Donald Carl Hill, 89, beloved father and grandfather, passed away peacefully at home on January 19, 2023.
Born March 9, 1933, in Joliet, Illinois, Don was the son of Edna Mary Bock and Albert George Hill and the second-youngest of twelve children. His experiences growing up in a big family and working together with his siblings were some of his most cherished memories, as well as the source of his impressive skill set, which included farming, building houses and working on cars.
Don worked as a farmer for several years, a job that suited his love of the outdoors and working with his hands. A lifelong animal lover, he had a special bond with his cows and pigs and loved to entertain his grandchildren with stories of his animals and how he used to ride a cow around the farm.
While Don loved farming, he decided to give up country life when he fell in love with his wife Rosemary, a born and bred Chicagoan. They married on November 26, 1966, settled in Chicago and had two children, Donna and Donald. Don worked as a machinist at Electro-Motive for 29 years, where he was known as an incredibly hard worker with a talent for all things mechanical. He retired in 1993 and at the time of his passing, he had been retired for 29 years, exactly as long as he worked at Electro-Motive.
Outside of his job, he was also a skilled woodworker who built everything from kitchen cabinets to a dollhouse for his oldest granddaughter. In his spare time, he liked jigsaw puzzles, game shows, fishing, golfing and camping. He always appreciated a good meal and liked to keep a secret stash of his favorite chocolate donuts. For the last five years of his life, he lived with his daughter Donna, his son-in-law Mark and their family, and was very happy to be surrounded by his loved ones and have an adoring audience for his many farm stories.
Known to all as Papa, Don was a man of contradictions in the best possible way. Underneath his slightly gruff exterior, he was a softhearted “sweet old goat” who was delighted by babies and animals and couldn’t be stopped from sneaking bites of his food to the family dogs. He was stoic and a bit reserved, but was incredibly funny and didn’t take himself seriously. He was a simple man with old-fashioned values, but had a live and let live philosophy and believed in treating all people equally. He will be remembered for his sweet nature, tireless work ethic, willingness to help others and the joy he brought to his family.
Don is survived by his children Donna (Mark) Rook and Donald (Dawn) Hill; grandchildren Olivia (Nick) Aszling, Breandan Rook, Katarina Rook, Madeline Hill, Daniel Hill and Briana Hill; sister Carol Sturgeon; and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his wife of 50 years, Rosemary (Kehoe) Hill; his twin sister Donna; and his siblings Wilbur (Lois) Hill, Florence (Ronald) Kirby, Marshall Hill, Dorothy (Robert) Dean, Alan Hill, Evelyn (Robert) Shaw, Kenneth (Francis) Hill, Norma (Clarence) Schwartz and Nancy (Herbert) Karr.
Visitation Friday, January 27, 2023 from 9:00 AM until the time of service 12 noon at the Becvar & Son Funeral Home, 5539 W. 127th Street, Crestwood. Interment Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Alsip. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Alzheimer’s Association (www.alz.org)
For more info : www.becvarfuneralhome.com or (708) 824-9000
225 N. Michigan Ave., Fl. 17, Chicago IL 60601