill. Together they enjoyed almost 50 years of marriage before Kathleen passed in 2009. Michael was also predeceased by his brothers: Patrick and his wife Margaret, Thomas and James, all of Ireland. He also leaves many cherished nieces and nephews on both sides of the pond. In Ireland, he was known as Uncle Mick.

Michael is survived by his five children and 13 grandchildren: Cathy and Bruce Donovan of Wakefield, Ann Marie and John O’Neill of Stoneham, Patti and Brian Mullen of Topsfield, Brenda and Brian Shield of Andover, and Stephen of Wakefield. He was known as Papa to his adoring 13 grandchildren: Kaitlin and Bridget Donovan; Meaghan, Molly and Mairead O’Neill; Brian Jr. and Eileen Mullen; Stephen, Ryan, Jennifer and Jessica Shield; and Charlotte and Cavan Hill.

Michael had a lifelong love of trains and worked on the railroad in Ireland before emigrating to the U.S. in 1957. He enjoyed a 30-year career at the MBTA before retiring.

Michael had a love for life and a multitude of interests. He traveled the globe as a young man. An annual New England vacation was a staple for the Hill family growing up, and after the kids were grown, Michael and Kathleen enjoyed many more trips around the world, including but not limited to Spain, France, Canada, Mexico and cruises.

Friends, and people who just met Michael, often captured his spirit with the same description: Charming! And he was. He never met a fellow Irishman with whom he didn’t immediately bond. Michael and Kathleen enjoyed Irish dances, which were a staple of their nightlife before and during marriage. After all it was at an Irish dance in the US that Michael met and charmed Kathleen to be his bride.

Every Saturday morning, the home was filled with Irish music courtesy of the Irish Hour radio station. There was always excitement in the air when one of their Irish relatives came for a visit. Michael devoured news from Ireland and could frequently be seen reading Irish papers. Later in life, he enjoyed taking the train into Boston just to pick up the latest issue.

Michael was a passionate and avid fan of Gaelic sports (Irish football and hurling). He followed all the games played in Ireland and often attended the events of the Boston teams at the Irish Cultural Center in Canton.

He was a faithful follower of God and raised his children with the same values. He belonged to Most Blessed Sacrament and St. Joseph Parishes, both of Wakefield. He never missed a Sunday Mass, frequently attended daily Mass and participated in recitations of the rosary.

While Michael left Ireland as a young man, Ireland never left his heart. “Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis” (May his faithful soul be at the right hand of God). 

Funeral services will be private and are in the care of the McDonald Funeral Home, 19 Yale Ave., Wakefield. In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting that donations be sent in memory of Michael Hill to the Wakefield Food Pantry –