Robert Willard Hill, 85, was born July 27, 1935 in Straight Fork, Tennessee to Earl and Madeline Hill. At the age of 6 months, his Father passed away. As a single Mom, Madeline had to look for work. She and Bob moved to Cincinnati where they lived until “Bob” was 12. They later relocated to Eugene, Oregon where Bob attended Eugene High School. Following high school, Bob moved to Tacoma, WA, where he attended the University of Puget Sound on a full scholarship, graduating with a degree in Business and Economics.
An avid sportsman, Bob enjoyed all competition. He played center field and half back for the UPS baseball and football teams all 4 years of college. In addition, he was an Intramural diving and ping pong champion, played semi-pro baseball in Alaska in the Midnight Sun League and enjoyed many hours at the YMCA playing racquetball with friends.
Bob always had a strong work ethic. In order to help subsidize the family income while in high school, he had a paper route, mowed lawns, dug ditches and worked on the railroad as gandy dancer. Throughout college he worked at Boeing and during the summers helped build the Alcan Highway in Alaska. After graduation, he began his business career in banking, was a real estate investor, and cabaret owner. From 1967 to 1989 he was President and owner of Knapp College of Business. At one point in time, the College had four locations, 150 employees and approximately 1500+ students. After the College closed, he joined his wife Joyce in real estate as her Business Manager. For the next 25 years they worked together to build her business.
A true patriot, Bob spent six years in the US Army and National Guard as a Staff Sergeant. During that time he continued to enjoy sports, operating as softball pitcher for his basic training team. They were undefeated in the national tournament but were shipped out before the final game.
His accolades are many. He was President of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity his Senior year, received the Jonson-Cox Trophy , voted on by teammates as the team’s most inspirational student-athlete, was on the Board of Directors of UPS Toppers for 7 years, and in 1979 was selected as “Boss of the Year” by the American Business Women’s Association. He was also active in his church and served on many committees and boards for various community organizations.
Bob leaves behind his wife of 40 years Joyce, his daughter Julie, his sons Chris and David, grandchildren Garrett, Jessy, Megan, Brittany and Hannah, Davie and great grandchildren Jaelynn, Faith, Jeremiah, JT, and Nevaeh, along with several cousins and many great friends.
Memorial services will be held at Life Center in Tacoma, WA on May 6 at 1:00. Remembrances may be made to Wounded Warrior Project, P.O. Box 78516, Topeka, Kansas 66675-8516.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Robert Willard Hill, please visit our floral store.
Wounded Warrior Project
PO Box 758517, Topeka KS 66675