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Thursday, October 15, 2020
Starts at 10:00am (Central time)
Neil Hill, age 87 of Jonesboro, passed away on Sunday, October 11, 2020 in Gatesville.
Funeral services will be held at 10:00 a.m. Thursday, October 15, 2020 at the Jonesboro Community Center, with Minister Bert Mercer and Rev. Matt Dossey officiating. Burial will follow at Jonesboro Cemetery.
He was born March 25, 1933 to C.E. (Red) and Lucille Huggins Hill, in the Elijah Community, now a part of Fort Hood. He started school in the Harmon Community, and graduated from Jonesboro High School in 1950. He attended Texas Tech University, before enlisting in the US Army following the Korean War, where he served 2 years in the Veterinary Food Inspection Corps in Germany. It was a joyful day in 1956, when he was accepted into the Texas Highway Patrol, where he was stationed in Borger and Amarillo before transferring back downstate to Corsicana. With his wonderful memory, he seemed to remember the license plate number of every car he ever stopped. He met his future wife, Joan Westbrook, who was the assistant home demonstration agent, when he went into the Navarro County Extension office to inquire about a bale of coastal bermuda hay that was placed outside of the door. They were married May 10, 1959 at her parents’ home in Texarkana, Arkansas. In 1962, he was offered a job as a special agent with Naval Intelligence (now NCIS) in Dallas. As an ONI agent he was asked to be ready to aid if needed after the assassination of JFK, and helped provide secret service duty for V.P. Spiro Agnew’s visit to San Diego in 1969 when he was stationed there. He was assigned the office in San Angelo from 1970 to 1976 when he left ONI to move back to Coryell County, where he and his brothers operated Hill Food Service, a home food delivery business.
He always told wonderful stories of his large Hill family, and when he was 70 years of age, he started putting them to paper as he wrote his autobiography True Tales of a True Texan. He detailed his earliest memory from age one all the way through his working career. He loved every job he ever had and was a natural optimist. He was able to think outside the box to find a solution to most any problem. He was a good man who loved children and was a wonderful daddy and granddad. He was active in the Jonesboro community, having served on the school board, community center board, and Volunteer Fire Department. He was an avid Jonesboro Eagle fan, as his children and grandchildren played sports. In 2011, he was selected Alumni of the Year.
He was preceded in death by his parents, brothers, Elwood Hill and wife, Jackie, Tommy Hill and brother-in-law, Clifford Johnson.
He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Joan; children, Collier Hill and wife, Debbie and Elizabeth Lord; sister, Mary Lou Johnson; brothers, Grady Hill and wife, Mary, Bobby Hill and wife, Peggy; sister-in-law, Mable Ann Hill; grandchildren, Erin, Ashton, Jacob and Spencer Lord; great grandchildren, Jaxon, Addison, Maddox and Cohnway; longtime friend, Bert Mercer; numerous nephews, nieces, cousins, and friends.