William Gilbert Hill Jr., 80, of Middlebury
MIDDLEBURY — William (“Bill”) Gilbert Hill Jr., son of William Gilbert Hill Sr. and Rose (Wagner) Hill of Linwood N.J., died Aug. 9, 2021, at his home in Middlebury, Vt.
Bill was born in Pleasantville, N.J. in 1941, and attended Pleasantville High School, where he was valedictorian and lead pitcher on the baseball team, but more importantly where he met the love of his life, Dorothy Evelyn (Fowler) Hill. These high school sweethearts celebrated 57 years of marriage — documented in reams of romantic poetry they wrote to each other –– before Dottie’s death in 2019.
Bill attended Rutgers State University in New Brunswick, N.J., where he also pitched on the baseball team and served in ROTC. After graduating with his doctoral degree in mechanical engineering he moved to Stony Brook, N.Y., to work in the space program at Grumman Aerospace. Bill and Dottie frequently camped, antiqued and visited museums in Vermont and New Hampshire.
After Dorothy’s death, Bill moved to Vermont to be near their daughter. Bill was only in his Middlebury home for one year but had enthusiastically joined the community, registering to vote, baking apple pies and cinnamon rolls for neighbors, picking berries, and planting the biggest garden he ever had.
Bill was a talented digital photographer and a wood carver in the folk art tradition; loved walks on the beach and in the woods; was fond of country and folk music; and was a passionate gardener — hours before he died, he installed pea fence to plant his fall peas, and was proudly awaiting his first harvest of sweet corn.
He is survived by his daughter, Cindy Ellen Hill and son-in-law Chris Frappier of Middlebury Vt., and his granddaughter, Evelyn Mae Hill of Turin, Italy. A private service will be held to distribute Bill and Dottie’s ashes together in accordance with their wishes.
Contributions in his name can be made to the Champlain Philharmonic Orchestra, www.champlainphilharmonic.org.◊
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