James "Jim" Earl Hill, 74, went to be with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on Thursday, February 16, 2023, after a 15-year battle with cancer. James continued to enjoy his life and remained active until his last few days. His son and sisters were blessed to be at his bedside. Throughout his ordeal, he was more concerned with their comfort than his own. He retained his sense of humor and made his caretakers smile until the end.
James was born in 1948 in Hale Center to J. R. and Grace Hill. He graduated from Hale Center High School in 1966 where he excelled in Agricultural. He went on to study at West Texas State University in Canyon. In his early career he worked on the Bivens Ranch in Tulia, and the Hereford Feedlot. He retired as a Livestock Inspector for the US Department of Agriculture after 41 years of service in 2013. He enjoyed his work. It allowed him to travel the United States, an opportunity he might not have had otherwise. He said if he hadn't worked for the government, he would have been a carpenter. He learned construction from his late uncles who were builders, Lloyd "Slim" and George Stephens. Some of his hobbies and interests included fishing, golf, Texas history, the rodeo especially the calf roping, and western art. He was a horseman and outdoorsman before his illness but continued to frequent the sale barn in San Angelo. He also had a special fondness for his cat, DC.
James is survived by his son, Ryan Shipp and his wife Elizabeth Brown of Goldthwaite; his sisters, Della Lubke and her husband Rich of Flower Mound, Marla Finco and her husband John of Garland; his niece, Dr. Graci Finco and her husband Tyler Johnson of Arlington; and his aunt, Mary Stephens Garrison and her husband Tom of Lubbock. He is also survived by many cousins, and good friends including his friend of 57 years, Richard Stanley of Levelland.
James is preceded in death by his parents J. R. and Grace Stephens Hill; his grandparents, Lloyd and Myrtle Grace Stephens of Hale Center and James and Earl Hill of Ranger, Texas.
James loved Jesus and the cowboy way of life. He was a member and supporter of the Jerusalem Community Baptist Church in Hale Center where his cousin Terry Wright and wife Sally are Pastors. James supported many charities and organizations including St. Jude Children's Hospital, Meals for the Elderly, The Childhood Leukemia Foundation, and the Turning Point Ministry of Dr. David Jerimiah.
The family wants to thank his doctors, nurses, and caretakers at Shannon Hospital in San Angelo, and UT Southwestern in Dallas and a special thanks to West Texas Rehab Hospice in San Angelo.