Published 4:57 pm Friday, September 14, 2012
Elvin Hill, long-time educator and public servant, passed peacefully in his sleep early Friday morning, Sept. 14, 2012, at the age of 94. The family will receive friends at the First Baptist Church of Columbiana beginning at 1 p.m. preceding the 2 p.m. service on Sept. 17.
Mr. Hill served as superintendent of the Shelby County School System from 1958 until 1979, carefully guiding the schools without major incident through the tumultuous time of public school integration. Upon retirement, he was the longest serving superintendent in the state of Alabama.
He taught agriculture at Shelby County High School from 1942-1943 and from 1946-1954. From 1943-1946, he served stateside in the U.S. Army Air Corps as an airplane mechanic, honorably discharged as a Private First Class. He became principal of Shelby County High in 1954 and served there until he was elected superintendent.
Mr. Hill was born into a family of farmers in Clay County, and he was first in his family to go to college, graduating from the Alabama Polytechnic Institute, now known as Auburn University, with a B.S. in Agricultural Education in 1942. He also received his master’s degree and Education Administration degree from Auburn in 1954 and 1957, respectively.
Mr. Hill’s passion for expanding educational opportunities for everyone, regardless of class, color or creed, lives on in all the Shelby County schools, but particularly the elementary school that bears his name in his beloved Columbiana. He involved himself deeply in the community, as a faithful member of First Baptist Church of Columbiana and his Sunday school class, and as a charter member, club president and Hixon Fellow of the Columbiana Kiwanis Club.
Mr. Hill was preceded by wife, Wylodine White Hill; parents, William Jeff and Levera Pearl Hill; siblings, Beatrix Latham, Curtis Hill, Buford “Boots” Hill and Charles Hill; and grandson, Jon Michael Hill. He is survived by siblings, Mattielene Todd, Maudine Birchfield, Catherine Britt, Roy Hill and Jerry “Sonny” Hill; children, Nancy Joyce Indorf (Roger), Peggy Jean Hill, Michael Elvin Hill (Carol) and Walter Jeff Hill (Valerie); grandchildren, Hayden Hill Jeffries (Eric), Benjamin Hunter Hill, Thomas Wade Berry and Gretchen Berry Hilley (Casey); great-grandchildren, Cole Jeffries, Morgan Jeffries, Cason Jeffries and Colt Hilley; and many others.
The pallbearers will be Evan Major, Frank “Butch” Ellis, Gene Quick, Jim White, Terry Falkner and Jim Strickland, and the honorary pallbearers will be members of his Sunday school class and his supper club buddies.
Bolton Funeral Home is directing. The family asks that, in lieu of flowers, a donation be made to the First Baptist Church of Columbiana Building Fund to continue and grow the church’s ministry.