Condolence & Memory Journal

Dr Hills was the first person who counseled me at the tender age of 13 knowing my home life was difficult. He allowed me to talk and turned my thoughts to happier ones. Along with good medical care as I was often sick. A wonderful Godly man.

Posted by Ann Marquez - Eau claire, MI - Acquaintance   June 29, 2017

I was a small child in rev hills' Stockbridge church. his son was my first friend. was remembering this family recently and wanted to find them: I hope this will reach them

Posted by faye Camp-Wood - jackson, MI - Friend   May 07, 2016

Five years and still so greatly missed. Thinking of you. Whistling a happy tune, walking a beautiful garden path, or perhaps a New Zealand mountain trail. At peace!
Yet still, the lump comes, the tears well up... Another wave of grief washes over, even if only for a moment.

ON GRIEF - John O'Donahue

When you lose someone you love,
Your life becomes strange,
The ground beneath you becomes fragile,
Your thoughts make your eyes unsure;
And some dead echo drags your voice down
Where words have no confidence
Your heart has grown heavy with loss;
And though this loss has wounded others too,
No one knows what has been taken from you
When the silence of absence deepens.

Flickers of guilt kindle regret
For all that was left unsaid or undone.

There are days when you wake up happy;
Again inside the fullness of life,
Until the moment breaks
And you are thrown back
Onto the black tide of loss.
Days when you have your heart back,
You are able to function well
Until in the middle of work or encounter,
Suddenly with no warning,
You are ambushed by grief.

It becomes hard to trust yourself.
All you can depend on now is that
Sorrow will remain faithful to itself.
More than you, it knows its way
And will find the right time
To pull and pull the rope of grief
Until that coiled hill of tears
Has reduced to its last drop.

Gradually, you will learn acquaintance
With the invisible form of your departed;
And when the work of grief is done,
The wound of loss will heal
And you will have learned
To wean your eyes
From that gap in the air
And be able to enter the hearth
In your soul where your loved one
Has awaited your return
All the time.

Posted by David F Hills - St. Joseph, MI - Son   January 15, 2016

Dear Hills family, I have such fond memories of your entire family from when we were in high school. I enjoyed growing up with you all, and I'm sad to hear about your father passing away. I hope you're all well, Susan, I see you live in Mill Valley. We are in San Mateo, it would be fun to meet some day. Mary, I think of you often, And hope you are liking a happy life. Take care one on all, and know that I'm thinking of you at this time. Jennifer Ryan Stuppi

Posted by Jennifer Ryan Stuppi - San Mateo, CA - Friend   October 03, 2015

Such a loss for so many here. A fine professional and a great human being. It was always a joy to see him. My heart and prayers are with you.

Posted by Sandra Thurlow - MI   February 02, 2011

Dear Mrs. Hills, Anne, and all the family: I am so sorry to hear about Dr. Hills' death. My parents always thought he was such a great person, and I know he is in heaven.

My condolences,

Phyllis Gould and family

Posted by Phyllis Gould - Chicago, IL - friend of the family   February 02, 2011

For Dad

Heart broken open

Like your old medical bag

Empty now of you.

Missing you so much now Dad,

Janet

Posted by Janet Hills Landis - Harleysville, PA - Daughter   February 01, 2011

Candle

Dear Mrs Hills and children,
Reading these memories from all over the nation are grand testimonies to the man we all knew and loved. I knew your husband/father first as a former patient. It was either 1964 or 1965, even though doctor house calls were on there way out, Dr. Hills found his way to our home in a snowstorm to help treat my mother, who was extremely ill and taking care of her own 3 children, ages 6 and under. As a family, over the years, we never stopped talking about those heroic acts of Dr. Hills. Back at the Family Medical Clinic, when it was time for an immunization, and there wasn't anything I hated worst than shots, I knew I could count on Dr. HIlls making it easier for me with his jokes and story distractions. The memories are burned into brain, even as I approach my 52nd birthday. I also had the honor and privilege to work along side Dr. Hills as an emergency room nurse at Mercy-Memorial in the 1980's. I was a new graduate from nursing school. His patience and kindness taught me much that I still carry with me today. Dr. Hills will be missed, but I know that when Christ welcomed him home, he heard the words, "Well done, my good and faithful servant." May we all live an earthly life like he did. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you.

