Former Coach George Hill Passes
December 14, 2009
George E. Hill, 78, of Parsons died at 9:20 a.m. Friday, Dec. 11, 2009, at his home. He had been in failing health.
He was born on Aug. 2, 1931, at Chicago to George H. and Beatrice O. (Grubb) Hill. He grew up at Chicago and attended public schools there, graduating from Calumet High School in 1950. He earned an associate of arts degree from Lincoln College, his bachelor's from Illinois Wesleyan University, his master of education from the University of Illinois and his doctorate of education from the University of Denver.
He served in the United States Army as a draftee during the Korean War. He eventually earned the rank of lieutenant colonel. He was also a captain in the South Carolina State Militia after serving as a civilian instructor in the United States Coast Guard at New London, Conn., and the Georgia Military College in Milledgeville, Ga. He was awarded the Korean Service Medal, the U.N. Service Medal, the National Defense Medal and the Armed Forces Medal.
He married Linda (May) Kelley on July 7, 1984, at the First Baptist Church in Parsons. She survives of the home.
George was a teacher and coach starting his career at small high school of 50 students at Armington, Ill. He then went on to serve as the head basketball coach at several universities and colleges, including Robert Morris College at Carthage, Ill., the U.S. Coast Guard Academy at New London, Conn., The Citadel at Charleston, S.C., Oklahoma Panhandle State University at Goodwell, Okla., Western Wyoming College at Rock Springs, Wyo., and Rogers State College at Claremore, Okla. He also served as an assistant coach at the University of Illinois and at the University of Tennessee.
In 1999 h e moved from Claremore to Parsons to help his wife care for his mother-in-law, Lou T. May. In his retirement he worked as a sportswriter for the Parsons Sun during the football and basketball seasons from 1999 to 2005. He wrote two novels, "The Season" and "Investigation." He also served on the Parsons Public Library Board as treasurer.
He was a lifelong Methodist and an active member of the Wesley United Methodist Church in Parsons. During his coaching career he was a member of the Oklahoma Coaches Association, National Junior College Basketball Coaches Association, National Association of Basketball Coaches of America, National Association of Intercollegiate Directors of Athletics and the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education and Recreation.
In addition to his wife, George is survived by three daughters, Laura Steffens of Houston, Linda L. Hill of Erie and Lucia Hill Casper, Wyo.; five stepchildren, Gina Kelley of Kansas City, Kan. , Deborah Crossley of Joplin, Kathy Wicker of Parsons, John Kelley of Parsons and Amy Troy of Joplin; 17 grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents; and his brother, Thomas G. Hill, on May 16, 2002.
The service will be at 10:30 a.m. Monday at Wesley United Methodist Church. Burial will follow in Memorial Lawn Cemetery with military honors conducted by the Brown-Bishop Post No. 704, Veterans of Foreign Wars. The family will receive friends from 3 to 5 p.m. Sunday at Carson-Wall Funeral Home.
Memorials are suggested to Wesley United Methodist Church and these may be left at or mailed to the funeral home, 112 N. 26th St., P.O. Box 942, Parsons, 67357.
Condolences and remembrances may be left at www.wallfuneralservices.com.