John Alvin Hill, 69, of Marietta, died at home Wednesday of lung cancer. A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday in the chapel at H.M. Patterson & Son, Canton Hill. H.M. Patterson is handling arrangements.
Mr. Hill's athletic pursuits included collegiate baseball and football at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
As a football player, primarily offensive lineman, “John played on the North Carolina team that was in the 1963 Gator Bowl," said Mr. Hill’s friend, fellow banker and UNC alumnus and golf partner Vee Bundy of Roswell. "They beat Air Force 35-0. It was the first time UNC had been to a bowl since the 1950 Cotton Bowl, so it was a fairly big deal at the time, at least in those parts.”
A 1965 UNC graduate, Mr. Hill pursued a career in banking and served in a number of institutions in the southeastern U.S., the last 13 years at the Bank of North Georgia, a division of Synovus Bank, in Forsyth County. He retired two years ago as a senior officer in construction lending.
All the while, his passion remained youth baseball.
Guerry Baldwin of Kennesaw, president of East Cobb Baseball, said Mr. Hill “was one of the best role models that I’ve ever had in the program, a wonderful person for kids to emulate. He did great things for kids, helped them with college and getting an understanding of what it took to play there and to get through school.”
Mr. Hill worked with older players, ages 15 to 17, Mr. Baldwin said. “He felt he had the best influence on them,” he said.
Mr. Bundy said that among his peers, Mr. Hill “had a dry, kind of a cutting sense of humor. He was a fun guy to be around. He was smart. We’d talk about all kinds of different stuff – politics, religion, anything.”
“He was a great athlete, but later in life had knee surgeries and shoulder surgeries and this, that and another. So as is the case with a lot of us, his [golf] game wasn’t what it once was,” Mr. Bundy continued. “But he knew the game and he helped my golf game.”
Mr. Hill was a member of the Crystal Falls Golf Club and the River Bend Gun Club. He also shot trap and skeet and hunted quail in South Georgia, Mr. Bundy said.
Besides Ms. Smith and son John Wilson Hill of Cartersville, Mr. Hill is survived by his three other children Nikole Hill Edmonds of Marietta, David Hill of Brooklyn, N.Y., and Ashley McSween of Cumming; siblings Diane Swaim, Tana Pratt, and David Paul Hill Jr., all of Greensboro, and five grandchildren.