Posted by Heidi Milbrandt Godke - Former Nurse @ local E.R.   January 31, 2011

Candle

A poem for my father by a poet laureate of Colorado, James Tipton.

These akward efforts to be alive
to wade through our own debris
toward shore, toward other people
we take too seriously

Our ships wreck, and we survive
our hearts stolen by pirates
are not ransomed, but we
cannot weep forever for these lost things

The sea not the ship, is our mother
The waves are never clumsy
They know when to break,
to give up, to go back'

You stole my heart dad, and will be sorely missed.

Posted by Mary Hills - Daughter   January 25, 2011

Dear Margaret and family,

I just returned today from a week's vacation in the south and learned the sad news. David's sweet demeanor will be missed by many, many people. I had the privilege of receiving the benefit of his many gifts when I served under him when he was the Krasl board member for six years and the art center's president for two years. Fairness and support were two of his many hallmarks and I will always appreciate his contributions to the Krasl and its mission.

Best regards,

Dar Davis
Krasl Executive Director
1981-2006

Posted by Dar Davis - St. Joseph, MI - Friend   January 24, 2011

Candle

I was saddened to hear of the passing of Dr. Hills. To me he was always a larger than life man who was not only a fine physician and humanitarian, but a pillar of the community. His multiple talents always amazed me. Being close to the Hills family during my high school years, Dr. Hills was an inspiration to me and had a lot of influence in my own career path. My condolences go to Margaret and all of the children.

Bob Holmes

Posted by Robert Holmes - Friend   January 24, 2011

Dear Mrs. Hills and family - How can I think of Dr. Hills without thinking of church and music? I appreciated his loving presence during the 60s and 70s at St. Joseph UMC. He was a very good man. My deepest sympathy to you all and a special 'virtual' hug for Janet. With love, Jeanne

Posted by Jeanne Musgrove Armstrong - Plymouth, MN - Friend   January 23, 2011

David and I were partners in medical practice in the St. Joseph Family Clinic when David first came to St. Joseph. He was a fine physician and a man of great principles and will be sorely missed.

Posted by Thomas P. Hayes MD - Evansville, IN - former coleague   January 23, 2011

I knew your family when we lived on Riverwood, and always admired David. You have my condolences and sympathy as you celebrate his long and wonderful life.

Posted by Vance A. Fisher - St. Josepn, MI - Former neighbor   January 23, 2011

Dear Margaret, Mary, Susan, Anne, David, Janet, and all,
I just received the news about your loss, and want you to know that each of you is in my thoughts and prayers. I am deeply saddened.
So many, many memories from the time you moved into our neighborhood so many years ago!! I spent a lot of time in your home, and it was one filled with love and laughter--nurtured and encouraged by your father. Even as a girl, that did not go unnoticed.
When Mother died, your parents were the first ones to arrive for her visitation. Your father said that was because we were the first ones they met when they moved to the Benton Harbor/St. Joe area. That comforted me. I'm glad I had that time to visit with him. I told him and your mother that they had been a major, positive influence in my life. I truly believe that every person whom you spend a significant part of your time around while growing up helps mold who you become as an adult. It truly "takes village to raise a child." I was lucky that your husband/father/grandfather was a member of my village.
I'm sorry I couldn't be there in person, but my spirit is. I am blessed to have known your husband and father.

Tons of love, Maryanne (still Monk to most) Butt

Posted by Maryanne Butt - Lansing, MI - family friend   January 22, 2011

Candle

Margaret and family. Barb and I are so very sorry to hear of David's passing. You and David always lit up the room when you came in. David was the most gracious, kind and caring person we have ever known. He made us laugh with his jokes (even the real corny ones) and he had a smile that was infectious. We had so many good times together on Whirlpool outings. As a fellow Whirlpool employee, David and I visited many of the various company locations training employees and supervisors on the dangers associated with Drugs in the Workplace. He was a tough act to follow because of his ability to instantly connect to employees at all levels.

