Ramon J. Hill
Published in Belleville News-Democrat on May 4, 2012
Ramon J. "Ray" Hill, 85, a long-time area resident, died in his Roswell, N.M. home Monday, April 30, 2012.
The son of John and Ida Hill, he was born and raised in New Athens, Ill., graduating high school there in 1944.
Mr. Hill first came to Roswell when he was stationed at Walker Air Force Base in 1945.
His career as a decorated high school athlete translated to similar success on the sports teams at Walker. Mr. Hill starred on base-sponsored baseball and basketball squads that competed in tournaments throughout the region. He also played a key role on an Air Force all-star basketball team that toured the Southwest and West Coast.
Upon completing his military service in 1948, Mr. Hill played professional baseball in the Longhorn League, a four-year run that included three seasons in right field for the Roswell Rockets.
Mr. Hill returned to New Athens in 1952 and married Audrey, who was by his side until his passing almost 60 years later.
He became a born-again Christian in 1955, and immediately began living his faith as a Sunday-school teacher at First Baptist Church in New Athens, Ill.
In 1967, the Hills and their three children relocated to Roswell, where Ray lived the rest of his life as a devoted husband, father and witness for Jesus Christ.
His Roswell service included a 35-year membership at First Baptist Church, where he taught Sunday school for several years.
He is survived by Audrey, his son Mike Hill and daughter-in-law Lauri Hill of Scottsdale, Ariz., daughter Patti Hill of Roswell, and son Randy Hill and daughter-in-law Julie Hill of Fountain Hills, Ariz.; granddaughter April Anderson and grandson-in-law Jeremiah Anderson of Mountain View, Calif., granddaughter Lauren Dana of Roswell and grandson Jonathan Hill of Fountain Hills, Ariz.; great-grandson Jake Anderson of Mountain View, Calif.; sister Lucille Isom of Lake Worth, Fla.; brother-in-law Wayne Hagan of New Athens; and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by sisters Sylvia Hill, Dorothy Jetton, Dolores Bardos and Fern Hagan, and his brother Wilbert Hill.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, P.O. Box 96105, Washington, D.C. 20090-6105.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Ballard Funeral Home and Crematory. An online registry can be accessed at www.ballardfuneralhome.com
Visitation: Family and friends are welcome to view Ray at Ballard Chapel, 910 S. Main St., Roswell, N.M., until 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday.
Funeral: A funeral service will be held at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, May 5, 2012 at Ballard Chapel, Roswell, N.M., followed by burial service at South Park Cemetery.