Walter was born in Bomont, WV on April 10, 1936, to Denver H. Hill and Retha J. Hill. He graduated from Clay County High School in 1954. By graduation he had read every book he could get his hands on including the entire encyclopedia. He longed to see the world so he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and began what would be a career that he thoroughly enjoyed. The Navy gave him so many wonderful experiences and many life-long friendships; he served on an aircraft carrier and was stationed in the Philippines, Germany, Japan, Thailand, and Spain. While in the states he worked for several years in Omaha, Nebraska and at the Pentagon.
In June 1959, while on leave, he married his high-school sweetheart, Peggy Ann McCoy, at the Villa Nova Baptist church, in Duck, WV. They had three children, Brian, Jan, and Lois. He retired in 1974 at Chief Petty Officer rank. After retiring, and back in the States, Walter and Peggy moved their family to West Virginia. First to Clendenin, where Walter worked as a police officer. Then to Falling Rock. After retiring from the National Bank of Commerce in Charleston, Walter and Peggy moved to Florida where he would live until his passing.
As well as being a voracious reader (he re-read the encyclopedia more than twice), Walter loved fishing, hunting, playing sports, playing and listening to music, and singing. He was self-taught on piano, guitar, banjo, and violin. He enjoyed thoughtful discussion about whatever topic you could think of. His joy was spending time with his family; coaching little league baseball, and softball, and watching his children play sports. There wasn’t anything he wouldn’t do for his kids. This included grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He also had so much love for his nieces and nephews, whom he thought the world of.
He told the best stories about growing up feral on a 90-acre farm in Bomont. He told Navy tales of bar fights in Germany; walking night patrol with a shot gun in the Philippines; of late nights laying on the deck of an aircraft carrier in the middle of the ocean looking up at the blackest sky, never before seeing the stars so bright and clear, humbled by how our world seemed so small; of killing a cobra on a ball field during a little league game in Thailand; and of the many insane things he and his brother Roger did that should have gotten them killed.
Walter would always say he had the best life a man could ask for; a boy, his horse and dog with acres and acres of land to roam with not a human sound to hear; grew up poor, but never deprived or neglected; never going hungry; growing their own fruits & vegetables, hunted, and fished; his mother canned “everything she could get her hands on.” He had a mother and grandfather whom he adored and who loved him dearly; he married the love of his life, traveled the world, and was blessed with strong, intelligent children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Just like he dealt with all experiences in life, he managed his illness with strength and grace, and wanted to spend as much time with his loved ones as possible. On his final day, he held hands with his loving wife Peggy, whom he always referred to as “the love of his life” as she sang some of their favorite songs. He will be dearly missed and never forgotten.
Walter was preceded in death by his parents, brother Roger C. Hill; sisters Neva B. Hill (Bill) Walling and Avis J. Hill Rose, and beloved granddaughter Jordan Hill Weber; sister-in-law Juanita McCoy (Red) James. He is survived by his wife; sons Brian (Wanda) Hill & Morgan Hill; daughters Jan Hill and Lois Hill (Michael) Warner; grandsons Terry (Odessa) Hill, Phillip (Deanna) Hill, Patrick (Megan) Hill, Jacob Warner & Owen Hill; granddaughter Abbey Warner; Brothers-in-law Alan McCoy, Larry (Sally) McCoy; Sisters-in-law Kaye Greenlief (Evert) Browning, Ruthie O’Neill Hill; 11 great-grandchildren; and many cousins, nephews, and nieces.
Per his wishes, Walter will be cremated. This Spring his ashes will be in buried beside his mother, sisters and grandparents, at the King-Mullens Cemetery in Bomont, WV.
Condolences may be sent to the family at P.O. Box 444, Bostwick, FL 32007.