We feel fortunate that we could call you our friends. David was never too busy to take time to listen to your problems and offer solutions. Everyone and everything he touched was always the better for it. We can honestly say that David was the finest example we have ever seen as a husband, father and friend. There will be a special place in heaven for David, and we shall look forward to the time when we will be together again.

Margaret and family, may God comfort and be with you through this difficult time.

Randy and Barbara Arnt

Posted by Randy and Barbara Arnt - Friends   January 21, 2011

Dear Margaret- David, you and your family have been and are in my thoughts and prayers. I want to be with you all tomorrow - the past several days I have been home with Sinusitis so I might be there in just those thoughts and prayer. My love to you all - Charles+

Posted by charles Frandsen+ - st joseph, MI - friend   January 21, 2011

just wanted to share our prayers and give our love to Pastor Dave and his whole family, we are thinking of you at this sad time
God Bless You all

Posted by DeMond Family - Delton, MI - Friend of Pastor Dave F Hills   January 21, 2011

I've known the Hills family for many years, I saw Dr. Hills a lot at Whirlpool Corporation, not only as a patient but just as a friend. He always had a smile and called everyone by name. I will always have fond memories of him, God blessed us all by his kindness and skills. Best wishes to the family, he was a great man.

Posted by Ken Zimmerman - Saint Joseph, MI, MI - friend   January 21, 2011

Dear Margaret and Family,

Personally, David was a close friend, a valued colleague and a medical advisor that saved and extended the lives of associates and family members.

On a larger scale, David was truly a modern Renassance Man, an understated but brilliant local treasure; and he must have been the doc around whom Hippocrates modeled the Oath.

At his core, he was a great husband, a beaming father and a civilized gentleman.

Not that he would deny these accolades, but he might just as well prefer to be remembered for telling good stories and singing loudly, over a glass of wine and plate of perch at Bill's Tap.

Dr. Hills made our community...and the world...a better place.

With respect and love,

Ed Dunn

Posted by Ed Dunn - Friend, Colleague   January 21, 2011

Mrs. Hills, Mary, Susan, Anne, David and Janet-
Growing up Dr. HIlls was a go-to person, for professional advice and personal advice. He was a gentleman of many talents. Even when I moved away from Saint Joseph, when I was able to come into town for a visit, I would try to set up a meeting. He was always most obliging. His memories will go on. A good friend sent me these words and I have found them to be very comforting. I hope you do also. You are in my thoughts and prayers.
Forgiveness and Mercy are two things we neglect to give the person who most needs it - our self. The pain you are experiencing is a gift, Its' intensity is proportional to the love you shared with your father. Soften in to it in order to experience its' rewards. Love yourself.
Losing someone we love is never easy to accept, especially when it happens unexpectedly. We find ourselves searching for a reason for what happened and struggling to make some sense of it all. God may not give us all the answers we seek, yet, if we have faith, He will give us the love, strength and courage we need to carry on. If we trust in Him, He will help us find peace of mind.

Posted by Karen Cox - Saint Paul, MN - Friend and former patient   January 21, 2011

Candle

Dearest Margaret & family - David's subtle sense of humor, his endearing habit of finding the best in any bad situation, his kindness and his winning smile will be greatly missed. David had a heart for God and was never afraid to show his concerned and loving personality. David and you, Margaret, have been a very large part of our life as a couple. May God bless and console you in your loss. I offer the following as a thought to carry, it is called "A Parable of Immortality" penned by Henry Van Dyke.
I am standing upon the seashore. A ship at my side spreads her white
sails and starts for the blue ocean. She is an object of beauty and
strength, and I stand and watch until at last she hangs like a speck of
white cloud just where the sea and the sky come down to mingle with
with each other: Then someone at my side says, "There she goes!"

Gone where? Gone from my sight -- that is all. She is just as large
in mast and hull and spar as when she left my side, and just as able to
bear her load of living freight to the place of destination. Her diminished
size is in me, not in her:

And just at the moment when someeone at my side says "There she
goes!", thare are other eyes wat5ching her coming and other voices
ready to take up the glad shout, "Here she comes!"

