Dr. David W. Hills

  • Born: December 14, 1925
  • Died: January 16, 2011
  • Location: Saint Joseph, Michigan

Tribute & Message From The Family


David W. Hills entered life eternal on January 16, 2011, with family at his side. Born in Howell, Michigan on December 14, 1925 to David E. & Geneva (Raven) Hills, he graduated from Lakeview High School in Battle Creek, Michigan. He earned his B.A. at Albion College, where he met Margaret Eunice Hartley, whom he joined in marriage on August 21, 1948. After obtaining his Masters in Sociology at the University of Michigan, he and Margaret attended Hartford Theological Seminary (CT) in preparation for serving the Methodist Church as educational missionaries in Moradabad, India from 1951 to 1955. Upon their return to the United States, he began his medical studies at the University of Michigan, graduating in 1959. During those 3 years he served as Lay Pastor of the Stockbridge Methodist Church. Following his residency in Midland, MI, the family moved to Fairplain, and later St. Joseph. He established the St. Joseph Family Clinic in 1961 with Dr’s Hayes and May, and later helped establish the first full-time Emergency Room medical group at Memorial Hospital, becoming a Charter Member of the American College of Emergency Physicians. Over the course of his career he served as President of the Medical Society, President of the Memorial Hospital Board, and as Chief of Staff. He was an original member of the Cedarwood Medical Center, and an advisor to the Medical Assistants group. After years of service in family practice and emergency medicine, he became the Medical Director of Whirlpool Corporation in 1985. Upon retiring from Whirlpool, he did contract medical work for the Cook Nuclear Plant, and gave time as a volunteer for Hospice at Home and others, continuing a life dedicated to caring for others.

Dr. Hills was known for his generous spirit, his jokes and sense of humor, his love of music and the arts, as well as his commitment to community and especially those in need. During his life in the St. Joseph/Benton Harbor area he participated in countless religious, arts and civic organizations, serving as: Board Member of the Maude Preston Palenske Memorial Library, President of the Krasl Art Center, President of Berrien County Council of Churches, and as a member of various boards and committees of St. Joseph First UMC and St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church. He was an active member of the Lion’s Club of Fairplain, President and Trustee of the Samaritan Counseling Center, and served as Commissioner on the St. Joseph City Council from 1989-1995. He received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from Albion College, where he served as a Board Member from 1980-81. He was also an avid participant in community arts groups, singing with the Lakeland Choral Society, a barbershop quartet “The Uncalled Four” (with Bob Sill, Bob Wallis and Jim Merrifield), occasional community musicals, and the choirs of St. Joseph First UMC and St. Augustines’s Episcopal Church.

David is survived by his wife Margaret, their five children, Mary Hills (David Zekman) of Ft. Collins, CO, Susan Hills of Mill Valley, CA, Anne Hills (Mark Moss) of Bethlehem, PA, Rev. David F. (Claire) Hills of Mt. Pleasant, MI, Janet (Kevin) Landis of Harleysville, PA, his brother Robert (Maria) Hills of Delton, MI, nine grandchildren, one great grandchild, a niece and nephew. He was preceded in death by son-in-law Michael Hopton, husband to Susan Hills.

Visitation will take place at Starks-Menchinger Funeral Home from 5:00-7:00pm on Friday, January 21st, 2011. A Memorial Celebration of Life will be held at St. Joseph First UMC on Saturday, January 22nd at 11:00am. In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to the music programs of St. Joseph First UMC or St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church, Hospice at Home, or the Samaritan Counseling Center.

Those wishing to share a memory or sign the guest book online may do so at www.starks-menchinger.com.