Obituary of Rodman Grant Hill
Larchmont, NY -- Rodman Grant Hill, psychotherapist and folk musician, died Sunday, May 7, 2017 in White Plains, NY at the age of 88.
He leaves his wife of 65 years, Naomi, his daughter, Cordelia, son-in-law, Christopher, and granddaughters Gwen and Glory.
Son of Elsie Hill, Rodman was born and raised in Harlem during the Great Depression. In his early years, Rod's fierce intelligence and questing spirit drove him to attend Stuyvesant High School and to discover his love of music, the Hudson River, photography and his passion for social justice, particularly labor struggles and integration.
Rodman worked on several shows in the early days of television at CBS, including the Arthur Godfrey Show and the Perry Como Show, becoming the first black member of his union. Although he appeared on stage in at least one brief Broadway production, he was known primarily as a folk musician, singing in Washington Square Park, part of the vibrant community of musicians and activists. It was here he met his future wife, Naomi Miller of Brooklyn.
Rod and Naomi were married on May 3,1952 at Ethical Culture Society of New York. For many summers after, the two worked together at Camp Willoway. Pioneers in integrated marriage in the 1950s, they joined the March on Washington and always worked for equality. They made their home in Greenwich Village a place for friendship, music, humor and hospitality, while Rod studied psychotherapy at Brooklyn College and NYU. He later worked at City College, SUNY Purchase, and Creedmoor Hospital. In 1969, Rod and Naomi welcomed the birth of their daughter, Cordelia, and moved to Larchment, NY, where they continued the tradition of folk music gatherings.
A gifted joke-teller, Rodman spent the last decade of his life penning limericks on a wide variety of topics, leaving behind a volume known as Limericks Eclectica. This collection preserves his gift at finding a unique perspective amid the seemingly mundane, finding charm in the absurdity of politics, and of course his ability to shock and delight his audiences.
Rodman leaves behind a legacy of music, laughter, intellectual insight, and profound friendships. A memorial will be held on Saturday, May 13 at Fox Funeral Home of Larchmont. Gifts in his memory can be made to Planned Parenthood or Clearwater.org.