Harold Wilbur Hill was born September 5, 1923 in Sedalia, MO and died July 25, 2018 on Mercer Island, WA.
What constitutes a successful life? By any objective standard, Harold Hill was a success. He was married for nearly 69 years to the love of his life, raised two devoted sons, and achieved tremendous success in business. He was the beloved patriarch of six grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. But the true measure of his success was that he accomplished all this with effortless warmth, impeccable integrity, kindness, and good humor.
Harold had a life-long appreciation for the value and virtue of hard work. He served in the Navy during WWII. After the war, he received his degree in architectural engineering from Kansas State University, where he met his future wife, Mary Frances Jennings. After marrying in Bozeman, MT, they moved to Seattle in 1949. They settled in West Seattle before building their dream home on Mercer Island in 1963.
Harold worked for several construction companies on projects as far afield as the International Airport in Fairbanks, Diablo Dam, and the Alaskan Way Viaduct. In 1968, he started Harold W. Hill Construction Company, which eventually became Hill Raaum Pietromonaco and continues to this day as Hill Investment. In the course of his career in construction and real estate development, Harold was involved in building nearly 4,000 buildings. His work helped shape the industrial infrastructure of the Puget Sound region. In 1998, he was inducted into the NAIOP Commercial Real Estate Hall of Fame. He garnered a reputation for exceptional integrity and fairness that was the foundation of his success in business.
Harold was a devoted member of Emmanuel Episcopal Church, a proud Rotarian, and an extremely generous (though often anonymous) philanthropist. Charities he supported included United Way, Cancer Lifeline, Rotary First Harvest, Pacific Science Center, Seattle Art Museum, MOHAI, Emmanuel Church, Mercer Island Center for the Arts, and Youth Theatre NW.
His long life was suffused with joy. He deeply loved his wife, his family, and friends, and he was loved in return by everyone who knew him. He loved travel and staying at home, he loved a good laugh and a quiet view, he loved building great things and puttering around in the shop. He was always humble and down-to-earth. If we could just live a little more like Harold Hill, the world would be a much better place.
He is survived by his wife, Mary Frances; sons John Gordon Hill and wife Ellen Hill, and Stephen Hill and wife Beverley Hill; grandchildren Anne Thomson and husband James Thomson, Megan Hill, Michael Hill and wife Liz Berry, Keith Bolling and wife Shireen Shahrivar, Laura Campbell, and Bruce Hill; and great-grandchildren Felix, Toby, and Jasper Thomson, and George Hill.
Services will be held at Emmanuel Church on Mercer Island on Tuesday, August 7th at 2 pm.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to a charity of your choice.