Dennis Bruce Hill
July 1937 – March 2019
Dennis Bruce Hill was born on July the 8th, 1937, in Houston, Texas and died on March the 18th, 2019 at the age of 81.
From his own writings of his life recorded in his compilation of the Hill Family History:
“In my childhood, the first really significant memory, aside from the loving warmth of my mother, was the Second World War. Air raid drills, rationing, the war industries, news of the battles, then in 1945 it was over. VE Day, VJ Day, parades, Roosevelt and Churchill. I saw something that I have never seen since…a national swell of patriotism. Also from 1945 I remember Mahatma Gandhi.
I spent my teen years in military school. I am deeply grateful to have learned self-discipline and endurance and a tenacity that provided such a solid foundation for my whole life. Fascinated with the sciences, I took a degree in chemistry which provided for ten years working in medical research; primarily enzyme physiology. During those years I married Sheryl Swainhart, and Erin Leigh was born; light of my life.
Music was a serious pastime for many years; I sang several seasons in the Houston Symphony Chorale, performed often in a medieval madrigal octet, and played harpsichord just to enjoy Baroque period music on the original instrument. I might have taken up the kazoo instead, had I realized that the harpsichord required retuning every week.
In sports, swimming became a fast favorite after catching both feet in the hurdles trying out for the track team. My brother always beat me in the sprints, so I became a distance swimmer, going through the University of Houston on an athletic scholarship.
My father’s interest in science and computers must have taken root as I spent the balance of my professional career in the computer field; writing custom database applications for business and education. My most abiding interest, however, has been in the study of philosophies and ancient civilizations…specifically, the field of epistemology: the roots of knowledge itself.
I was born in Houston, moved to Austin, Texas in 1970, then to Turlock, California in 1995 to be close to my daughter, Erin. I’ve traveled in Central and Southwest Mexico, the wilderness of Northeastern Canada, and all over India. Ah, travel, such a humbling experience.”
Dennis dedicated his recent years to teaching meditation and was a published author. He taught at local yoga studios, across the world via Skype, and held classes at his home. He was always eager to help his family and friends in practical ways. He was a true gentleman and lived his life with a rare tenderness and unconditional love that he put into action. His friends and family knew they were an object of his affection and somehow he made you feel like you were his favorite.
Dennis lived with cancer for the past several years, but always had a desire to live independently and pain free, which he managed with support from CovenantCare Hospice. He took meticulous care of his health and achieved his goal of a long and vibrant life. He died peacefully surrounded by the love of his family and best friend, Meg.
Dennis is survived by his daughter, Erin Nelson, her husband, Bryan, his four grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. He also leaves behind his brother, Michael Hill (Marji) in Houston, Texas, Erin’s sister Kelli (Fred) DeJong and family, along with beloved cousins, nieces and nephews.
Donations in his memory may be made to Jessica’s House, 741 East Main Street, Turlock, CA 95380 or online atjessicashouse.org