Celebration of Life on Saturday for Thomas L. Hill, 1950-2019

Family and friends will gather Saturday (March 30th) to remember Tom Hill. Here’s the remembrance being shared with the community:

Thomas L. Hill, 68, of Seattle, Washington, passed away peacefully at home on February 26, 2019, after a long and hard-fought battle with cancer. Tom was born and raised in the wonderful, nurturing town of Richwood, West Virginia. He graduated from Richwood High School in the class of 1968 and moved away when he joined the US Navy the following year.

As a sailor, Tom was stationed out of NAS Whidbey Island and worked as a jet engine mechanic. Serving during the Vietnam War, he also toured aboard the aircraft carrier, USS America. During his time on Whidbey, Tom met, fell in love with, and married Marilyn Zylstra, his wife of 44 years. Following his time in the military, Tom and Marilyn settled down in West Seattle where they built a life and family. Always liking to work with his hands, his career was in industrial maintenance, splitting time between the steel and cement industries. He never worked more than a few miles from home because, as the father of two children, Ann Marie and David, he loved to be close and have extra time with his family. Tom retired at 60 but never failed to stay busy between hobbies, friends, travels, and fun times spent with Granddaughters Sadie and Liesl.

Tom was a friend to all and enjoyed meeting new people as much as seeing those he knew. This was something that very much showed up in how he lived his life. As an avid woodworker he often used his skills to benefit others, be it with walking sticks, a handmade gift, or assisting on pinewood derby cars. He served his church as a Deacon, and showed great care in our neighborhood. As both a puppy raiser and sitter, he was long involved with Guide Dogs for the Blind, an incredible and life-changing organization. It was not uncommon either, to see him walking West Seattle from Lincoln Park to Admiral with a friend’s dog (often Stella). Tom just liked connecting with people and enjoyed dogs.

Charities Tom supported include:

The Richwood Public Library
Guide Dogs for the Blind: Seattle Puppy Raisers
West Side Presbyterian Church: Deacon Fund

Tom will be missed by the family and friends he loved and served, and who will continue to remember him fondly. He lived a full life, though one that still feels too short. To honor him, a memorial service and celebration of his life will be held at 11:00 am on Saturday, March 30, 2019 at West Side Presbyterian Church, 3601 California Ave SW.

(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to editor@westseattleblog.com)

6 Replies to "Celebration of Life on Saturday for Thomas L. Hill, 1950-2019"

  • Brenda Fisher March 27, 2019 (8:43 pm)

    Sorry for your loss, what beautiful life!

  • Patricia Kloster March 28, 2019 (7:20 am)

     So sad to see this.  I met Tom and Marilyn when they contacted me after finding my credit card on the sidewalk near where I parked my car when I lived on Fauntleroy.  Discovered we have many mutual friends from West Side Presbyterian.  So sorry for your family’s loss.

  • Craig March 28, 2019 (8:34 am)

    Tom was often seen walking around the neighborhood, chatting with friends and neighbors, always smiling, always kind. He was an institution in Seaview and will be missed by many. We need more people like time Tom in this world. Condolences and strength to his family and friends in these difficult times. 

  • Marilyn Hill March 28, 2019 (12:46 pm)

    My appreciation goes to the West Seattle Blog for allowing me to share this with many more people that Tom knew.  I couldn’t possibly connect with all those who came in contact with him, but love hearing the memories of Tom.  I want you to know how thankful I am for the support I am receiving from such a caring West Seattle community.

  • Barbara March 28, 2019 (3:46 pm)

    Tom’s smile lit up the room. His concern was always for others. His faith was deep and his ministry as a deascon was unfailing. We’ll miss Tom’s precious lab puppies-in-training,, each one more adorable than the last if that were even possible. When he couldn’t manage fulltime care, he and Marilyn became respite “puppy parents.” The community has been very blessed to have Tom  with us. We are wishing the Hill family God’s comfort, knowing how beloved Tom was to his friends and the assurance that we will never forget him.

  • sgs March 28, 2019 (7:05 pm)

    We will be bringing the walking stick Tom made for all the VBS kids a while back to the service Saturday.  It personally will provide us inspiration to get out and greet/serve others for many years to come.

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