John Ivan Hill, 96, Medora, passed away at 8:15 p.m. Wednesday, April 17, 2013, at his residence.
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John was a member of Medora Christian Church. He taught Sunday school and held several offices in the church, including the title of elder emeritus.
He graduated from Medora High School in 1934.
He was a livestock and grain farmer. He was a member of the Indiana Farm Bureau. He served for the U.S. Farm Services of Jackson County for several years and was a bus driver for Medora Community Schools. He served on the Medora School Advisory Board for several years.
Staff Sgt. John I. Hill, L Company, 47th Regiment of 9th Infantry Division, was inducted into military service April 15, 1944.
After basic training at Camp Wheeler, Ga., he shipped out to England in September 1944. He became a member of L Company in November 1944 near the French border. He was involved in the capture of the Siegfried Line and Battle of the Bulge fought in harsh winter weather with his foxhole the only shelter. Trench foot was rampant.
He fought in the battles for The Rhur and the Hurtegon Forest. He was with the first infantry to walk across the Rhine River bridge at Remagen. L Company had 150 or more men who walked across the bridge. Three days later, the Germans arrived in force at daybreak with orders to push them back across the river at all costs. By noon they were forced to withdraw. L Company then consisted of 27 men. John I. Hill was among the survivors.
The other companies suffered similar losses. He helped enlarge and break out of the bridgehead and fought countless battles from the Rhine to the Elby River near Dessau. He fought in the last battle on the banks of the Elby River on April 29, 1945. During his combat he never missed a day. He had one unreported small wound. After the war in Europe, he trained to go to the Pacific. It ended there before his unit shipped out. He drove a Jeep for a time, was made section sergeant of the 60 mm mortar section for one month and then was made administrator of a kitchen in the Mooseburg prison. The kitchen fed 3,000.
After three months, he was transferred to headquarters command and assigned to the fiscal office of the Stars and Stripes newspaper. When he was sent home, he was the chief administrator of
accountants at Stars and Stripes. He was discharged May 16, 1946.
Born March 26, 1917, in Leesville, he was the son of Styles H. Hill and Fannie Gillan Hill, both of whom preceded him in death. On June 28, 1947, he married Naomi Ruth Gehring Hill, who preceded him in death on July 10, 1999. He then married Ruth D. Lewis in May 2001. She preceded him in death in September 2012.
Survivors include one son, James W. Hill, Medora; one daughter, Mary M. (Dana) Beavers, Medora; three grandchildren, Christopher J. Hill, Mendy L. (Jeremy) Ross and Tisha L. (Bradley) Milton; six great-grandchildren, Kennedy Cole, Iassac Ross, Josiah Ross, Adessah Ross, Emeylin Milton and Carter Milton.
He was preceded in death by one great-granddaughter; two brothers, Frank Hill and Cecil Hill; and one sister, Cynthia Boss.
Funeral service will be conducted at 2:30 p.m. today at Medora Christian Church with the elders of the church officiating. Burial will take place at Leesville Cemetery in Lawrence County with military rites conducted by the American Legion Post 89, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1925, Disabled American Veterans Post 47 and Vietnam Veterans Post 7, all of Seymour.
Visitation will be from 1 p.m. until time of service today at the church.
Memorials may be given to Leesville Cemetery, Medora Christian Church or the donor's choice of charity.
Arrangements were handled by Hague Funeral Home, Medora.
Published in Tribune from Apr. 20 to Apr. 24, 2013