Eugene E. (Gene) Hill, 86, passed away on Friday, Dec. 1, 2017 at his home in Libby. Gene was born March 31, 1931 on a farm near Viola, Idaho to Dallas and Catherine Hill. Gene’s loving grandparents mostly raised him. He attended school in Palouse, Pullman and Moscow.
Gene met and fell in love with Patty Poston when they were just children. Gene and Patty married on Sept. 6, 1949. They moved to Libby in 1951 where they raised their family.
Gene started work for J. Neils Lumber Company in early 1951, working his whole career for three different owners. He retired in the spring of 1992 from Champion International Lumber. Gene was skilled at many jobs at the mill and also spent several years teaching planer school in the area. During his entire career, he was heavily involved with the union and other affiliates to protect the mill workers. He was a facilitator from 1988 to 1991 for the mill workers. He found great joy in his job and working with people. After many years of retirement, Gene and Patty started a new adventure together serving as park hosts at Logan State Park from 2003 to 2009.
During his many years in Libby, Gene was an avid hunter, fisherman and outdoors enthusiast. He was a scout leader for Troop 66 for many years and was named the best young scout leader in the state of Montana. Gene was also a baseball coach and umpire for Little League and Pee Wee League when his family was growing up. He was president of the Libby rod and gun club for a couple of years in the early 1960s.
Gene loved to spend time in the outdoors with his friends and family. He never missed an opportunity to take his boys, grandchildren, great grandchildren, a friend or sometimes a complete strangers hunting, fishing or hiking. Gene was a very avid hunter, but when it came to fishing, he was among the best. He spent many years honing his skills and sharing them with his family and friends.
Gene and Patty were married for 63 years before she preceded him in death on Nov. 30, 2012. Patty was the love of Gene’s life and they were never apart. He was also preceded in death by his youngest son, Larry L. Hill; brother, Lavon P. Hill; and half brother, Dale Sparber.
Gene is survived by sons Ed (Angie) Hill and Bob (Debbie) Hill; his constant companion, his precious puppy, Tilly; grandchildren Asa (Erica) Hill, Seth (Paula) Hill, Kara (Gary) Hirzel, Coby Spencer (Deanne Ferrell), Avie Crosby and Ryan James; nine great-grandchildren; and many nieces, nephews and extended family.
Funeral services for Gene will be held 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 9, 2017 at the Libby Christian Church. Visitation will be 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 8, 2017 at Schnackenberg & Nelson Funeral Home in Libby.
In lieu of flowers, you may donate to the Libby Christian Church, 100 Kootenai River Rd., Libby, MT 59923 or a charity of your choice.
Online condolences and memories may be shared by visiting www.schnackenbergfh.com.