Chapel Hill: Obituaries

W. Wallace Hill

W. Wallace, “Wally” Hill died peacefully on February 19 after a life of service and compassion. Wally was a husband, a father, a grandfather, a stepfather, a caregiver and a friend to the community. He dedicated his life to helping others. The world has lost a great man with a servant’s heart. Wally was born on December 6, 1934 in Greensburg, PA to William Wallace and Jane Hill. He was raised in the Boy Scouts and he attained the rank of Eagle. Wally received his B.A. from Ohio Wesleyan University and his MSW from Rutgers School of Social Work. It was at Rutgers where Wally met Marjorie North (Marge) while they were serving as ushers for a lecture given by Margaret Mead. Wally and Marge married and he began his career in social work in Elizabeth, NJ. There they had their first two children, Bill and Leslie. They moved to South Burlington, VT where Wally began working at Mary Fletcher Hospital and they had their third child, Linda. Wally and Marge moved to Chapel Hill, NC in 1971 and he began working in the Social Work department of Memorial Hospital (now UNC Hospitals). Wally and Marge had 2 more children, Pam and Jon, and Wally became the Director of Social Work, where he remained dedicated to the department for 22 years. Wally worked tirelessly on behalf of others. During the summer in Vermont, he and Marge hosted children from the inner city through the Fresh Air Program. He was the first president of the North Carolina Chapter of NASW, president of the Interfaith Council of Social Services, active in The American Red Cross and served on their Disaster Response team. When his father was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, he became aware of the lack of support for families and founded a group for caregivers of people with Alzheimer’s and related dementias (ADRDA).He was a Deacon, an Usher and served on numerous committees at Binkley Baptist Church in Chapel Hill. Wally also served on the Chatham County Board of Social Services. For his years of service to UNC Hospitals and the community at large, Wally was awarded The Order of the Long Leaf Pine by the governor of NC. When Marge developed a form of dementia, Wally retired early in order devote his time to caring for her. Marge died with Wally by her side.Wally was a fortunate man as he had the opportunity to have a second love in life, Patricia Watts. Wally and Patricia married in 2004 and began a life together full of travel, service, laughter and love for one another. Together they truly enjoyed all life had to offer. Patricia brought children and grandchildren into the marriage and Wally’s family continued to grow. When Wally began his own struggle with cognitive issues, Patricia was by his side and eventually became his caregiver. Patricia worked tirelessly to care for Wally for the rest of his life. Wally was preceded in death by his parents Wally and Jane Hill, his sisters, Linda and Joy Hill and his first wife, Marjorie North Hill. Wally leaves behind his wife, Patricia, his children, Bill (Wendy) Hill of Mansfield Ma., Leslie (Craig) Damon of Essex Junction VT., Linda Guzman of Chapel Hill, NC, Pamela (Matt) Hawkins of Durham, and Jon (Heather) Hill of Apex, his 6 grandchildren, his cousin Val Appleby of Rockledge, FL, his 3 stepsons and their families, and many others who will miss him dearly. A service will be held with a reception to follow at Chapel of The Cross in Chapel Hill at 10:00 AM on Friday, February 24th. All are welcome to attend and celebrate Wally’s life. Memorial contributions may be made to The Interfaith Council of Social Services, 110 W. Main Street, Carrboro, NC 27510 or The Bryan Alzheimer's Disease Research Center. Duke University Medical Center, 2200 W. Main Street, Suite A-200, Durham, NC 27705.