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Whitesitt Funeral Home
& Cremation Service

Family Owned & Operated Since 1902
314 Church St. | P.O. Box 12
Stevensville, Montana, 59870
Phone 406-777-5711 | Fax 406-777-0181
Email: whitesittfh@gmail.com

Merrill James Hill

Born: Sun., May 30, 1937
Died: Thu., Oct. 17, 2019


Funeral Service

12:30 PM Thu., Oct. 24, 2019
Location: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints


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Stevensville - Merrill James Hill passed away October 17, 2019. Dad was born May 30, 1937 to Edwin and Fern Hill in Idaho Falls, Idaho. In his childhood he roamed the countryside of their home in Ashton, ID with his beloved horse, Ol’ Paint, until the family moved to Corvallis, Montana in 1953. He graduated from Corvallis High School in 1955. After serving a mission in West Virginia for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, he grudgingly laid aside his childhood aspirations of being a garbage man who drove pink horses and studied accounting at the University of Montana. When he passed the CPA exam his junior year, the country boy decided to tackle the big city, and he moved to Seattle to work for Price Waterhouse as a CPA. There he met Susan Sampson, and they were married June 8, 1968 in the Idaho Falls, Idaho LDS temple. Feeling their life was void of drama, they went on to add five daughters and a single brave son to their home. Strangely, the boys spent a lot of time camping through the years. After seven years in Seattle, the family moved to the Bitterroot Valley for six months for Dad to complete his undergraduate degree. The pull of the valley proved too hard to resist, and they made Stevensville their home for 43 years and 6 months longer than originally planned. After completing his bachelor’s degree in accounting, he received his MBA as well. Through the years Dad worked at varying times as a CPA, professor, and as a consultant to local businesses. In his later years, he was a fixture at Costco where he filled his time as a greeter or handing out samples. Dad loved the outdoors and could often be found camping or hiking in his younger years, then later wearing paths around Stevensville as he was loathed to give up his independence. He was heavily involved in Scouts and Search and Rescue and was trained as an EMT. He had a passion for learning matched by few, and would share his studies on memory work, mind mapping, education, essentials oils, or the virtues of bean flour with anyone who would stand still for the few seconds it took to reel them into a conversation. Dad never met a stranger. He could often be found at the home games at Stevensville High School, cheering on the kids on the court. He was their biggest fan. Dad is survived by his sister, Lois Anderson (Springville, UT); children Shelly (Kent) Butler (Cumming, GA), Wendy (Movakel) Hill-Sargizi (Seattle, WA), Heidi Hill (Westminster, CO), Carrie (Ryan) Christensen (Erie, CO), Matthew Hill (Stevensville, MT), Amy (Steven) Orme (Rigby, ID); and 17 grandchildren. A funeral service and reception to follow will be held Thursday, Oct. 24, 12:30 p.m. at the Stevensville LDS Church located at 100 Middle Burnt Fork Rd, Stevensville, MT. As a family we would like to thank the community for keeping an eye on Dad. We appreciate all the rides given, friendly conversations that lifted his spirits, and your efforts combined with ours to convince him to use the cane he so stubbornly refused. He went out just the way he would have wanted, never having to sacrifice his independence. We are grateful to you all.

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