Hill grew up in a small town in Bunceton, Mo., enjoying fishing and all things outdoors. He graduated high school in 1946, and soon after joined the Air Force in pursuit of the GI Bill, as Hill had always placed a heavy emphasis on education. Stationed in Alaska, Hill put his mechanical science skills to work as a heavy equipment mechanic. During his service he was awarded a Good Conduct Medal and a National Defense Service Medal. As luck would have it, Hill was assigned to a new unit just before his old unit shipped out to Korea and suffered heavy casualties. After his time in the service, Hill expeditiously went about obtaining his undergraduate degree in Industrial Arts with a Minor in Science from Pittsburg State University. Shortly thereafter, as the space race was on, Hill realized he'd be teaching science much more than industrial arts. Hill was a passionate science and math teacher and continued his perpetual quest for knowledge, eventually receiving his Master of Science degree in natural science, and then his Specialist in Education, with assistance from the National Science Foundation Grants.
Hill was passionate about teaching and pushing students to be their best. During his 30-plus years as an educator, he touched many lives and was proud to say he was a teacher. Hill eventually became a school principal, but always managed to teach a class or two in math or science at the same time. Hill, along with his first wife Sue and their three young daughters DeAnna, Laura, and Brenda, moved throughout Kansas during his advancing career to such places as Ness City, Council Grove, Hamilton and Oxford. One of Hill's other passions was the Masons. Serving the community through the close brotherhood brought him great joy. He was a past Grand Master of the Rising Sun Lodge No. 8.
After retiring from public education in the 1990's Hill began to focus on something he'd always wanted to do -- writing. And always one with dogged determination, Hill published his first book titled "The Ice Age is Coming" in 2005. Hill went on to publish seven books through his writing career and at the time of his death had one more finished and ready to publish. His books varied in topics from scientific thrillers to reflections on his rural Missouri youth such as "Fishin' in the Good Old Days." Hill was also an avid inventor. To some, it may have seemed he was always tinkering with something, but was ahead of his time with many ideas. Hill held one patent on a game called "Toe-Go." He has notebook after notebook of ideas you see on the shelf now, but dated many years earlier. The photo seen here is from the jacket cover of "The Ice Age is Coming."
Old age may have taken Hill's body after a strong fight, but his mind remained sharp as a tack. Engaging in manuscript rewriting and science project discussions with his grandkids through his final days. Hill was truly one of a kind, and will be sorely missed by his friends and family. He is survived by daughter Deanna McColm, her husband Darren, and granddaughter Madyson of Fort Scott; daughter Laura Cooper of Pittsburg and grandchildren Garrett Anglin of Quincy Ill., and Megan Grant, her husband Josh of Girard and great-grandson Mason Grant, daughter Brenda Lander, her husband Chad, and grandchildren Grant, Caroline and Victoria of Leawood. In addition, Hill's sister Mary Koch and her husband Bob of Salina and brother Jim of North Carolina also survive. He is preceded in death by father Hill D. DeMent and mother Goldie DeMent, brothers John L. and William DeMent and sister Layla Aase.
Graveside services will be 11 a.m. Thursday, May 16, 2013 with the Rising Sun Lodge No. 8 A.F.&A.M. offering Masonic Burial Rites and the Olson Frary Burkhart Post 1165 V.F.W. offering Military Honors at the U.S. National Cemetery in Fort Scott, Kan. Memorials may be made to the Rising Sun Lodge No. 8 and sent to or left in the care of the Konantz-Cheney Funeral Home, 15 W. Wall St., P.O. Box 309, Fort Scott, KS 66701. The family will receive friends from noon to 1 p.m. in the parlor at the First United Methodist Church. Condolences may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.