Charles Hill was born October 5, 1934, in Baldwin City to Earl Hill and Ellen Tyson Hill. He was raised in Baldwin City by his grandparents Thomas and Tessie Hill and graduated from Baldwin High School in 1952. After graduation, he attended Baker University where he earned a teaching degree in 1956. Later he would get his Master’s in Education from the University of Kansas in 1960. Charles was a lifelong member of the Delta Tau Delta fraternity and often joked that he received his degree from Baker, but his education from the Delt house.
While at Baker, Charles met his future wife, Mary Ann Ireland. In Case Hall, a professor sat students alphabetically and the two were seated next to one another. Charles and Mary Ann married in 1955 in Yates Center, KS and shared 66 happy years of marriage. Theirs was a marriage of true love, kindness, and deep respect. Charles showed kindness to all he knew, but especially to his devoted wife, Mary Ann. They traveled extensively and were fortunate to spend a lot of time with their family.
After graduation from Baker, Charles taught one semester at Gardner Elementary school before moving to teach at Pomona. He later served as Principal in Lane, Principal in Pomona, and Vice-Principal at Garden City High School. In 1968 Charles moved to Eudora where he served as Superintendent of the Eudora school district for 10 years. His final stop was as Superintendent of the West Elk school district, where he served 13 years before retiring in 1991.
Charles and Mary Ann moved to Lawrence in 1993. He was appointed State Chair for Retirement Planning for the Kansas Retired Teachers Association. He was an Area Representative for the Salvation Army supervising volunteers. He spent 31 days on flood duty during the flood of ’93. Charles was actively involved in numerous civic organizations and their church. He was always willing to help others with their difficulties or challenges and never spoke unkindly about anyone.
They moved to the Pioneer Ridge Independent Living facility in 2017 where Charles quickly became a leader for fun and entertainment. Charles enjoyed men’s coffee on Thursdays and joked he only liked to participate in activities that started with “P”: poker, puzzles, pitch, and pool! Even in his battle with cancer, he was optimistic every single day.
Charles was preceded in death by his parents and grandparents; five aunts who he was raised with as sisters, including Glea Metty, Etna Atkinson, Elma Supancic, Lenore Mitchell, and Hazel Malfatti; and three half-siblings Michael Rhine, David Rhine, and Georgia Lee Anderson.
He is survived by his wife Mary Ann of Lawrence, children Gary (Gail) Hill of Lawrence, David (Pam) Hill of Baldwin City, and Janet (Steve) Wozniak of Los Gatos, CA; his half-brother Adam Young of Independence, MO; his grandchildren Jeff Hill, Jessica Johnson, Amanda Jones, Julie Dean, Ashli Hill and Jake Hill, as well as great granddaughters Emery and Olivia Johnson, and Abigail Jones. Having been raised by his grandparents, his role as a grandfather was very important to him. Even in his last months while fighting cancer he could be found on the floor playing with his great granddaughters. Those lucky enough to be family or friends felt his love and kindness.
There will be a visitation for Charles from 4 – 6 p.m. Sunday, September 12, 2021 at Warren-McElwain Mortuary a funeral Monday at the First United Methodist Church in downtown Lawrence at 10 am, followed by a burial service at the Oakwood Cemetery in Baldwin City. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that any memorials be made out to the Baldwin Education Foundation for their scholarship fund benefitting Baldwin High School graduates going on to Baker University. Donations can be mailed to the Baldwin Education Foundation, P.O. Box 67, Baldwin City, KS 66006.