Thursday, 2 June 2016
RON HILL (12 April 1935—31 March 2016 )
Members of the Fairlynch community and many other local residents were shocked and saddened to learn that Ron had passed away following a stroke.
He was, as one of our volunteers put it, ‘such a stalwart Steward’, distinguished as one of the longest-serving helpers at the Museum. The messages of condolence on the Fairlynch web page were testimony to the high regard and deep affection in which he was held by so many people. He leaves a widow, Sally, along with three children and four grandchildren.
Ron Hill was the second child of Harry and Rose Hill. He and his elder sister Joan were brought up in Glastonbury, Somerset, a town for which he had much affection, and perhaps also respect for its reputation as an ancient Christian site. ‘Journey from Avalon’ was one of the titles in the Order of Service, of which he had planned in advance every detail: one of its pages carried an evocative image of the Tor.
Ron’s religious faith was certainly an important force in his life; he attended Sunday School from the age of four, and although he could be naughty, he went on to become a Sunday School teacher.
A serious health issue arose when as a ten-year-old he was affected by TB, but he recovered sufficiently to be able to gain a place at grammar school, and went on to study Pharmacy at college in Bristol. It was around this time that he met his future wife Sally, who was studying to become a teacher.
Ron’s first job was as a pharmacist at a branch of Boots in Yeovil, and he also worked as a relief manager at branches in the surrounding area. However in 1966 he and Sally decided to move to the neighbouring county of Devon, where they settled in Budleigh Salterton.
The large number of people who attended his memorial service in the Temple Methodist Church on 17 April was an impressive testimony to the way in which he touched the lives of others in the local community.
His faith continued to influence his life. He served on the Methodist Church Committee, ran a local youth club and was involved in Sunday School and the work of Christian Aid. Together with Sally, he led a total of 18 Alpha courses.
But he also had a sense of fun which drew him to perform on stage; he enjoyed dressing up in a variety of costumes for the Gala Week Parade. The memorial service announcement in the local press specified: ‘Brighter colours and children are welcome.’