James Patrick (Toby) Hill
Vero Beach - James Patrick (Toby) Hill, age 66 of Vero Beach, passed away peacefully surrounded by family
on January 16, 2021 following a brave battle against cancer.
Toby is survived by his beloved wife of 42 years, Elizabeth (Tuny); his son Christopher (Lyndal); grandsons Christian Barnette and baby James Patrick; brother Michael (Bonnie); and many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his parents Adela and Guy Hill.
Toby was born on March 6, 1954 in Riverside, CA. He grew up in Orlando, FL where he graduated from Lyman High School. Toby's upbringing was centered around accountability, a heightened sense of responsibility, and genuine love of family. Growing up the Hill family often embarked on summer trips that were filled with laughter and lasting memories. Toby thoroughly enjoyed reminiscing about his youth while amongst family and friends. Toby excelled in both athletic and academic forums which ultimately led to his acceptance into the University of Florida. His passion for the University of Florida was forever solidified during his years as a student. Dedicated to his studies, Toby's commitment to excellence culminated in graduating as a member of the Sigma Lambda Chi National Honorary Scholastic Construction Fraternity while earning his Bachelor of Science in Building Construction from the University of Florida. He earned his degree in 1977 and later that same year became a Florida State Certified General Contractor. His life's work had begun.
Toby started his professional career in Orlando, FL. gaining invaluable experience with Tuttle/White Construction before moving to Vero Beach and joining William H. Hendrick & Son, a commercial construction firm. In 1984, at the age of 30, Toby made a career defining decision by forming his own company - The Hill Group. With his young family in tow while working out of a guest bedroom in the family home, Toby's self-belief and relentless pursuit of excellence was the foundation for things to come. His vision for The Hill Group was to employ the best craftsmen in the industry, set a new standard of excellence only achieved through hard work and attention to every detail. His signature statement, "Strong from Top to Bottom", was guided by a belief that it was important to instill professional integrity at all levels of a business in order to establish a sound, successful and thriving enterprise. Toby lived by these principles understanding without action words had no value. This recipe for success proved to be essential in building his reputation for producing high-end, custom homes at the highest level. Toby believed in and cared deeply for his employees, they were his extended family. Over the past 36 years, he tirelessly honed his craft, never allowing complacency to detour his desire to be the best.
Among Toby's dreams was to one day bring son Christopher into The Hill Group, form a partnership, and if earned, transition the business to him. This dream became a reality when Christopher joined the firm in 2014. Toby and Christopher relished working together and were truly blessed to enjoy so many father-son milestone moments for the firm. Toby was a mentor, leader, and example in its truest form for Christopher.
Toby's core values were entrenched in the understanding that true fulfillment was not based on business success. He believed giving back to the community and sharing his blessings was what showed true merit. Toby supported a long list of charities, including but not limited to, Alzheimer & Parkinson Association, American Cancer Society, Boys and Girls Clubs, Education Foundation, Environmental Learning Center, Vero Beach Museum of Art, Florida Sheriff's Youth Ranch, Hibiscus Children's Village, Humane Society, Indian River Land Trust, John's Island Community Service League, John's Island Foundation, Impact 100, and Quail Valley Charities. As part of his commitment Toby served on several boards. In 2006, the Indian River Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals honored The Hill Group as the Outstanding Corporate Philanthropist, and in 2009, The Samaritan Center presented Toby and Tuny with the "Good Samaritan Award".
Outside of the office Toby was an avid outdoorsmen. He had some of his fondest memories surfing as a youngster, playing tennis, golf, and spearfishing with family and friends; and of course, hiking the Grand Tetons with his soulmate, Tuny. Whether it was driving his son all over the state on weekends to play in tennis tournaments, playing doubles with friends, or embarking on golf outings across the state/country/world; Toby had the innate ability to know when to turn on his fierce competitive nature and when to simply enjoy the moment for what it truly was…time with those he loved. His zeal for life also led him to being a willing participant in Tuny's many legendary costume parties. In true Toby fashion, he was always the most prepared to play his part, however, his quick wit and genuine enjoyment of the occasion is what will be remembered most. Toby was also a patriot. He deeply loved his country and was dedicated to upholding our country's core values of life, liberty, and justice. At his core he continued to believe God will always bless America.
Above all, Toby's heart and greatest achievement was his family. Whether it was wisping Tuny away on couple's retreats or surprising his son in England with Wimbledon tickets, Toby centered his life around his family. He unconditionally loved Tuny, the love of his life, whom he surprised with a vow renewal in 2018 in Jackson, Wyoming. He readily made personal sacrifices for the security and betterment of his family. Through times of sorrow, strife, and uncertainty he was always the rock on which the family held tight. There was no burden he would not bear. He was a proud husband, father, father in-law, and grandfather. Even when overwhelmed with pain, Toby found the strength to spend one last family Christmas together. His strength defined him. Although God called for him early, his unwavering faith in the Lord guided him home.
The family is grateful for the immeasurable amount of support, love and devotion poured out by extended family, friends, employees and the amazing VB medical community. A special thanks to our VNA Hospice Angels that cared for him as he started his new journey. You all have touched our hearts.
Services will be held at 10am on February 5th, 2021 at Holy Cross Church. In lieu of flowers, the family asks to consider donating to the following organizations in Toby's memory; VNA & Hospice Foundation or St. Jude's.
Arrangements by Strunk Funeral Home and Crematory, Vero Beach, FL.
A guest book is available at www.strunkfuneralhome.com