Steven Edward Hill
Lieutenant Colonel, United States Air Force
of his classmates, United States Military Academy, Class of 1946
Steven Edward Hill No.15851 Class of 1946
Steven Edward Hill, nee Hilovsky, was born on 12 June 1921 in Prague, Czechoslovakia (Steve changed his name to Hill about 1955).
Steve's parents immigrated to the United States in 1922, and Steve's brother Henry recalled his mother later telling him that Steve had learned to walk on the ship during their trans Atlantic voyage. The Hilovskys started a successful business in Arnold, Pennsylvania. Henry recalled asking his mother why she and his father worked such long, hard hours. She replied, "We must get our family started in the right direction."
Going to West Point had always been one of Steven's dreams. After graduating from high school, Steve studied pharmacy/pre med at the University of Pittsburgh. In his fourth year at Pitt he received his long awaited appointment to West Point.
Cadet life found Steve continuing his ethic of hard work and diligence. He spent three years in the Camera Club, the Catholic Choir and the Glee Club. He worked on the Hundredth Night Shows, a new interest which he was to enlarge upon in his later life. When graduation rolled around, Steve pinned on the wings and gold bars of a second lieutenant in the Army Air Corps.
Following B-25 school at Enid Air Force Base, Oklahoma, Steve was assigned to the 436th Bomb Squadron, 7th Bomb Wing at Carswell Air Force Base, Texas. On 6 June 1949, Steve married Imogene (Teddy) Guerrie in Arnold, Pennsylvania. In 1950 the newlyweds moved to Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, where Steve completed the requirements for a master's in aeronautical engineering. Next they traveled to Patrick Air Force Base, Florida, where Steve was in one of the missile programs. From Patrick, Steve was assigned to the Hughes Aircraft Company in Los Angeles, California. He then became command liaison officer from the Air Proving Ground Center at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. In 1955 Steve became a test project officer at the Air Proving Ground and flew B-47's. In 1958 Steve returned to Patrick Air Force Base in the Ballistics Missile Division. Teddy taught school at many of the bases where Steve was assigned, and classmate, Fred Hafer, recalled that Teddy was the favorite teacher of their oldest son. In 1963, Steve earned a master's in business administration from George Washington University in Washington, DC. Following a tour with the 6594th Test Wing in 1967, the Hills traveled to Anderson Air Force Base, Guam where Steve commanded a missile station. On Guam Steve and Teddy worked on large-scale musical productions, producing "Bye, Bye Birdie" with 300 teen, community and military participants. The Hills received the Community Award from the base commander for their efforts. In 1970, Steve retired from the Air Force in the grade of Lieutenant Colonel.
Throughout his life Steve had an insatiable desire to learn as much as he could about as many things as possible. Retirement found Steve and Teddy in Sacramento, California, where Steve earned secondary teaching credentials in math and science at California State University, Sacramento. Steve and Teddy remained active in the arts, co-producing the musical "Oliver" with a cast of over 100 in Sacramento in the late 70's. Steve was accepted into the doctoral program at the University of San Francisco. While working on his degree, both Steve and Teddy became Fulbright Scholars. Teddy recalled that their prolonged stay in India in 1976 under that program was one of the highlights of their lives. After returning from India, Steve developed a multi-media presentation on "The Culture of India" and became an avidly sought after speaker. Continuing his quest for knowledge, Steve studied taxes, computers and photography, becoming proficient in all. He won awards for his photography and sponsored a photography club in Sacramento high schools. Steve also became a computer mentor to a select group of interested students.
In February 1989, Steve had a massive heart attack and, on 14 March 1989, died at Mercy Hospital in Sacramento, California. He is survived by his wife Teddy; daughter Karen; two sons, Steven, Jr. and Richard; and two brothers, Henry and Michael.
From his birth as Steven Hilovsky in Prague, Czechoslovakia; to his graduation from West Point as a pilot in the Air Corps; to his advanced degrees; to his successful Air Force career; to his religion; to his life after retirement; to his loving wife and wonderful children: Steven Edward Hill had a most satisfying life. Those who remain behind will always remember Steve for the characteristics that made him stand out above the crowd. He was a patriot in the finest sense of the term. Steve loved his family, was devoted to his beloved Teddy and proud of his children. He was truly proud to be a West Pointer. He was proud of his service to his country. When the motto, "DUTY, HONOR, COUNTRY," is spoken, it brings to mind Steve Hill. For him, those words were the guideposts of his entire life.
Steve's children wrote a eulogy, "Memories of Our Father":
"We were lucky, grateful and PROUD to have such a wonderful and honest man as our father. He was a model we can all be proud to look up to and lean on and depend on.
"God, country and family were the important parts of his whole being. He exemplified patriotism to the utmost, as he gave up the pursuance of a medical career at the University of Pittsburgh when the coveted offer to attend West Point arose. This gave him the opportunity to fulfill his great desire and determination to be a career officer and proudly serve his country....
"Our father was a spiritual man, with the highest of moral and ethical values. He was an exemplary role model for our family.
"Our father put his family above all else. All his actions were meant to make things easier for us, or to make us happy, or to make us intelligent. He would spend his last penny if we said it was for education....
"Dad wanted us to grow up right, which sometimes meant expecting a lot of us. On walks he would guide us into finding our own way when we said we were lost, or if we were tired he might push our endurance to make the last part of the way. His intentions were to help us be independent and strong like he was....
"Our mother brought him so much love and joy and friendship. Together they made holidays special for us. Together they carried on family traditions. We ate our evening meal at the table with no TV or phone interruptions. Grace was said and was often quite lengthy if our dad was in a sentimental mood....
"Without our dad, life seems fearful and uncertain. However, as long as we remember his directness, honesty, firmness, strength and love of family, we will remain a strong family and he will remain a strong part of our family-his family."
In honor of his lifelong dedication to the ideals of West Point, the Class of 1946 is proud to say, "Well Done, Steve; Be Thou At Peace!"
46 Memorial Article Project and his wife Teddy