Ardath Francille Chamberlain Hill  (NOVEMBER 18, 1935 – OCTOBER 12, 2021)
Artist, Wife, Mother
Ardath was born November of 1935 in Kalamazoo, Michigan and spent her formative years moving around the states with her mother and sisters, Anne and Beth, for their father’s News Editor jobs. The girls went to schools in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Texas. They were in Sweetwater, Texas during WWII while their father, Louis, covered stories in the Pacific and mother, Francille, served as a Red Cross supervisor.
Ardath graduated from Sioux City Highschool in Iowa where she enjoyed being a gifted piano accompanist, flute player, singer, and beautiful Homecoming Queen. She studied Journalism and Art for three years at Morningside College with a summer term at Cranbrook Art Academy. While chaperoning her sister Beth in San Francisco, Ardath met the love of her life, a young Navy Officer out of the Annapolis Academy, Earl Hill. They were married in Sioux City on Earl’s Thanksgiving leave, and moved to California, where their first son Bruce was born. Earl left the navy for a Research Engineer position with MIT, just in time for the start of MITRE corporation in Massachusetts where their daughter Molly was born. Between assignments from the east coast to NORAD in Colorado, their daughter Rebecca was born near Ardath’s parents’ home in Iowa. Their final child, Douglas was born in Colorado Springs. In March of 1964, the whole family moved to Paris, France while Earl worked for NATO for three years. While in Europe the family took many trips in their VW Van camping and touring famous sites and ski areas. Ardath took French art classes and painted several works of the sights there.
In 1967 they returned to the States on a final trip of the USS United States and settled in the Stone Haven Community of Annandale, Virginia. Ardath was a constant tutor, great family cook, soccer-basketball-swim team mom, and a fabulous Girl Scout Leader. She even took time to be Lake Braddock HS’s first Yearbook editor, and was always volunteering her talents. While Ardath was on the run with the four kids’ activities, she still made time to sing with the First Presbyterian Church of Annandale. She was the cool mom that would allow extended sleep overs and the greatest Halloween parties. Ardath was one of the first Furniture Up-Cyclers and adopted and refinished many gorgeous antiques to adorn their home. Once the kids were in High School, Ardath went back to school at NOVA, and received an AAS degree in Commercial Art. She worked for Impact Communications in the late 1970s, creating incredibly mod and edgy advertising works of art. From 1981 to 1983 she was able to golf and study new art forms in Hawaii where Earl had taken an assignment in the Pacific Command Center.
Back in Virginia from 1983 till 2016, she concentrated on fine arts with a focus on figurative paintings. Ardath received at least 46 Awards and Distinctions for fine sketches, paintings and multi-media art from the Springfield, Stamford, Capital Hill, The Art League, and many other Art Associations. She had studios in The Torpedo Factory and Artemisia of Old Town Alexandria, where some of her art was sold before it could even be hung for shows. She had many Solo and Curated Ensemble Shows in the Washington DC and Ocean City, Maryland areas.
As a member of many Art Leagues, she kept busy as a judge, curator, docent, and moderator of many art classes. Unfortunately, in 2016 her hands became numb and she had to give up creating the art she loved. Ardath blamed the chemicals she used in refinishing furniture and painting. She wrote her own partial obituary to urge all her artist friends to “sell all your works while you are still able to”.
Ardath suffered from Alzheimer’s and passed October 12, 2021. She is survived by her husband of 66 years, Earl, their children Bruce, Molly, Becky and Doug and their respective families, with seven grandchildren, and two great grandbabies. A Celebration of Life Ceremony is being planned for the Spring of 2022, and an eventual interning of ashes at the Naval Academy.
Fond memories and testimonials are being stored and encouraged on the Demaine Fairfax Funeral Home website. Any organization or friends wishing to have some of Ardath’s works of art should contact Becky at
Demaine Funeral Home – Fairfax
10565 Main St
Fairfax, VA 22030