Jan. 11, 1939 Oklahoma City Cleveland County Oklahoma, USA
Sep. 9, 2012 Hayden Lake Kootenai County Idaho, USA
James Jerome Hill, age 72 years, 10 months, and 7 days, Marine, aviator, husband and father, of Hayden Lake, Idaho, left us Sunday, September 8, 2012.
He leaves behind his loving wife of 46 years, Geri, his son of whom he was immensely proud, L/Cpl Justin Hill, USMC and daughter Stephanie.
Jim was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma on January 11, 1939 and grew up in the DC/Maryland area. He attended the University of Maryland, graduating with a bachelor of arts degree in 1961.
While in college, Jim completed the Marine Aviation Platoon Leaders Course and upon graduation was commissioned a Second Lieutenant and reported for flight training at the naval flight training command in Pensacola, Florida. Eighteen months later he received his wings of gold and was assigned to an operational squadron at Marine Corps Air Station, El Toro. He completed familiarization in the F-4 Phantom and demonstrated such great proficiency that he was then sent to the "Top Gun School" at Naval Air Station, Miramar. Jim's squadron deployed to Viet Nam in 1965. During that deployment, Jim received five Air Medals for conspicuous gallantry in flight. Each of the citations recites his bravery in willingness to close with the enemy and engage at perilously close range. At the conclusion of his tour, Jim left active duty but remained a member of the Marine Corps Reserve where he flew Phantoms and subsequently the OV-10 Bronco. His affiliation with the Marines ended in 1971.
Major Hill became a civilian after ten years of service to his country. In 1967 Jim joined American Airlines and he would pilot almost every aircraft in its inventory. The career led he and Geri to live in New York, back to California, then to Virginia and the District of Columbia and finally back to California. He retired as a DC-10 captain, flying American's route from California to Japan.
The greatest love of his life was his family. But close behind came his love of literature and music. He surrounded himself with his books, all of which indicate that they were well read. He would either have a book in his hands or those hands would be wrapped around his guitar or banjo as he sang from his amazing memory of country and western songs. Jim's music delighted his family and friends; the library of his memory continually amazed.
While a student at Maryland, Jim traveled through Appalachia studying the country music which played such a part of his life; he played with Flatt and Scruggs in DC - he was so very talented. After he retired, Jim and Geri moved to North Idaho where every day he marveled at the beauty of Hayden Lake. It was here that his days ended.
He will be sorely missed by his many friends and his family. A Memorial Mass will be held at 10:00 am, Monday, September 17, 2012 at St. Thomas Catholic Church in Coeur d'Alene with Father Bill Crowley officiating. Urn burial will follow at St Thomas Catholic Cemetery with Full Military Honors.
Yates Funeral Home has been entrusted with the care of final arrangements. ___________________________________________________