S. Kent ” Sonny” Hill
MADISON-S. Kent “Sonny” Hill passed away peacefully at home, on Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019. Kent, 80, was born in Madison, on Jan. 12,1939, and was the youngest son of his Norwegian immigrant parents, Matt (Helle) and Rebecca (Herstad) Hill.
Kent’s life revolved around his faith, family and friends. Madison’s near Eastside was his boyhood neighborhood where he met his lifelong friends, Fred Strand, Bob Strand, Glen Hovde, Pat Richter, Tom Rich and Bill Anstice. Even up until his death, several of them still met to play cards on Friday afternoons or golf in the summer. After his marriage, he and his wife, Ruth became dedicated bike riders which had continued over 58 years.
Kent graduated from Madison East High School, class of 1957, where he excelled in sports. He was first team varsity in football and baseball as a sophomore, and later named the outstanding athlete of his senior class. He, along with many of his classmates were proud to be in the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study. It is one of the longest running studies of its kind and it continues to this day.
He attended Trinity College in Chicago where he chose to embrace his faith by making biblical principles the cornerstone of his life. It was at Trinity that he met the love of his life, Ruth Ibach, who he married on April 2, 1961. Through his commitment to his faith, he enjoyed serving in various leadership roles in his churches – Bethany Free Church, Buckeye Free Church and Door Creek Church.
He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in accounting and became a Certified Public Accountant. In 1997, he retired from his career with the University of Wisconsin System Administration and Board of Regents where he worked as the assistant vice president of finance.
Kent thrived in retirement. He cared for his ailing mother in her final years and then became a doting and caring grandfather. He was a voracious reader and also loved being first on the list for new movie releases from the library.
After his faith and family came his love for Wisconsin sports. He enjoyed watching the Packers, Badgers, Brewers and Bucks from the comfort of his big screen TV, though their often dramatic finishes – or disappointments – led him to watch most of them on tape delay.
Kent was preceded in death by his parents, Matt and Rebecca; and his brothers-in-law, John Mitchell, Howard Jones and Les Ibach. He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Ruth; his three children all in Madison, Kathryn (Greg), Kent (Joan) and David (Christine), three grandchildren, Pauleen, Tyler and Maren; his sister, Ruth Jones; brother, Lloyd Hill; and many dear brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law and nieces and nephews. Kent also has a large, extended family in Norway.
A memorial service will be held at DOOR CREEK CHURCH, 6602 Dominion Dr., Madison, at 12 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 5, 2019, with the Rev. Marc Maillefer presiding. A visitation will be held at the church from 11 a.m. until the time of the service on Saturday.
The Hill family would like to thank all the wonderful staff from Agrace HospiceCare, the ALS Support Group and all the dedicated nurses and staff at St Mary’s who helped us during this difficult time.
In lieu of flowers, we ask for donations to be made to Door Creek Church, Agrace HospiceCare, or participate/donate to the Walk to Defeat ALS Oct. 26, 2019, at Vilas Park. Online condolences may be made at www.gundersonfh.com
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