Ready Funeral Service, Inc.
261 Shelburne Road
Burlington, VT 05401
(802) 862-0991
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JOHN R. HILL Obituary
JOHN R. HILL - COLCHESTER - John Richard Hill, of Colchester, died on Dec. 10, 2012, after many happy years on this Earth, at the age of 64. John was born on Oct. 23, 1948, to Merle and Sally Ann Allison, in Evanston, Ill., and was adopted when he was three by his grandparents, William and Hazel Hill of Chicago. John had a very interesting life, but he always believed that life offers you many opportunities and it's up to you to choose the right ones. His motto was "growing old is mandatory, growing up is optional" and he certainly lived by that! He was a big guy who lived a big life. True to form, this obituary was written by John before his passing. John was raised in Chicago until 1962, when he went to live with his biological mother, Sally Ann. For the next few years, they traveled extensively and as a result, he attended 11 different high schools across the United States and Canada (some near the Arctic Circle), finally graduating from Peoples Academy in Morrisville in 1967. Always the "class clown", after attending Champlain College, he entered radio broadcasting where he continued his acting skills on the air as a disc jockey, starting at WJOY-AM in 1969, then WDOT-AM from 1970-1985 and WVMT-AM from 19851994. During his employment at WDOT-AM, the "Big John Show" was rated #1 in Burlington with 70% of radio listeners tuned into his show. He moved from on-air to radio sales at Champ 101.3 in 1994 and in 2000 was named Sales Manager, then becoming Director of Sales for Clear Channel Radio to oversee Champ 101.3, Star 92.9 and several other stations in the Burlington market. He stepped down from management in 2007 and continued in sales with the stations through 2010. During his lifetime, John loved to travel and in 2010 used that knowledge to open a CruiseOne franchise in Colchester, specializing in cruise travel, and continued with that until his death. John dj'd hundreds of wedding receptions, birthday parties and anniversaries for over forty years and always enjoyed entertaining people. He was an avid motorcyclist, learning to drive in 1963. One of his fondest adventures was taking his nine-year-old son, Shawn, on a 7,000 mile cross-country motorcycle trip where the two of them saw the Grand Canyon, Disneyland, Yosemite, Yellowstone, Devil's Tower and more. He most recently drove a Honda Goldwing motorcycle and said he "needed a big bike to fit his big ***". During his teen-aged years, John developed a love for acting and participated in many plays and musicals while in school. He was very gratified to receive the Best Actor Award for his performance as Daniel Webster in "The Devil and Daniel Webster" at Peoples Academy. He was a licensed Private Pilot, previously owning a Cessna 182 airplane where he found out taking off is easy - landing is the hard part! John was a certified PADI scuba diver and he and his wife loved to dive the reefs of Cozumel, Mexico. He was also a proud member of the Burlington Elks Lodge BPOE #916 for 25 years and was editor of their monthly newsletter where it was awarded 2nd place nationally. John is survived by his best friend and loving wife of 16 years, Mary Paule Hill, whom he met in 1966; sons, Shawn Hill and his wife, Sheri, of South Burlington, Chris Hill and his wife, Heather, of South Burlington and Rod Bushey and his wife, Marcy, of Milton; his delightful grandchildren, Rachel, Anna, Jennifer, Alex and Kalvin, who he all loved dearly; one great- daughter, Kayleigh; several nieces and nephews; a sister, Lysa Ward and her husband, Mike, of Thayer, Iowa; his sisters-in-law, Carol Upston and her husband, Jack, of Bellevue, Mich., Noreen Murphy and her husband, Liam, of Eastchester, N.Y., and Jeanie Lauzon of Morrisville. He also leaves his many radio listeners and co-workers in the Burlington area who supported him over the years, especially his good friend Ken Barlow. An Elk's service will be held on Friday, Dec. 14, 2012, at 7 p.m. in the Ready Funeral Home. Interment will be on Saturday, Dec. 15, 2012, at 11 a.m. in New Mount Calvary Cemetery in Burlington. Visiting hours will be on Friday from 4 to 7 p.m. in the Ready Funeral and Cremation Service, South Chapel, 261 Shelburne Rd. in Burlington. Online condolences may be sent to In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to BPOE #916, to continue their good work for local charities.

Published in The Burlington Free Press on Dec. 12, 2012
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