Tommy J “Tom” Hill, 91, of Pilot Rock passed away January 6, 2021 at his home. Tommy was born December 25, 1929 in Galveston Texas to Jesse Thomas and Evelyn (Albright) Hill. He attended Robert E Lee High School in Jacksonville Florida graduating in 1947.
Tommy worked as a soda jerk at cinemas and at filling stations as a teen. In 1950, he began his career at US Gypsum in Jacksonville, Fl. Deciding to move West after a few years, he worked various jobs before settling in Oregon. In 1963 he returned to the USG plant in Pilot Rock, where he met his future wife Beth Knight. They were married February 14, 1976 in Island City, Oregon. Together they opened and operated for a few years, the Pilot Rock Youth “Rec” Center in the early 1980s. Beth passed away in 1991 and Tom retired from Wood Fiber Industries (USG) in 1992.
Tom developed and formed the women’s softball league in Pendleton in the late 1970s, coaching a team for four years. Winning the championship three out of the four years and second the other year. He coached men’s softball for 17 years. He was a bowling champ winning a closet full of trophies and an avid dancer winning many competitions over the years. He was a member of the Pilot Rock City Council for 14 years, president of the council and police commissioner for 12 years. Tom was a member of the Pilot Rock Lions Club serving multiple times as vice president and twice as president.
Tom loved to gamble. His first love was horse racing but came to love the slots just the same. For years he had a nickname “ Two Dollar Tommy“. Tom had a love for sports, especially for the Red Sox. He enjoyed watching the NFL and participating in fantasy football.
In 2016, he was given a difficult cancer diagnosis. He was determined to make it through and did so with laughter, even on the worst of days. Even though it slowed him some, he proudly beat cancer, even dancing with his favorite nurse on his last day of treatment. He was often seen wearing jackets that proudly said he kicked cancers butt.
The last few years he thoroughly enjoyed what we called Grandpa Tom adventures with his granddaughters Ashley & Heather and often great grandson Drew. Picking different locations to go explore and taking lots of pictures along the way. Although the biggest highlight for him was always going to get a Dutch Bros. He also enjoyed going to WalMart almost daily just to visit.
Although not knowing how to express it to them, he was extremely proud of his children and all his grandchildren.
Tommy is preceded in death by his wife Beth and step son Mark Britain.
Tommy is survived by step daughter Lori (Dwayne) Williams and stepson Tim (Susy) Britain. Grandchildren Heather (Mike) Nelson, Jamie (Kyle) Willman, Ashley (Terry) Corwin, Zak (Angel) Williams, Tiffny (Joel) Britain-Penny and Dillon (Dallas) Britain, 12 great grandchildren and one great great granddaughter.
A celebration of life will take place at a later date. A small family graveside service will be held in Island City, Oregon.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Tommy J Hill, please visit our floral store.