Gaylord Dean “Gator” Hill, age 65, of Mesa, Ariz., since December of 2012, and a longtime former Sturgis resident, passed away unexpectedly Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013, in Phoenix.
He was born May 26, 1947, in Sturgis, a son of Wayne T. and Opal (Patrick) Hill.
He was a member of the Eagles Lodge #1314 and Captain John J. Kelley Post #1355 VFW Men’s Auxiliary. Gator enjoyed playing golf, bowling and spending time with his many friends.
He is survived by a daughter, Kelli (Ron) Beers of Sturgis; a son, Jon (Darcy) Hill of Columbus, Ind.; four grandchildren, Adam Beers, Megan Beers, Alex Hill and Jake Hill; father, Wayne T. Hill of Mesa, Ariz.; three brothers, Keith (Judy) Waltke of Sturgis, Thomas (Lisa) Hill of Orem, Utah, and Edward (Charlotte) Hill of Mesa; and several nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Vicki; his mother, Opal “Pat” Meese; and a sister, Grace Miller.
In accordance with his wishes, cremation has taken place. His ashes will be placed with his wife, Vicki.
A gathering of family and friends to honor and celebrate the life of Gator Hill will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 17 at the Eagles Lodge in Sturgis.
The Hackman Family Funeral Homes — Hackman Chapel, 114 S. Nottawa St., Sturgis, is assisting the family with local arrangements.
The family suggests those wishing to make a memorial donation in Mr. Hill’s memory consider the charity of one’s choice.
The obituary is also at www.hackmanfamilyfuneralhome.com, where personal messages of support may be left for the family.