CAMINO, CALIF. - Family and friends in Naselle and the Peninsula were saddened recently to hear of the death of former Naselle resident Elmer Jacob Hill who died Feb. 11, 2006, at his home in Camino, Calif. He was 85-years-old.
Mr. Hill was born Aug. 4, 1920, in the community of Pleasantville in Pacific County, the son of Elmer Hill and Maria Josefina Varila Hill, both of whom had migrated to the Pacific Northwest from Kaustinen, Finland. Orphaned by the age of six, he and his younger sister, Aileen (Hill) Alves joined the family of John and Selina Nasi and spent their growing up years in Naselle as part of the large Nasi family. Older siblings went to live with other relatives and family friends.
Mr. Hill graduated from Naselle High School with the class of 1939 where he was active in FFA and sports and took part in many other school activities. An FFA trip at the close of his senior year took him to San Francisco where an older brother, Oscar Johnson, was already living and he decided to stay in California. His sister Aileen later joined him there. Both brother and sister shortly found their life mates in that city and began raising families there.
He and his wife, Pearl were married Dec. 26, 1941, and recently observed their 64th wedding anniversary. Mr. Hill was employed over the years by Safeway Stores, IBM, and in the building trades. The family returned to Washington for a short period while he worked for Safeway, but then settled in San Jose, Calif.
Some 35 years ago, while living in San Jose, he began construction of, and almost single-handedly built, his beautiful retirement home in the wooded hills of Camino in northern California, using it as a vacation home until his retirement 24 years ago. Daughter Cheryl says she believes her father picked the location because it reminded him of Washington which he so loved.
Mr. Hill is survived by his wife, Pearl, at the family home in Camino; daughter and son-in-law Cheryl and Gerald Smith, daughter Deborah Barfield; five grandchildren, two great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. His son, Gary, preceded him in death as did his parents, and his sisters and brothers, Aileen Alves, Hilda Johnson, Esther Wirkkala, Oscar Johnson, Elsie (Alice) Dalton, Wayne Johnson, Martin Johnson, Art Johnson, and Eric Johnson.