Jeffrey R. Hill
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Hill, Jeffrey R. Passed away peacefully early Sunday morning May 3rd. He called the beautiful village of Marine on St. Croix home. Born in 1951 his name is forever linked with the booming Twin Cities rock music scene of the 60's, 70's and 80's. He was a remarkable musician who played guitar in The Youngsters, The Underbeats and many other bands. In 1972 he co-founded the legendary Knut-Koupée Music Store located in Uptown at 28th and Hennepin. The store quickly became a magnetic gathering place for musicians. Jeff provided the authenticity and enthusiasm to help power a Minneapolis music scene that continues to achieve international acclaim. From The Hypstrz to Prince and The Time, from The Suicide Commandos to The Canoise. The list could go on and on. Jeff and the "Knut" were there to help make dreams come true. His passion and generosity not only connected musicians to the instruments they needed, but more importantly connected people to each other. Jeff left the Cities for California in 1983 returning 20 years later to the delight of his many acquaintances. Additionally Jeff has remained committed to improving the welfare of animals and advocated for several animal rescue organizations during his life. His home offered sanctuary to many animals over the years. (Shout-out to Becky and Sweedy). Whether cruising to band gigs in his 1963 split-window Corvette or riding the back roads of small town Minnesota on a Velocette motorcycle Jeff had a style all his own. He had the ability to deal with rock stars, serious collectors and the kid in high school who skipped class to hang out at the store, who now plays in Guns and Roses. Jeff's parents Ann and William Hill live in Bayside, Wisconsin. His sister Nanciann Feeney with husband John and Jeff's two very special nieces Livvy and Blythe live in Boulder, Colorado and his brother David in Ribera, New Mexico. He was surrounded by close friends and family these last few months. We continue to celebrate his remarkable zest for life. To know Jeff was to know his love and graciousness. He was the real thing and will be missed by all. Not surprisingly he retained his irrepressible humor and creative hi-jinx to the very end. A public celebration and tribute to Jeff is planned for the Fine Line, downtown Minneapolis on June 3rd. Doors at 6pm.
This obituary was originally published in the Star Tribune.

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Published in Star Tribune on May 10, 2009.
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29 entries
October 20, 2015
It doesn't get any easier. I miss you old pal.
jon schwartz
September 12, 2015
I just learned of Jeff's passing online. Jeff advised me on how to get the best deal on my first Fender Stratocaster in 1973 that I still have. Later, he encouraged me to loan my homemade laser light show system to Knut Koupee, which he showed to Prince and others. The store was a fun place to go because of Jeff and Karl. Thank you for warm memories.
Wendy Dunham
January 8, 2013
I miss this guy soooo much!
Jon Schwartz
December 11, 2010
I knew Jeff in the early 70's and think of him with love and respect...my condolences to his family and friends for the great loss of him.
Rita Kennedy
May 9, 2010
Jeff,

Okay, so, your Anderson guitar is no longer a "shrine" in my living room. Rather, it's been crated and shipped to Rancho Bernardo CA. . .and is hitting the coffee shop jam sessions with Paul Thomson singing/playing
your story. You remain in my heart and head. . .having just completed a "river run" on my CanAm SPYDER which included Marine on St. Croix as well as Pepin and Lake City and Stockholm and Red Wing and all those places you took me whilst I hung on to you for dear life on that Excelsior Henderson! Another season at The Zoo music series; where our time together began and expanded to music everywhere. I loved walking into a venue and seeing you standing there; every woman wanted to be with you. . .every man wanted to be you!
Lynn Klonowski
August 25, 2009
I just found out and am just so saddened at the loss of this wonderful person. He and I dated back a few years ago and while we did not work out as a couple, I always had such a huge place in my heart for him. Did not realize fully how much he impacted my life as well as my daughters, my folks, sisters and my dog Rocky too.

Jeff is truly one of a kind, beautiful person and it is/was so great to see how EVERYONE so loved & respected him. Like the Vince Gill CD we listened to - last track: "and I will always love you" All of my friends & neighbors here who got to know you, miss you as well! Rock on Jeff! You're the best.
Teri Moore
August 25, 2009
and jamming w/ a clown (me) North Oaks Halloween 2005
August 25, 2009
jamming w/ friends at the Knut Kuppee reunion
August 25, 2009
with his folks, Bill & Ann of Milwaukee
August 25, 2009
August 22, 2009
I met Jeff when we he worked in real estate here in North San Diego County. He was always a "class act" and respected in the industry.
Jeff played the guitar and I sang with a few friends when we "opened" the Legoland Park here in Carlsbad, March 16,1999! I had just learned that we both had been in bands in the 70's! We had a fantstic time tha day! Prior to that day I only knew him as a fellow Realtor. Great memories!~
Sandy Lund
August 22, 2009
While working as a brand new in-house lender at a C21 where Jeff worked. he happened to hear about my tenure at Berklee School of music. What!, A Loan Geek, who can Jam?" We became instant friends. I had very little experience in the loan business, at company meetings, Jeff would often say how he referred one his best clients to me and heard the mortgage service was out of this world! Well, Jeff had not referred me a customer he was just trying to make me look good in front of the agents.What was amazing is that he did this every week, and everyone still believed him. I still owe him for that... Jeff and I jammed together, even opened up Lego Land California with our dear friends Sandy and Bill. We also took rides on our motorcycles. What a great human being. I am glad that I was able to have shared some great memories with Jeff.
Marc Zimmerman
August 20, 2009
That wild head of hair and that "I just ate the canary" look are vivid in my memory. Whether we talked about the La Forza, or Neil Young, Guitars, or the twin cities, Jeff always was on the pulse.