Rest assured, dear Margaret, Christ was there to welcome David home with open and loving arms. We will never forget David. God Bless

Posted by Wes & Jerri Ruggles - long time family friends   January 21, 2011

In a world where so many grow up without loving fathers, I feel truely blessed. It was wonderful to work along side my father at the St. Joseph Family Clinic through most of my middle and high school years. I went into nursing because I witnessed the joy and fulfillment that he found in caring for others.I am so grateful for having work that helps me to remember his passion and commitment to others. Rest in peace dear father!

Posted by Susan Hills - Mill Valley, CA - daugter   January 21, 2011

Candle

I grew up partly at my home and partly at the Hills. Mary and I were great friends then and have remained friends over the years. I know how much it saddened her to see her dad slipping away. For all his many accomplishments, Dr. Hills was just a regular sweet guy, always with a joke and always looking dapper. That's the way I'll remember him. Today my thoughts are with Margaret and his children. I know that the love and many happy memories that you all share will comfort you during these difficult days.

Posted by Chris Polishuk Shoemaker - Friend   January 20, 2011

I am sorry to hear of Dr. Hills' passing.

For many years, he served as my family's physician, providing care for my two young children (Dana and Bradley Hutter), as well as my husband and myself. I could always count on his expert advice and very caring professional manner.

I give offer him credit and thanks for his help in bringing my children to healthy adulthood. I wish I could have thanked him personally.

Posted by Alice Waagner - Washington, DC - Former patient   January 20, 2011

Claire and David,

OUr sympathy to you and your family at this difficult time. Both Gary and
I have lost our fathers, and it is not easy. Thank God for family and
friends at times like this. When my Dad died I can remember all my
siblings gathering to share tears and laughter. It was healing, and I
hope it is the same for you.

I keep you close to my heart and in prayer.

Suzi Blough

Posted by Suzi Blough - Coloma, MI - Friend   January 20, 2011

I was so sorry to hear about Dr. Hills passing. He and Mrs. Hills were close friends of my parents, June and Sam Gould, for many, many years. I remember him as a very kind man and know he will be missed. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you.

Posted by Cindy Gould - Oak Park, IL - friend of the family   January 20, 2011

I had the pleasure of working with Dr. Hills during his Whirlpool service. He was a pleasure to work with and just a wonderful person. He was a positive influence on everyone he interacted with. We really missed him at Whirlpool when he retired, but it was always a pleasure to talk to him at the many events he attended in the area. The world should have more like him.

Posted by Mike Shelton - St. Joseph, MI   January 19, 2011

Remarkable Life-Remarkable Man! He left the world a better place. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all. Gary & Kate

Posted by Gary & Kate Barnhart - Ojai, CA - Family Friend   January 19, 2011

Our sincerest condolences to the family and friends of Dr. Hills. He and Dr. Hays were our family doctors when my brother and I were very young. I will always remember and appreciate his kindnes and and caring. What a life. Well done Dr. Hills. Your light will shine. God bless you all.

Love,
Keith & Diane Totzke
Port Orchard, WA

Posted by Keith Totzke - Port Orchard, WA - Patient   January 19, 2011

Candle

Dr Hills has always been a pleasure to know throughout my life. He'd always have a smile & special hug to share whenever he'd see me. He also would always have words of wisdom to share. He spoke very highly of his wife & family and shared stories of them.
He will be greatly missed & will always hold a special spot in my heart. All my prayers & support to his family for healing.

Posted by Diane Schaus - Friend   January 19, 2011

We enoyed David and Margaret since buying their home in The Ponds many years ago. Bruce has memories of David showing him around the house and how to service the well filter, frunace filter, softner, etc. and then had a lovely meal with you both.
What a treat for us when you both came to lunch. A fun day!
David was a wonderful example of a good Christian man.

Posted by Bruce Dacre - St. Joseph, MI - friend   January 19, 2011

So sorry for your loss. You are in my thoughts and prayers, and I'm sure that holds true for all of our other classmates, especially for those of us that spent some time together at our 40th Class Reunion in July.

