Harold Hill died Sunday, July 20, at his home in Oak Bluffs, surrounded by his family after a battle with heart disease. He was 79.
Harold was born in Boston’s South End on April 12, 1935 to Mildred and Harold Hill. His work with youth and passion for public service began at an early age. At only 10 years old, he ran a youth reading group at Boston Public Library and volunteered at the Harriet Tubman House. He attended English High School and Northeastern University. While serving in the U.S. Army, Harold served in Korea and returned to the U.S. to continue his career in juvenile justice.
He met his wife Sandy while running one of Boston’s first residential treatment centers. In 1976 they moved with their daughter Heather to Martha’s Vineyard. At the encouragement of chief Peter Williamson, Harold, at age 44, attended the police academy. He worked for Oak Bluffs, Chilmark and Aquinnah police departments while working part-time as a court officer. He ended his career as a full-time court officer for Dukes County Court. In addition to his civic career, he served as chairman of Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby, and was on the board of Martha’s Vineyard Public Charter School.
Beyond his family and career, Harold had a love of fishing and boating. His talents extended off the water in the form of Vineyard-inspired artwork. Harold spent countless hours drawing, burning and painting scenes of his beloved Island onto boxes, stools and tables to preserve the beauty he found around him. He enjoyed sharing these works with the community at the Artisan’s Fair each year.
Harold was survived by his wife Sandy; children Heather Hill and Josh Hill; grandson Shay Hill; brother and sister in law Joe and Ellen Lowkes, and nieces and nephews.
Funeral services will be private. A celebration of Harold’s life will occur in October. Friends are welcome to make donations to Hospice of Martha’s Vineyard, 79 Beach Road, Vineyard Haven, MA 02580.