Joseph Harlan HillAugust 7, 1922 ~ August 13, 2017 (age 95)
Joseph Harlan Hill was born August 7, 1922, in Kingman, Kansas to Elsie Baker Hill and Pearl Farrar Hill. At the age of 15, Joe drove his parents and 3 siblings to Napa, California, where he has lived for the past 80 years.
After attending Napa High School, he went to work for Wurz Ranches in the fruit orchards. In May of 1944, he entered into active duty in the U.S. Navy, and he was assigned to the USS Safeguard as a Motor Machinists Mate. He served at Iwo Jima and other ports during WW II. He was honorably discharged in June of 1946.
On February 23, 1947, Joe married Alice, the love of his life. Together they raised their four children and continued farming. He loved this earth and being outdoors. He liked rising early to greet each new day and at the age of 21, he purchased a prune and apple orchard on Redwood Road, where he instilled a strong work ethic in his four growing children. His fruit was always a prize winner at local and state fairs. He also ran cattle on the old Sheveland Ranch in Napa, as well as, ranches in Weed and Fort Bidwell, California.
During his lifetime, he served others and the Napa community in many ways. As a 30 year member of Napa County Farm Bureau, he was on the Apple Advisory Board and the Sunsweet Prune Association Board. When his children attended Browns Valley School, Joe spent several years on the School Board. He belonged to the 20-30 Club, Sirs Branch 65, and North Napa Rotary. Joe was also a member of the Napa Elks Lodge for many years, where he served on their Board of Trustees, Restaurant Association, and as the Napa Elks Chaplain.
Joe enjoyed hunting, playing horseshoes and pool, golfing, dancing, and reading, especially Lois L’Amour books about the early days of the Wild West. He always had a garden and shared its bounty with friends and family. His greatest joy was his family. This year he was proud to celebrate his 95th birthday and his 70th wedding anniversary with his loving family.
He is survived by his wife, Alice; his children, Brian (Lynn), Curtis (Janice), Valerie, and Toni; his grandchildren, Andrew, Joshua, Lauryn, Tiffany, Brandon, Angelica, and Dominic; his great grandchildren, Trinity, Teylor, Tiera, and Jaylene, and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his brothers and sisters Hartzel, William, Dean, Irene, Hylah, and Helen.
Private Family Cremation Internment at Tulocay Cemetery. A Celebration of Joe’s Life will be on August 25, 2017 from 4:30- 7:00 p.m. at Tulocay Cemetery in Napa at 411 Coombsville Road. Contributions in lieu of flowers to Queen of the Valley Hospital or Napa Elks Lodge 832.