Jon 'Jack' Hill
May 3, 2023
Jon, or "Jack" as most knew him, made his journey to Heaven Saturday, April 22, 2023, surrounded in his home by his family singing "Goin' Home". His body was tired, and he is now at peace.
Graveside services with Military Honors will be held at 2 p.m., at the Nashua Cemetery on Saturday, June 3, 2023.
Jack was born in Minneapolis, Minn., on May 10, 1938, to Viola Osterberg and her ex-husband Donald Duncanson. Viola later returned to her home in Valley County where she met Calvin D Hill, of Nashua, Mont., who adopted and raised Jack and his older brother, Jim, as his own. These boys were joined by siblings Calvin, Jr "Babe", Wayne, Dustin and Isabelle. They were raised on a farm north of Nashua where they produced grain and cattle. Porcupine Creek was near and served as a favorite spot to fish, picnic, and ice skate in the winter. Jack's first love was his horse named Smoky. He could whistle and Smoky would heed his call even if someone else happened to be riding him. Jack helped many learn to ride and share his love of horses.
Jack was an adventurer and he decided to go to Blooming Prairie, Minn., the fall of his junior high school year where he stayed with his aunt and uncle, Isabelle and Glenn Thorson, and their children, Steven, Gary, Tyrone and Kathy. The youngest cousin, Ronny, joined the family later. Jack had a close relationship with these cousins during his life. Jack returned to Nashua during the second half of school to finish his junior year. It was the summer after this, 1955, that he met the love of his life, Patti Garsjo. They wed on Aug. 1, 1956, (his dad Calvin's birthday.) Their love added three children: son Sherwood Alan born Dec. 18, 1956, who heartbreakingly only lived for 10 hours; son Jeffrey Jon on Aug. 26, 1958; and daughter Ronelia Ruth Anne (named after Jack's maternal grandmother) on Aug. 4, 1962.
Jack enlisted into the United States Navy under a Buddy Program with Patti's younger uncle, Harold Buen, on Aug. 30, 1957. He served four years with honorable discharge on Aug. 29, 1961. He was stationed in Hawaii for the majority of this time and spent two years, seven months and 24 days in sea service. He told stories about time under sea surveilling Russia between the coast of Alaska and Russia during the Cold War. He was so close to Russia that he could see a woman's shortage of teeth while she hung laundry and slopped her pigs. He also told of how he slept in the missile tubes. He was trained to be a Guided Missileman. He also shared many stories of shenanigans and adventures while in Hawaii when he wasn't on KP duty peeling potatoes or playing his guitar and singing. Jack was relied on for his intelligence and common sense when in a predicament of getting the submarine maneuvered and leveled out in a sticky situation. He turned down an opportunity of flight school after his four years were over but never regretted going home and being around his family.
Jack was a person others leaned upon as he portrayed self-confidence, strength and leadership beginning in his early years on the farm, during the Navy, during his many years of trucking all over the continent United States, and then as a grandfather and great-grandfather. Many younger cousins, nieces and nephews and their friends relied on Jack for his wisdom and guidance. People reflect on Jack's caring nature. He wanted to make sure others were taken care of, from tying their ice skates to making sure their bellies were full of his infamous sourdough waffles.
Jack's many jobs included being a janitor and bus driver while attending college in Havre, Mont. He was a truck driver for many years working for Ray Cebulski, Transystems Inc, and Eckart Trucking. He also had his company called Canterbury Lines which he owned and operated with his cousin Steven Thorson. Canterbury Tales was one of his favorite Chaucer readings when he was an English major during his college years at Northern College in Havre and University of Montana in Missoula, Mont. He had fun using an English brogue accent when reading Chaucer! Jack was also known for being a storyteller. The grandchildren recall him liking to scare them with the story of "The Man with the Golden Arm"!
Jack returned to helping his parents on the farm, along with brother Wayne, in the late 1970s until 1999 when he underwent open heart surgery. He spent a lot of time looking out for and enjoying playing cards with his aging parents, Patti's uncle and aunt Hartvik and Agnes Garsjo, as well as with many local Nashua friends. Jack and Patti enjoyed traveling, visiting friends and family and exploring any new health idea and product. Any knowledge learned was always intently shared with others. After Jack suffered a stroke on Feb. 5, 2015, (his brother Jim's birthday), his most favorite thing to share was his sourdough starter and waffle and bread recipes with all he met, whether in his home or out at doctor appointments, in a nursing home, rehab or physical/occupational therapy.
To wrap up Jack's personality: he was temperamental, sensitive, caring and giving. He looked out for all who crossed his path. His stories were long but usually entertaining. He was proud of his family, their talents and accomplishments. He really appreciated the special care he received from granddaughter Rayna right up to his passing. He loved his family, horses, playing sports, hunting, fishing, reloading, playing cards, cooking breakfast and telling stories and jokes, and just visiting with others. He is now talking with Jesus on whom he relied upon to keep him centered and safe, specially these past eight years.
After Jack's health declined from congestive heart failure, COPD, diabetes, atrial fibrillation and pulmonary fibrosis, his body no longer rebounded and gave way to a peaceful state when surrounded by most of his immediate family singing to him and helping him on his journey to heaven on April 22, 2023, just short of his anticipated 85th birthday which would've been May 10, 2023. The Lord is thanked and praised for allowing us to have Jack in our lives this long, despite his many troubles.
Jack is preceded in death by his and Patti's firstborn infant son, Sherwood Alan Hill; his parents, Calvin and Viola Hill; his in-laws, Marvin and Thelma Garsjo; his brothers, James, Calvin, Jr (Babe) and Wayne; and his brother-in-law Gerald Collins.
Survivors include his wife Patti of 66 years; son Jeffrey and wife Tammy Hill, of Laurel, Mont., daughter Ronelia and husband Joel Parry, of Roundup, Mont .; grandchildren Garth and wife Natisha Hill, Rayna and husband Rick Bartoo, Rachel and husband Dru Grover, Greyson Hill and fiancé Nycole Stirm, and Gabriel Hill. He also adored his great-grandchildren Ayan, Ashlyn and André Hill, Aubree, Orrin and Calvin Bartoo and Carter and Cade Grover. Jack's surviving siblings are Dustin Hill and wife Sharon, Isabelle Collins, Archie Duncanson and wife Elizabeth, Peggy Marks and husband Dan, and Terri Duncanson. He is also survived by his aunt Mavis Hill, sisters-in-law Ardis Hill, Doris Hill and Trudy Fisher and many special nieces and nephews.
Cremation has taken place with Dahl Funeral Chapel in charge of all arrangements.
A Memorial Service was at 11 a.m. on April 29, at Zion Lutheran Church, Roundup, Mont., with a luncheon following at the Musselshell County Central Commons and Senior Citizen Center.
Memorials may be made to the Musselshell County Ambulance Service at 704 1st St E, Roundup, MT 59072 or to the Roundup or Nashua Senior Citizen Center.
The family would like to express special thanks to the caretakers of Jack: the Veteran's Home health care team-Paul, Becky, Madonna, Adam, Samantha and Christina; the director of Veteran's Care from Area II Agency on Aging-Rebecca Olson; Personal Care Attendants at home; loving wife Patti, daughter Ronelia, son-in-law Joel, granddaughter Rayna, cousin Chrystal, Anne Jetmore, Marcia Thompson, Riley Murray, Christina Newsome, Sherry Allen, Kayla Daly, Sady Stern and Joanna White; the Roundup Memorial Emergency Care, the Stillwater Hospice team and the Musselshell County Ambulance Service (who were very gracious, kind and helpful to Jack many times over the past eight years).