Posted by Gary Sternaman - Parma, MI - Classmate of Susan   January 19, 2011

In 1966, when it seemed that the world was a hostile place for my family because of the color of our skin, Dr. David Hills opened the front door of his home and invited us in for dinner. I remember laughter, songs and dancing. I remember feeling welcomed and comfortable.

In his eyes, we were not Negroes. We were free.

In his hand shakes and hugs, we were human beings.

In our hearts, his gift of love, our gift of love grows still.

Posted by Wayne Madison - Saint Joesph, MI - friend   January 19, 2011

Candle

My Father gave everything he had to others, to our community, to friends, neighbors, migrant workers. He was paid in produce, favors; long before bartering was back in fashion, he would accept whatever people would give, and take nothing often times. He really entered into his deepest love (besides my mother, Margaret) when he became a doctor. I will write more, and again, but feel so blessed to be here with my family to celebrate his life.

Posted by Janet Hills Landis - Daughter   January 19, 2011

Extending our deepest sympathy to our most dear Daughter-In-Law, Anne Hills, and to the family of Dr. Hills. He was blessed with a long life, a good and loving wife, children and grandchildren. May his family be comforted by very many heartfelt memories.

Posted by Renee & Lyman Moss - Boynton Beach, FL - In-Laws of Daughter Anne Hills   January 19, 2011

May Dr. David Hills rest in peace with God watching over him. He has left behind a very special and kind family who will always remember the love and devotion given to them by their father. May God bless the Hill's family

Posted by Judy Rosa - San Rafael, CA - Friend of Susan Hills   January 19, 2011

On the Death of the Beloved - John O'Donohue

Though we need to weep your loss,
You dwell in that safe place in our hearts,
Where no storm or might or pain can reach you.

Your love was like the dawn
Brightening over our lives
Awakening beneath the dark
A further adventure of colour.

The sound of your voice
Found for us
A new music
That brightened everything.

Whatever you enfolded in your gaze
Quickened in the joy of its being;
You placed smiles like flowers
On the altar of the heart.
Your mind always sparkled
With wonder at things.

Though your days here were brief,
Your spirit was live, awake, complete.

We look towards each other no longer
From the old distance of our names;
Now you dwell inside the rhythm of breath,
As close to us as we are to ourselves.

Though we cannot see you with outward eyes,
We know our soul's gaze is upon your face,
Smiling back at us from within everything
To which we bring our best refinement.

Let us not look for you only in memory,
Where we would grow lonely without you.
You would want us to find you in presence,
Beside us when beauty brightens,
When kindness glows
And music echoes eternal tones.

When orchids brighten the earth,
Darkest winter has turned to spring;
May this dark grief flower with hope
In every heart that loves you.

May you continue to inspire us:

To enter each day with a generous heart.
To serve the call of courage and love
Until we see your beautiful face again
In that land where there is no more separation,
Where all tears will be wiped from our mind,
And where we will never lose you again.

Posted by David F. Hills - Mt. Pleasant, MI - Son   January 19, 2011

So many of us are reaching the time of losing our parents, a loss that reaches into the deepest part of being. I have been privileged to know the Hills family since my teen years, and my heart goes out to all of you- Margaret, Anne, Mary, Janet, Susan, David and the entire extended family. I think fondly of the lunch we all shared with Dr. Hills in Saugatuck on a halcyon day this past summer. We carry on with our memories and hold them close. Know that you are in our thoughts, and loved.

Posted by Elizabeth Paxson - Saugatuck, MI - friend of family   January 19, 2011

My heart is sad for my friends. I am so grateful I know you. For some of us, when we make and keep a lifelong friend, we inherit their family - its history, its high-points, its heroes. I met Anne Hills in 1984, and Margaret and David, her folks not long after. Anne and I both love to sing. We love the great lake between Chicago and Michigan. We love the rich life tapestry the world's cultures offered us, and the joy that came from an early sunrise, and the united song of a choir. When I met David and Margaret, I saw the roots that grounded and inspired my friend to become the superior artist and person she is. I visited St. Jo and sang there a few times. Each time, I was welcomed by David - with his big heart, and big smile. He made to feel like a million. I came to see the value of art and the artist in his life. And I saw - and see - that his family - The Hills - were given the greatest gift from a loving father: an invitation to become their best and to share that best with the rest of us. Aren't we lucky? Thank you, David, you are our hero. And we miss you already.
Love Jamie

