Eulogy for Walter Jack Hill
Taken from his Personal History
I Walter Jack Hill, having been born on Feb 15, 1927 in the town of Burley Idaho, of goodly parents, and having been taught by them in the ways of our Lord and by the example of their lives to try to be a friend and helper to my fellow men, they gave their love and means freely that I might enjoy life at the expense of their sacrifice of going without many, many of the necessitates they themselves needed.
My childhood was a happy time, for through my dear mother’s constant love and care I became aware, little by little, of the plan of our God and the role I must prepare to live and the happiness found therein. And through my dear father I learned by example the merits of being a neighbor, always being willing to help and share, and of the value of hard honest work which was the way of life for my father. I think some of the greatest counsel my father gave me, by both precept and example was, if anything is worth doing at all, it is worth doing well.
From my parents I learned to love the outdoors, the beautiful mountains, the clear cold streams and lakes, the beautiful trees, shrubs and flowers that our dear Lord beautified our world with. And to find and feel the closeness of my God in quiet serenity of the mountainous creation of our Father in Heaven while there in these surroundings I find peace and contentment with myself and the world. As I grew up through the years Father and I shared many trips both of fishing and hunting for deer, and mother was always at camp with a warm fire burning and a delicious meal to fill our stomachs. She was always excited to see out catch or game. It has been important for me to share these same values and experiences with my children and family.
My marriage to Helen Going ended in divorce in December 1959, after the birth of our four beautiful children: Judy Ann, Gary Kay, Ronald Jack, and John Robert.
I married Melva Ruth Austin November 18, 1960 in the Logan Utah Temple. The Temple President told me “she is a special daughter of Heavenly Father and that He expected me to always treat her that way”. We were blessed with two additional children: Linda Marie, and David Wayne.
My career has been spent working for power and construction companies: the REA in Malta Idaho, San Diego Gas and Electric, Jepson Power and Milling in Driggs Idaho, Rural electric in Rupert Idaho, Lower Valley Power and Light in Star Valley Wyoming, Montana Power and Light in Butte Montana, ending my career with Modern Electric Water Company in the Spokane Valley after 23 years of service.
I was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints when I was 8 years old by my grandfather Gierisch in the canal that ran by his place.
I served in the US Navy during World War II, and served on 3 ships: the USS Morris (a Destroyer, which was hit by a Japanese Kamikaze attack plane), the USS Lamar (an attack transport), and the USS Thomas Jefferson (an attack transport). While on the Thomas Jefferson I worked on the #1 boiler used to power the ship. I don’t remember what exactly happened, but I was hit in the left eye with 190 degree hot diesel oil at 300 lbs of pressure. As a result, I have a tumor in that eye, and the doctors said for years I could lose my sight, but in my 90’s I am still able to see out of that eye.
I served two missions for the LDS Church. The first mission was in the Northern California Mission which ran from Grants Pass Oregon to Delano California. On a particular day, being my first experience to knock on doors, my companion took the lead and the first 3 doors were met with the same rejection, always they would say – “we know who you are and we are not interested”, and then slam the door. The next door was mine, and as I attempted to tell who we were, she gave the same response. I then said to my companion – “Elder, I am not sure I am where I need to be”. He said, “Elder, who sent you on this mission?” I said, “The Lord Jesus Christ, through the prophet.” He said, “That is right. And when you are doing the Lord’s work, the Lord is with you and you don’t have to fear anyone.” That is where my testimony began. I know now, beyond question the answer to life’s 3 greatest questions: where I came from, why I am here, and after death what.
While serving in Medford Oregon, we were not having any success so the missionaries had a 48 hour fast to determine what we should do. It was decided that because Medford had no phone or business directory we would gather information from the businesses and residences in the city and sell adds to businesses to pay for the compiling of the directory. The Lord moves in mysterious ways His wonders to perform. After delivering the directories, the town just opened up to missionary work, and now they have a large stake center and a temple there. From Medford, I was sent back to the Bay area, Oakland and San Francisco where I finished my mission.
On my first mission I had 2 experiences to give priesthood blessings that resulted in instant healings. The first experience – we met a lady that was dehydrated – the Doctor said she would not live the rest of the week. My companion and I gave her a priesthood blessing. She then got out of bed and walked us out to the car that was waiting to take us home. Another occasion was a brother that shook so bad that he was unable to walk. He said he knew that if we blessed him, he could walk. We gave him a priesthood blessing and he walked out to the waiting car with us.
I served my second mission to the Macy Nebraska mission with my favorite companion, my sweetheart Melva. We worked with the Native Americans on the reservation near Macy Nebraska. Our focus was to find and reactivate less active members.
While we were living in Hayden Idaho, the High Priest Group leader was working in his yard and ran a rose stick into his eye. He said he knew that if we gave him a blessing his eye would heal. As I was giving the blessing, the Holy Spirit told me what to say. The brother assisting me said afterward, “what in the world did you promise him?” I said the Holy Spirit told me what to say, and within about 3 days his eye was healed. I have been blessed to be an instrument in the hands of the Lord many times.
I know that Jesus is the Christ, the son of the living God, who does hear and answer our prayers. I know that after all I can do, he will make up the difference. The Book of Mormon contains the fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In the days to come, when I kneel before my Savior, to thank him for my blessings, I shall not know then any more than I know now that Jesus is the Christ the son of the living God, the Lord our Savior and Redeemer.
Dad dealt with health challenges the majority of his life. He passed away peacefully on Wednesday August 19, 2020, with his sweet heart by his side. He is survived by his loving wife Melva, and his children Judy, Gary, Ron, John, Linda, and David.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Walter Jack Hill, please visit our floral store.