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1917 James 2017

James Madison Hill

August 26, 1917 — June 2, 2017

Madison - James Madison Hill, 143 Prairie Oaks Drive, Verona, died June 2, 2017, at the age of 99 after a short period on hospice. Jim, as he was known, was preceded in death by his wife of 69 years, Elsa Therese (Wimberger) Hill, and by his sons, Gerard William Hill and James John Hill. He is survived by two sons and two daughters, Dennis Auburn Hill (Vicki, Madison), Gregory George Hill (Glen Oaks, NY), Kathryn Galto (John, Irvington, NY) and Maxine Ratner (Rick, Chesterfield, VA), and by 17 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.

Jim was born in Seco, KY, on August 26, 1917. He told many stories about a childhood without the creature comforts we now enjoy, but which he remembered fondly. He lettered in three sports at Fleming-Neon High School and received a scholarship to Georgetown College (KY). On a summer's stay in Queens, NY working at Ludermann's ice cream parlor he had met Elsa and, afraid of losing her to someone else, decided to return to New York later in the fall and they were married on September 15, 1940. They lived in Ridgewood, Queens, NY, until 1955 when they moved to Floral Park, NY, where they remained until after retirement. They moved to Wilson, NC in 1992, where they made many friends and enjoyed life together. Elsa was often ill during the last years of her life, and Jim provided tender and devoted care for her during that time. After Elsa passed away, Jim moved to Madison to live with his son and daughter-in-law

Jim worked in the machine tool industry and became a sought-after master tool and die maker. During the war years he was exempt from military service due to his work being critical to the war effort. He worked for Sperry Gyroscope Company among others. He was exceptionally skilled and able to analyze and solve technical problems, and could install or repair anything. He loved to play golf, and continued to play until the age of 94. He also enjoyed many sports as a spectator, including golf and college basketball, above all the Kentucky Wildcats.

Among the extended family he was famous for his dancing. He loved to dance and even in his 90s you couldn't get him off the dance floor at weddings and other events. Until the last months of his life, he loved to read for hours on end, an activity he shared with Elsa. He was a true democrat, both large and small D, and was a friend to all regardless of race, religion or economic status.

Jim was able to live comfortably with the contradictions of life. He disapproved of sugar as unhealthy, but loved cake and ice cream. He was a caring father, grandfather, and friend, and his positive view of life has provided a role model for his children, his grandchildren, and his many friends, all of whom will miss him.

Memorial donations in Jim's name may be sent to Jewish Social Services of Madison, 6434 Enterprise Lane, 53719, or Agrace Hospice Care, 5395 E. Cheryl Parkway, 53711.
To order memorial trees in memory of James Madison Hill, please visit our tree store.


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