Sunday, December 8, 2013

The loss of my father-in-law (ex)

My ex-father-in-law, James Hill, passed away on December 4th after an extended battle with cancer and was laid to rest today.  He was such an active man and stayed that way up until about May of this year.  He was one of the founders of Sevier County Rescue Squad and still spent every Friday night out there on active duty even after being sick up until late May or the first part of June.  He served in the Rescue Squad for 54 years.  He truly served in sickness and in health and in snow, ice, rain, and blazing sun.  He helped carry injured people out of the mountains as well as spending tireless hours dragging the lakes for people and just helping in every way he possibly could.  He was Santa to so very many kids (and kids at heart).  I can remember when he would be gone on Christmas Eve and was delivering presents to some of the kids in the housing units and other kids around town in Sevierville.  Sometimes that would be the only present those kids would get and they were hand delivered by Santa Claus! He and Ina have always been so good to me and were my "Mom and Dad" especially after mine passed away. Even though I was divorced from their son they gave me land where I live, which is only 400 feet away from their house, and I still live there.  When I married Marc 17 years ago they welcomed him in as a son and treated him as such.  When Marc had surgery on his shoulder Jim mowed our yard every week and he had done that for me while I was divorced (for 10 years).  He and Ina watched after my children while I was at work and if I was working at mealtime they always made sure the kids ate.  The funeral procession was very very heartwarming and so touching it is so hard to put into words.  Several other counties had vehicles in the parade as well as police department, both county and city, and the State Troopers.  People were pulled over beside the road on Highway 66 in respect and some of them were even standing beside the cars with their hands crossed in front of them and a few with their hand over their heart.  I know a lot of people take this courtesy for granted and a lot of people do not pull over or even acknowledge a funeral procession but believe me - this tribute and show of respect touched our family greatly! They retired his call number with the Rescue Squad and also started an Explorer troop and gave them his number.  He and Ina have always been here for all our celebrations at birthdays for all the kids and grandkids, New Years Day dinner, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.  This year he was not able to come up for Thanksgiving dinner but we did go down to see him and God blessed us to be able to have one last holiday with him.  Even though they were not my Mom and Dad by birth they have been my Mom and Dad in heart for the last 37 years and we will all miss him and this Christmas.  My ex-husband (my kids dad) has not been involved in their lives at all but Jim has been a Dad to them and they are so heartbroken for him to be gone but they are also relieved that he is not suffering and they know he is in a better place now.  Please keep the family in your prayers and keep them uplifted in the darker moments.


  1. Oh, Lenoria I am so very sorry for your loss. He sounds like a wonderful man and I'm sure he will be greatly missed. I hope your fond memories will be a source of comfort and joy for you as you try to move forward.


  2. I am so sorry to hear of your loss, Lenoria. Your Father-in-Law sounds like such an incredible man. I'm keeping you & your family in my prayers. ox