Vilho Victor “Vic” Hill

MARQUETTE – Vilho Victor “Vic” Hill, age 84, of 777 Pioneer Road, Marquette, entered eternal life Thursday, June 6, 2013, at his home.

Born October 11, 1928 in Trenary, a son of John and Jennie (Leskinen) Hill, Vic was raised on the family farm in Trenary and was a 1947 graduate of the Mathias Township School in Trenary. He enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in 1948, serving as a drill instructor at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, later being assigned to Korea where he was in charge of motor transport as second in command with the 18th Fighter-Bomber Wing. His military citations and awards include the Korean Service Medal with four bronze service stars, United Nations Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Korean Presidential Unit Citation, Good Conduct Medal, and Sharpshooter, Pistol/ Carbine award. On July 9, 1950, Vic married Frances Re Sloss in Henrietta, Texas. Following his honorable discharge in 1952, Vic and Re moved to Jackson, Michigan, for a time where he was employed as a corrections officer at the Jackson Prison. They then relocated to the Marquette area where they established a home in Harvey and began raising their family. Vic was employed as a corrections officer with the Marquette Branch Prison for 31 years, during which time he received a Citation for Bravery from the Department of Corrections for “extraordinary courage and disregard for his personal safety in the performance of duty, by breaking up a fight between two inmates, one of them armed with a weapon, preventing serious bodily harm or loss of life.” At the time Vic received the citation from Governor George Romney, he was the second officer in the line of duty to receive such an award for bravery in 100 years. Following retirement in July of 1983, Vic began a period of relaxation. Over the years, Vic enjoyed making twice a year trips to visit his children in Texas and Arkansas, with trips during the 1960’s taken on his favorite highway, Route 66. He later worked and puttered at his farm in North Delta, spending leisure time feeding the animals that came to his yard. In his youth, he had a passion for hunting, fishing, and trapping, the art of which he passed on to his children and grandchildren. He loved history, especially military history, was an avid scrap booker, and belonged to pool and bowling leagues throughout his lifetime. In his later years, with granddaughter, Jolene Kunde, as his caregiver, Vic was able to enjoy regular Friday night fish fries, rides around Marquette and Presque Isle, and taught Jolene another of his favorite past times, cribbage. He first taught her how to play, and then how to lose. He was a proud dad and grandpa, a self-styled philosopher, a man of his word, even tempered, and a disciplinarian who “was always right.”

His life, well lived, produced great pride and joy as son, Victor Bruce is a US Marine Corps Sergeant Vietnam Era veteran, son, Tim is a US Marine Corps Sergeant, decorated Gulf War veteran, grandsons, Joshua Hill is a U..S Army, Iraq veteran; Zackery Patterson a U.S. Air Force veteran, LCpl Nathan Hill is currently serving in the U.S. Marine Corps in Japan, and granddaughter, LCpl Kalin Baldwin is serving with the U.S. Marine Corps.

Proud to have served his country, and seeing his children and grandchildren doing the same, Vic was a member of the VFW, American Legion, and also a charter member of the Michigan Corrections Organization.

Vic is survived by his daughters, Rhonda (Ralph) Rugolo of San Diego, CA and Anita (Randy) Patterson of Texarkana, TX; sons, Victor Bruce (Tina) Hill of Sussex, WI and Timothy (Carole) Hill of Texarkana, AR; a son-in-law, Holbert Walton of Fouke, AR; his grandchildren, Amanda “Morgan” Jones, Danielle (Joe) Woodard, Melinda (Billy) Moon, Stephanie (Joey) McLaughlin, Kalin(Travis) Baldwin, Andrea and Victoria Hill, Shanna and Zackery Patterson, Antonio Hill, Brandon (Emily) Hill, Matthew, Nicholas, and Nathan Hill, Jolene Kunde, and Josh Hill; his great-grandchildren, Haley and Amber Loomis, Lauran (Sean) Hearron, Christian and Braeden Woodard, Jacob Jones, Gabrielle and Alli McLaughlin; a brother, Donald (Arlene) Hill of Rock; and sisters-in-law, Eila Hill of Gwinn and Claire Hill of Vienna, VA; numerous nieces and nephews.

In addition to his parents, Vic was preceded in death by his wife, Frances Re Hill in 2006; a son, Donald Dee Hill in 1956; a daughter, Cheryl F. Walton in 2001; and brothers, Leo and Vernon Hill.

The family will receive relatives and friends at the Swanson-Lundquist Funeral Home on Tuesday, June 11 from 10:00 am until 12:00 noon. Funeral services will be held in the funeral home at 12:00 noon Tuesday with Rev. Alan McCall officiating. Graveside services, with veteran’s honors provided by the Alger County Veterans Council, will be held at the Mathias Township Cemetery in Trenary at 3:00 pm Tuesday afternoon.

In lieu of flowers, memorials to the Wounded Warrior Project would be appreciated.

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