Julia Esther Rego-Prado Hill was born October 27, 1930 in Havana, Cuba. Esther, as she liked to be called, came to the United States in the 1950's to seek a better life for her young son Albert, her sister Lourdes, brother Roberto and beloved mother Isolina. Esther wanted to get out of Cuba. Speaking only Spanish, her journey really started when she arrived in New Orleans, where she worked as a beautiful singer and dancer performing to Rumba music dressed in beautiful Cuban costumes. Her stage name was "Luba Loi."
As her journey continued she met her husband James Marion Hill. Her family grew and so did her love. Now raising four children, Albert, Shirley, Linda, Jeffrey, she traveled and learned to live life in a foreign land. These times were not always easy but only making her stronger. Soon after many changes, she settled in Sunnyvale, CA., where she met Isaac Toledo and Jesse was born. Thus, there were five and although, we had different fathers we were always unified by her love.
Her life became her children teaching them all how to dance salsa, sing but most importantly teaching them to pray. She passed her love of life, music, and dance to them. She was totally devoted to the Lord and raised all her kids with strong Christian values. She loved to sing and dance. Growing up we often heard her singing songs about life in Cuba, such as the "Guantanamera", about a woman who left Havana to Guantanamo Bay, to marry; we would laugh because her joy was contagious.
Through life's struggles, Esther became a pistol of a woman evoking the spirit of "only the strong survive" but at the same time showing empathy and compassion. She was regarded as an independent woman and with the desire to get ahead in life. Working hard was expected in all she did and showed us through example. She never asked for help from anyone, only in prayers to God for her needs. We knew we could always come to mom with any problems, and she would never judge us; she would always find a solution. She was a problem solver for sure and didn't hide her feeling about her thoughts. Mom would say there are no secrets in our family, in fact everyone knew what was going on with each other, and it was ok, most of the time.
During her time in Sunnyvale, she did everything possible to make her children's life better including working two jobs. She started her side business as a seamstress and she sold Tupperware and Avon all while working as a QA inspector. As time passed she finally met the love of her life, Danny Esparza. Eventually they moved to San Jose, Ca. and shared over 40+ wonderful years until her passing. She retired from her last position at Abbot Laboratories.
During her retirement she enjoyed her free time outside gardening in her yard. She definitely had a green thumb tending her garden of flowers including orchids. Digging, planting and transplanting was common place all the while her dog Kiko watched on. Esther wasn't an emotional woman, but she showed her love by taking wonderful care of us. She loved working and cooking and making us feel that we can accomplish anything we wanted. Esther' strong belief in God spread throughout our family, and soon we all were saved born again believers, which brought harmony into our lives. Esther's favorite quotes were "Life is what you make it", "Vaya con Dios" and "Tu eres mi Corazon de melon."
At the age of 89, Julia Esther Hill passed away February 7, 2020 with her family by her side. She led her a wonderful life with her children Albert, Shirley, Linda, Jeffrey, and Jesse, and Grandchildren & Great grandchildren; Albert, Esther, Michael, Courtney, Branden, Ryan, Jonathan, Shaun, Joshua, Rebekah, Christian, Zane, Hayden, Karliah, and Jax.
She is beloved by all her friends and Family
We Love You Mom…Nuestro Cielo!