William graduated from Villanova University in 1960 with a degree
in civil engineering. After a short stint with the United States
Park Service, he entered into the United States Navy's Officer
Candidate School in 1960. He received his commission as an Ensign
in March 1961. While serving on the USS Bigelow (DD 942), he participated
in the Cuban Blockade of 1962, a key moment in American history.
He served on various Destroyers during his 31 years in the Navy,
including USS Bigelow, USS Allen M. Sumner, USS King and U.S.S.
Turner Joy, on which he was Executive Officer. He briefly assumed
command of the Turner Joy in April 1973 when his commanding officer
suffered an illness. While in Vietnam, LCDR Hill earned the Bronze
Star Medal. He is also credited with having fired the last shot
of the Vietnam war while aboard the Turner Joy.
In the 1970s, CDR Hill was commanding officer of the Destroyers
USS John R. Craig (DD 885) and the USS Henry B. Wilson (DDG 7).
He earned the rank of Captain in 1981 and was assigned to Commander
Third Fleet, Pearl Harbor. He and his family lived in Hawaii for
the next ten years until his retirement in 1991.
Upon retirement, Capt. Hill returned with his family to San Diego,
where he began his hobbies of woodworking and building custom
furniture. He built several beautiful custom pieces over the next
13 years for family and friends.
He passed away April 22, 2004. He is survived by his loving wife
Judy, oldest son William Joseph Hill Jr. and his wife Pamela,
daughter Judy and her husband Paul Risler, sons Robert, Brendan,
and Brian, and grandchildren Liam and Devan Risler. His kind,
quiet and generous spirit will live on forever.