Monday, 20 March 2023

Norman 'Ike' Hill, 1928-2009

Ike Hill farmed for decades in Lake County, and was devoted to his family and community. Courtesy photo.


Norman “Ike” Hill was born Feb. 15, 1928, in San Francisco and died Feb. 22, 2009, in Lakeport, due to complications from a stroke.

He was preceded in death by his loving wife of 56 years, Lucille; father, Louis F. Hill; mother, Imogene Ayer Hill Hastain; and stepfather, Frank Hastain.  Image

As a teenager, Ike was active in the school band as well as sports. He played the trumpet in the band and earned his Block L in basketball, baseball and track. He was active in Big Valley 4-H and quite proud to be the second recipient in Lake County to earn his 4-H All Star in 1943. Ike graduated from Clear Lake Union High School in 1946 and went on to attend UC Davis for a few years.

Ike and Lucille married in 1951 and built their home in Big Valley. He was drafted into the Army in 1954, and shipped to Korea, but was sent home 23 months later after the death of his father. While at Fort Ord, Ike received first place honors in rifle competition.

From that point on, Ike farmed pears and walnuts for the rest of his life. He also provided commercial spraying and tractor work for various growers in Big Valley. For a time, he sprayed approximately 450 acres of pears. He was one of a few people at that time shaking walnut trees mechanically in Big Valley.

Ike was a member of the Lake County Fruit Exchange, later known as Mt. Konocti Growers, past president of the Lake County Farm Bureau, a former member of the Lake County Farm Supply Board of Directors, and was active in many local issues involving agriculture.

Ike was one of the driving forces behind the creation of Happy Day School, a school devoted to teaching and helping individuals with developmental challenges. This was arguably the beginning of People Services as it has transformed through the years.

Ike suffered a stroke in 2001 and although at times his memory would fade, he got along just fine. He enjoyed riding his Honda four-wheeler to Finley to get the mail, shoot the bull with his cronies and, of course, go to Angel’s Rock House for a tortilla and “coffee.” Ike will always be remembered for his unwavering devotion to his wife and family, especially his daughter, Millie.

After Ike lost Lucille on June 1, 2008, life was never the same for him. What kept him going was knowing he needed to look out for his daughter Millie, which he did, always.

Ike is survived by his daughter, Millie; son, Louis; daughter-in-law, Cyndi; granddaughter, Kylie; numerous cousins, nieces and nephews; and many, many dear friends.

Graveside services will be held at Hartley Cemetery on Thursday, March 12, at 11 a.m. Arrangements are by Chapel of the Lakes.

Friends are invited to attend a potluck gathering at the Finley Grange following the service.

Donations in his memory may be made to Big Valley 4-H, 5618 Oak Hills Lane, Kelseyville, Ca 95451.


Upcoming Calendar

03.21.2023 9:00 am - 12:00 pm
Board of Supervisors
03.21.2023 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Lakeport City Council
03.22.2023 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm
Collier Avenue housing project public meeting
03.23.2023 7:30 am - 8:30 am
Rotary Club of Middletown
Middletown Art Center
03.23.2023 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm
Character Design~Art Class for Teens
03.23.2023 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Local hazard mitigation plan update
03.25.2023 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
03.27.2023 5:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Courting The Muse~Mixed Media Art Class
03.30.2023 7:30 am - 8:30 am
Rotary Club of Middletown
Middletown Art Center
03.30.2023 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm
Character Design~Art Class for Teens

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