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Dennis Bruce Hill July 8, 1937 - March 18, 2019

Dennis Bruce Hill

July 1937 – March 2019_x000D_
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


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  1. Uncle Paul says

    Dennis was a interesting man with a dry sense of humor . He ,along with sherry,opened their home to us in Austin. Michelle and I were married in a Buda close by. Dennis has a peaceful spirit and was kosher with everyone he met. Enjoy your journey Dennis

  2. Denise Maxwell says

    I’m very sad to hear of Dennis’ passing. I don’t know how long I’ve waited on Dennis at the grocery store, 10,20 maybe 25 years. I also don’t know if I have ever met a more pleasant person in my life. Dennis always made me feel like I was the only person in the world for a few moments each week in the checkout line. The words in his obituary, “somehow he made you feel like you were his favorite”, couldn’t be more true. I will miss our short times together each week as I his scanned groceries and he made me feel special.

  3. Conny Himenes says

    I meet Dennis thru a mutual friend in 2005. We would go to his house every 2 weeks for about 2 years being taught about meditation and finding peace within ourselves. He never charged us , we would bring him chocolates and some sort of treat as compensation. He opened my eyes to finding true peace within . He was truly a great man that gave without expecting anything in return. The world was greatly blessed by him. Namaste

  4. Jeffrey Swainhart says

    Dennis and Sherry popped into my life when I was 14, (1969.) Sherry was my older 1/2 sister who I’d never met. (No accounting for family history!) I immediately fell in love with her and with Dennis being her chosen one, I looked up to him as well. Dennis was funny and smart and easy going and it was clear that he and Sherry were deeply in love.

    As older siblings I looked up to and respected them both. The next summer we went to Martha’s Vineyard on a family vacation. I remember being impressed by Dennis’ medical knowledge and skill with the camera, as well as by the easy devotion they had for each other. There’s no doubt Dennis Hill made an impact on my life. I am grateful to have known him. Blessings to all who love and miss him.

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