COOPERSTOWN — James Hill, 86, of Cooperstown, died Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014, at Bassett Medical Center.
Born Aug. 21, 1927, in Brooklyn, Jim was the son of Samuel and Anna (Coade) Hill. He was raised in Brooklyn. He enlisted in the Army in 1946.
On Dec. 14, 1947, he married his lifelong love, Mary McNeil, a neighbor and childhood friend.
Following his discharge Jim obtained employment with the Philip Morris Company as a mail room runner. He remained with Philip Morris his entire 35 year career, steadily rising through the ranks and retiring in 1983, as the corporation’s director of marketing and finance.
Jim and Mary raised their family in Oakdale, Long Island. Shortly after his retirement Jim and Mary moved to the Cooperstown area to be near their son, Jim and his family.
Jim was fascinated by trains and became a self-taught expert with a remarkable knowledge of railroading facts and trivia. He was especially knowledgeable concerning the railroads serving the New York Metropolitan area as well as the entire New York City Subway system, and he knew their various components and routes by heart. Jim was also a model train collector.
Although, originally a Brooklyn Dodgers fan, he gradually warmed to the NY Yankees and became a reluctant but devoted fan after the Dodgers abandoned Brooklyn.
He was an avid history and mystery reader. Jim’s favorite relaxation was listening to Scottish Highland songs, indeed to Jim there was nothing so inspiring and reflective as bagpipe music. Jim absolutely loved mallomar treats.
Jim is survived by his wife, Mary; his son, James (Cynthia) Hill of Cooperstown, his son, Richard (Wanda) Hill of Massachusetts; and his daughter, Patricia Hill Gulotta of Cooperstown; eight grandchildren, Kevyn (Albert) Piascik of the Bronx, James Hill of Oneonta, Mathew Gulotta of Cooperstown, Chris Gulotta of Milford, Conn., Sean (Elizabeth) Hill of Washington, D.C., Brianne Hill of Florida, Ryan (Janel) Hill of California and Zachary Hill of Massachusetts. He is also survived by five great-grandchildren.
In accordance with Jim’s wishes the celebration of his life will be private.
For those who so desire Jim’s family suggests that donations be made in his memory to Otsego County SPCA or the Cooperstown Food Bank.
Arrangements are under the guidance of Tillapaugh Funeral Service, Cooperstown.