Melvin Ray Hill, husband, father, grand-, great-grand-, great-great grandfather, brother, uncle, and friend, passed away peacefully, surrounded by family, on Tuesday, July 14, 2020, at age 90.
Mel was born 17 May 1930 to James Walter and Edna Jane (Faulkner) Hill, in South San Francisco, California.
The family lived in various places in the Bay Area including Mt. View, CA, where Mel flew in the US Navy dirigible “Macon” as a young boy. The family settled in Vallejo, CA, where Mel attended school and explored the countryside with his beloved dog Wizzle (“Weasel”). After graduating from Vallejo High School in 1948, he apprenticed at Mare Island Naval Shipyard until he was drafted into the US Army on 2 January 1951. Following basic training at Ft. Ord, CA, he attended OCS at Ft. Benning, GA. He served in the 6th Infantry Division at Ft. Ord and in Fox and Hotel Companies, 2nd Battalion 223 Infantry Regiment, 40th Infantry Division during the Korean War, from March to December 1953, and was in the Army Reserves until 1958. He earned a CIB and the Ambassador for Peace Medal. Upon his return home he attended Vallejo Junior College for two years, then attended San Jose State College.
He married Naida Crawford in 1954 and they had five children: Daniel Rey, Albert Reed, Spencer Reese, Eva Renee, and Melisa Rachel. The couple divorced in 1962.
Mel married Mary Crook on 9 November 1963 in the Manti Utah Temple. They are the parents of two sons, David Ray and Jon Robert. Mel worked as an engineer for the City of San Jose, CA, in various departments from 1957-75 when he retired and opened a private engineering practice. When he retired in 1995 the family moved to Sandy, UT, where they have lived ever since.
Mel has been involved in many activities, mainly in Scouting. He was an Eagle Scout and helped many young men achieve that rank. He had a pilot’s license and helped found an Air Scout troop. He was the president of the Santa Clara County National Eagle Scout Association. He attended Wood Badge and Philmont Training and was awarded the Silver Beaver Award in 2000.
He was president of the Deaf Branch of the San Jose Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for about fifteen years, where he learned ASL. He and his family loved to travel and visited Europe, Israel, Egypt, Asia, and Australia, as well as all fifty states. He served as a Family & Church History Missionary from July 2005 - May 2012. He spent his later years working in his yard, making yard decorations, and serving in the temple. Wherever he went, he loved talking to people and sneaking a piece of candy to them through a handshake.
Mel was preceded in death by his parents; siblings Norma (Paul) Martin, Vera (Bill) Barbier, and Glen Jay (Melba) Hill; and daughter Eva Renee Hill (age 3). He is survived by his wife Mary; sons David (Shanae), of Lorton, VA, and Jon (RayDean), of Sandy, UT; ex-wife Naida Williamson, of UT; children Dan (Regina) of MT, Reed (Mindy) of ND, Spence (Janice) of NV, and Melisa (Steve) Kozak of UT; many grand-, great-grand-, and great-great-grandchildren; and sister June Cook of CA.
Many heartfelt thanks to Intermountain Homecare & Hospice, especially our beautiful Brigitte.
A viewing will be held from 6-8 PM on Thursday, July 16, at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at 275 E. 10600 S., in Sandy, UT. A graveside service will be held at 10:00 AM on Friday, July 17, at the Heber City Cemetery in Utah. Attendees are asked to please observe social distancing guidelines.