Jeff sold me my home in Del Mar California and was a pal ever since.

Jeff was a circus clown dressed in
adult clothing.... He was never really serious about anything other than music. And of course his dogs.

Thanks for caring for the dogs who needed you as much.

Thanks for working tirelessly to get us all to smile.

See you & Les Paul backstage someday
Greg Allen
August 17, 2009
I just learned of Jeff’s passing. It is so hard to believe. I first met Jeff in Solana Beach, California, where he practiced real estate. He quickly became one of the top producers at Grubb & Ellis, when I managed that firm. There was a special charisma about him He was instantly likeable by everyone.

Jeff added “color” to everything he did. His practical jokes, strong sense of humor, extraordinary musical talent and sincere friendship made him a one-of-a-kind specialty. He was truly fun to be with, but also displayed a strong sense of professionalism in whatever he did.

His office was like a museum. Collections of odd and unrelated gadgets and trinkets were all the decorations he needed. He had a story about each one of them. It was not uncommon for him to wear a set of false buck teeth when he new he was about to be introduced to a new associate.

Jeff will be so missed, but not forgotten.
Bill Ims
July 7, 2009
I just learned of Jeff's passing, having been removed from the music biz for many years. I played along with Jeff during one of his many musical interludes, truly a gifted musician and a consumate practical joker.
Buck Fry
June 3, 2009
I am crushed by Jeff's passing. When I was just starting to play out Knut was the place to be and Jeff always treated me with respect, even though I was a young punk kid. He always made me feel included and wore a smile. We have lost one on the great ones.
Wally Jensen
May 29, 2009

God Bless....
Tim Armstrong
May 16, 2009
Very sad news indeed. I have very fond memories of the original Knut Koupee & Jeff in particular!
John Della Selva
May 15, 2009
A gentleman arrives in heaven... Thank you, Jeff, for your tenderness toward my elderly mother, sipping tea with her when you came all the way to New England for a visit. May the angels lead you to Paradise. May Our Lord crown you with His Love.
Connee
May 13, 2009
A gentle soul...the world is literally not the same anymore. Until next time Jeff....
Crissey DeButts
May 13, 2009
Cindy, Jeff and Me-10/2008
May 12, 2009
We send you love and light!!
Deb and Michael Monroe
May 11, 2009
We should remember Jeff in our lives as how he lived his- making music, enriching his friends with his presence, and enjoying each day as it comes. All of those who knew him are better for it.
David Honor
May 11, 2009
I am stunned!

I met Jeff in about 1980 when I had came across some vintage guitars. I called down to Knut and met up with Jeff. He was the only one in town who didn't try and take advantage of me. That began a friendship that lasted 20 plus years. We traded guitars often and I stayed in touch and visited him when he was out in Sand Diego.

I am so at a loss for words..........Jeff was a Prince of a man! His soft spoken and friendly demeanor always left me smiling with each visit.

I agree with the other guest, Jeff built a magical place down on 28th and Hennepin and the magic left when he did. But, he left us all with such wonderful memories.

I was so blessed to know him.......My condolences to his friends and family.

As Jeff would say, "much kremlang and fongreft"
Jon Schwartz
May 11, 2009
To Jeff's family & friends - this is indeed a beautiful, right-on description of Jeff & his life, his personality, his passions, his love for living and of course for music, but above all, people. He was also probably the kindest, most considerate man I've known. He put a smile not only on everyone's faces, but in their hearts & left a huge ole' smile to live on in the world. He'll live on in the hearts of all who knew him. Dickens sends her sympathy, too (Sweedy will understand).
Betsy Burnam
May 11, 2009
My band, The Metros, had moved from the least cool place in the world, Fargo, to one of the coolest places, Minneapolis. It was a pretty rough go at the beginning, convincing the twin cities that we were a cool band. Jeff Hill was the very first person, and I mean THE first person in the city to befriend and us make us feel a little special...and he always made us feel cool. I just really loved him and was in awe of the Tabernacle of Love and Vibe that he built on 28th and Hennepin.
danny mangold
May 10, 2009
To Jeff's family and friends-

Jeff's passing was truly a sad day for anyone that ever stepped into the ol' Knut Koupee Music store. I have to say that the obituary in the Star-Trib was spot on when it described his ability to relate to anyone, and to make them feel welcome. He was the Soul and the Spirit of that store, and when he left, so did that magic. The reunion several years ago left me wishing that he had never left...but time moves on.

Jeff was a kind, considerate gentleman- and always brought a smile to my face and anyone else that happened to be in the room. My deepest condolences go to his friends and family, for I know we have all lost a truly fine man!
Don LaBounty
May 10, 2009
I still have my pick and my plastic motel key holder...Knut Koupee motel and reptile gardens...I wonder who came up with that???...I remember finding a pair of maniquin arms in a snowbank, and went into Knut saying.." this is an armed robery "...Jeff traded me a Strat bridge I'd had my eye on in trade for them...Loved seeing him at the Knut re-union a few years back!...Go in peace and joviality,...Another great one bites the duck....Much love and respect...Kurt Nelson
Kurt Nelson
May 10, 2009
I was one of Jeff's customers at KK in the 70's. He was a great musician and loved the business as well. I still have a "Jeff Hill is my Hero" guitar pick which they gave away at the store. I have such fond memories of Jeff from those days.
Paul Stevens
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