Donald Scott Hills

Obituary
  • "A wonderful guy who was always thinking of others. You are..."
    - Sue Holding
  • "miss you"


Donald S. Hills
(January 1, 1937 - May 19, 2013)


Accomplished engineer, broadcaster, radio director and producer Donald Scott Hills died from a heart attack in his home on May 19, 2013.

Don was born and raised in Sacramento, the only child of Dr. Avery Hills, a dentist, and Gertrude LeBart. The theater bug bit him during his years at McClatchy High School, where he began acting in school plays. His interest in broadcasting began at the tender age of 13; by the age of 20, he was program director for KSFM in Sacramento.

A National Guardsman, Don was called to active duty during the Berlin Crisis and stationed at Fort Ord. Upon his discharge, he was hired as a disc jockey at KHFR/KDFR on the Monterey Peninsula. For the next nine years, Don hosted a classical music program during the week and would remotely record live bands on the weekends on Cannery Row. He even loaned his d.j. chair and studio at KRML (Carmel) to Clint Eastwood for the film Play Misty for Me.

In 1968, Don was recruited by the Don Martin School of Radio and TV in Hollywood, where he taught broadcasting for seven years while simultaneously working as a d.j. at KCBH in Beverly Hills, CA.

But Don was perhaps best known as a director of radio drama, working in the 70s and 80s as the director-producer of Heartbeat Theater, a weekly radio drama sponsored by the Salvation Army that lasted 26 years and featured such greats as Greer Garson, Hans Conreid and Anne Francis.

In television, he lent his talents to doing voice-overs for ABC, NBC and local stations in the Los Angeles area. In the late 80s, he toured with the Graciela Tapia's Ballet Folklórico Mexicano across the United States as stage manager and lighting director. In 1994, he returned to Sacramento to care for an ailing aunt and to spend his retirement years.

Upon his return, Don joined the Valley Broadcast Legends, a club for people with careers in radio and television broadcasting. His colleagues there remember him as a talented individual with limitless patience and dedication to his craft, even as his health was declining.

Don leaves a daughter, Dr. Ann Hills, professor and chair of the foreign language department at the University of La Verne in Southern California.
Published on Sacbee.com from July 22 to July 23, 2013