While attending Modesto High School and Modesto Junior College, he was an all-star basketball player. He served in the Army for 18 months in Vietnam as a preventative medicine specialist. Shortly after his return stateside, he attended Sacramento State College, where he met Pam Coz, who became his wife. They settled in Visalia, Calif., where the close proximity to the Sierra afforded the opportunity for many hikes and backpacking trips.
Ever the athlete, he continued basketball and baseball with the Bilge Water team. In his later years, he worked at perfecting his golf game with many of the same Bilge Water athletes. He worked for the County of Tulare as a refuse site attendant where he would “greet you with a smile, take your hard earned money and tell you to have a good dump.”
He had a number of followers who would make an outing for a day at the dump with Del. Between customers, they would look at wildlife through binoculars and ensure that the Sierra did not walk away.
At his best, Del knew how to make things fun. While employed, Del enjoyed, with his wife Pam, vacations of international travel or exploration of the American southwest including numerous Sierra and Colorado Plateau wilderness backpacks. His two-month temple tour of Southeast Asia included Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Burma and Nepal. Mexico forays took him to the east coast, west coast, Yucatan archaeological ruins and southern Baja. His last decade found him traveling to Germany, the Galapagos Islands and Machu Picchu. At home during retirement, Del had an innate gift for visualizing the landscaping of his Visalia and Pagosa Springs properties with native plants.
He will be remembered for his megawatt smile, his loving and accepting ways of greeting all who he met. Children and animals always flocked to him because they sensed in him a spirit that was akin to Saint Francis.
Del was preceded in death by his parents, Cliff and Helen Hill. He leaves behind his wife, Pam Coz-Hill; three siblings, Jack Hill (Marsha), Sherrie Barrakatt, Elloise Corgiat (Leonard); nieces and nephews Korie Hill Newman (Todd), Kara Hill Johns (Sherman), Kody Hill (Carrie) David Clement, Scott Corgiat, Caroline Corgiat, Suzi Corgiat; 11 great nieces and nephews and the Dennis Smith family.
The widespread family will have various casual memorial gatherings.