In Memory of Thomas Hill

Thomas W. Hill, of River Falls, Wisconsin, died unexpectedly at the age of 66 on Saturday, October 9, 2021 at Regions Hospital in St. Paul. Tom was born in St. Paul, MN and graduated in 1973 from Harding High School. He was a brilliant machinist, teacher and leader, but his main passion in life was for his wife of 36 years, Barb; their two sons, Brian Hill (girlfriend Miranda Dostal), and John (Britt) Hill; and his three grandchildren, Skylar (5), Graham (3), and Parker (1). Tom was so happy in his shop repairing and maintaining equipment and teaching his sons and grandchildren many wonderful skills. He was the kindest and most loving husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, brother-in-law, and friend. He will be missed every day.

Tom is the brother of Jan (Ron) Haupert of Bayfield, WI and Steve (Judy) Hill of Duluth, MN. They were raised in a very loving home and brought joy into each others lives and the lives of friends and family. Tom and Steve enjoyed many years as young men downhill skiing both locally and out west. Tom is also survived by Barb’s sisters and their husbands, Laura and Jim Palagi, Julie and Scott Evenson, both of Great Falls, MT, Mary and Bill Hooks, Amy and David Oclander, both of Helena, MT, and Kinlen and Wake Wheeler of Eugene OR. Tom is the uncle of many nieces and nephews in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Montana, Oregon, and El Salvador.

Tom is preceded in death by his parents, Jim and Jayne (Olzenak) Hill of St. Paul, MN; his mother and father-in-law, John and Elizabeth Schwartz of Great Falls, MT; and his nephew, Connor Hooks of Helena, MT.

Tom worked as a machinist and shop manager for several companies including American Hoist, FMC, and most recently W.C. Branham in River Falls, retiring in August of 2007. He loved boating and camping, and in retirement made several trips with his wife Barb. Winona, Duluth, Door County and the Ely area were favorite camping trips. Tom has a great sense of humor and laughed easily and often at the wit of others.

Tom’s recent adventures include teaching John how to demolish and refinish a basement. His educational approach included his hands experience, YouTube instructions and the occasional cussin’. He has also helped John and Britt build a new house in River Falls by putting his tractor and chain saw to work clearing the land and mowing the pastures. Tom loved everything outdoors, especially when combined with helping his children.

Private family services will be held. In lieu of flowers, memorials can be sent to Give Kids the World, 210 S Bass Rd., Kissimmee, FL 34746. Cards for the family may be sent to the O’Connell Family Funeral Home, to be forwarded, 520 S. 11th St., Hudson, WI 54016.

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    • I’m sad to hear Tom passed away. Needless to say, this was too soon. My heart goes out to the many loving family members who are left to grieve him. Tom and I were good friends back in the day – we graduated from Harding together, both became machinists, lived together and skied together. He and I went to a ski club event where he met his wife Barb. I’m grateful for the memories of his friendship, and like all who knew him, I’ll always wish there had been more time with him.