Posted by Jamie O'Reilly - Chicago, IL - friend   January 19, 2011

Synchronicity works in strange ways. For some reason, I was just thinking about Dr. Hills a few days ago. My Dad was also a doctor and a friend. I was remember a story my Dad told me about how a doctor they worked with made a bigoted remark against Jews. Dr. Hills "corrected" him. I don't know if anyone ever realized it, but it obviously meant a lot to my Dad (who was Jewish), because he still talked about it years later.

I will keep all of you in my prayers and hope that we kids continue the close friendship that our parents had.

Posted by Nancy Gould - Lexington Park, MD - daughter of family friend   January 19, 2011

Dear family, please accept my prayers of GOD'S love as we celebrate David's life.

Grace and Peace, Pastor David

Posted by David Yinglking - Enon, PA - friend   January 19, 2011

Dr Hills was the first person to lay eyes on me. He delivered me 47 years ago. My mother loved him as our family doctor. He had such a way with his patients. Always very kind and caring. I have had the pleasure of taking care of his dental needs the last several years. I always looked forward to his appointments so I could return the kindness he gave to me for so many years. I have a huge soft place in my heart for him. He will be dearly missed.

Posted by Sharon Brant - Stevensville, MI - Former Pt and Dental Hygienist   January 18, 2011

Dear DAvid and family! So saddened to learn of your loss. Surely the strengths and gifts I have observed in you, David, are due to the heritage you have had from your parents, and, in particularly, from your Dad. God wrap you in His love as God by Jesus' hand comforts you and leads you into the future God is creating for you. In fond love...Ed Ross

Posted by Edward Ross - Jackson, MI - Colleague   January 18, 2011

What am amazing life of service. I will always remember the Sunday morning when we found out that our daughter could not go to church camp because she had not had a "camp physical." Dr. Hills took off his choir robe, took us into one of the offices, gave Stacey a check up, signed her form, and she was on her way.

As time rolled on, we were blessed to be god parents to his granddaughter, and we shared deep love for his family. A fantastic sense of humor; a keen mind; and one of the warmest hearts medicine has ever been blessed by.

We love you, David.... "Well done, good and faithful servant." Our love and prayers are with you, Margaret, and all the rest of the family.

Posted by Deb and John Basham - Saint Joseph, MI - Friend, former patients   January 18, 2011

Candle

Love you and will miss you.

Posted by Claire Hills - daughter in law   January 18, 2011

On behalf of the Samaritan Counseling Center, Benton Harbor, Michigan I extend our deepest sympathy in the loss of Dr. Hills. I personally served as a board member under the leadership of Dr. HIlls a number of years ago...and experienced a hard working, loving, caring man. I am proud to have know him and to have had the opportunity to serve the Samaritan Center under his wisdom and leadership.

Bruce Nitz
President, Board of Directors
Samaritan Counseling Center
Benton Harbor, MI.

Posted by Bruce Nitz - Saint Joseph, MI - Friend & fellow Board member   January 18, 2011

Dr. Hills became a Volunteer for Hospice at Home in 1996, and I, as Volunteer Coordinator, got to know this special person. He was a true gentleman, with a wonderfully kind heart. His smile will never leave my memory, when he walked into a room he brought the Sun with him. I will miss him, I extend my wishes to his family for peace in their hearts.

Posted by Carmen Biltgen - St. Joseph, MI - Friend   January 18, 2011

Dr. Hills inherited me as a patient, when I was in my mid-teens upon opening the medical practice with Dr. Hayes. He served me and my family while in that practice. I have never met another person for whom I had greater respect. My wife and I are saddened to learn of his passing. We know he will be in a better place. He will remain a bright memory in our hearts and minds all the remaining days of our lives. May God bless and keep you.

Jeff & Mary Porter

Posted by Jeffrey L. Porter - Holland, MI - Former patient.   January 18, 2011