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Irvine Byrd Hill

1927 - 2015 Obituary Condolences
Irvine Byrd Hill Obituary
Irvine Byrd Hill

Norfolk - The Honorable Irvine B. Hill, 87, passed away on May 27, 2015 in his longtime home surrounded by family. A former Mayor of the city he loved, Norfolk has lost a First Citizen of the highest order. He was born in Norfolk on July 2, 1927, the son of Madeline C. Hill and Herman R. Hill and spent his entire life in Norfolk. He was predeceased by his wife of 51 years, Elizabeth Stewart Hill, his daughter Robin Elizabeth Hill, and his second wife of ten years, Marjorie Batty Dey Hill. He was also predeceased by his sisters Charlotte Costigan and Mary Catherine Holman, his brother Herman R. Hill, Jr., and his stepsons William Wadsworth Dey III and Joseph Bolling Dey. He is survived by his loving daughter Anne Stewart Girucky and her husband Frank Erwin Girucky, his grandson Frank Daniel Girucky and his wife Morgan, and his great-grandson Colin Daniel Girucky. He is also survived by his stepson Armistead Wheeler Dey, Jr, his wife Mary (Molly) and his step-grandsons Armistead Wheeler Dey, III and Charles Kensett Dey.

Hill graduated from Norfolk's Maury High School, later attended the College of William and Mary's Norfolk Division in 1949, and studied broadcasting management at Harvard's School of Business in 1964. His achievements, awards, and honors are numerous and the mark of a man whose love for community knew no bounds. A distinguished gentleman, kind-hearted soul, raconteur and impeccable conversationalist, Irvine Hill extended a 'very warm welcome' to all and was affectionately known as the "People's Mayor." He was a member of the Norfolk City Council from 1972-76, served as Mayor of the City of Norfolk from 1974-76, and received the 2000 Distinguished Service Medal as Norfolk's First Citizen. He served in the Virginia National Guard from 1958-1962, and in the U.S. Navy Reserve.

From 1963-79 he was the President and General Manager of WCMS AM and FM Radio, and part owner of WPVA of Petersburg, VA. He is most well-known for his career with Cox Communications, where he served as Vice President for programming and community relations from 1983-2002. He did more than 15,000 interviews and 5,000 programs for WCOX Channel 11, most notably "Hampton Roads Speaks Out." Other programs included "Portraits," "Viewpoints," and "A Visit With" and are credited with raising hundreds of thousands of dollars and recruiting much-needed volunteers for the benefit of the community and sea services.

Hill received an extensive and distinguished resume of awards, including the Virginia Cable Telecommunications Association's (VCTA) Outstanding Community Relations Award; Eastern Virginia Medical School's President's Medallion; Secretary of the Navy's Superior Public Service Award; FBI Director's Community Leadership Award; Knights of Columbus Man of the Year Award; the General Assembly of Virginia Commendation for Outstanding Service to the Commonwealth of Virginia; Norfolk Police Department Man of the Year Award; Old Dominion University Certificate of Achievement; and the Tidewater Builder's Association's Irvine B. Hill Media Excellence Award.

Hill served as the National Director Emeritus for the Navy League, and on numerous commissioning committees with the Navy League of Hampton Roads. He also served as Chairman of the Jean Outland Chrysler Library Board of the Chrysler Museum, President of the Southside Boys Club, President of the Kiwanis Club of Norfolk/Princess Anne, Urban League Board Member, Board of Directors Member of Festevents, Vice Chairman of Nauticus National Maritime Museum of Norfolk, Chairman of the Citizen's Advisory Commission of Norfolk, President of the Economics Club of Hampton Roads, and served many years on the Board of Trustees and Foundation of Lake Taylor Transitional Care Hospital. He also served two terms on the Board of Visitors of Old Dominion University, chaired the ODU Institutional Advancement Committee, and was an appointed member of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation for 28 years.

He devoted his life to the service of others and to making our community a better place to live. A guiding, life-long principle was that the strong should take care of the weak. Hill always showed empathy for the less fortunate, and was simply one of the kindest individuals one could meet. The thing in life he enjoyed most was an interesting conversation, and he possessed an insatiable hunger for knowledge. But for all his honors and accomplishments he was simply Granddad to his beloved grandson Daniel. He will be sorely missed by family and friends. The family would like to thank Heartland Hospice care for their assistance, especially Jennifer, Catherine, and Rebecca. And most especially, thank you to Mayor Paul Fraim for his moving, final hour visit to pay respects to Irvine and thank him for his lifelong service to his beloved city.

A Memorial Service will be held at 2pm on June 2 at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, 1004 Graydon Avenue in Norfolk. In lieu of flowers, donations made be made to St. Andrew's Church or the . H.D. Oliver Funeral Apts. Norfolk Chapel is handling arrangements and online condolences may be offered to the family at hdoliver.com
Published in The Virginian Pilot on May 28, 2015
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