John A. Hill, Jr. died peacefully on May 8, 2018 after a brief illness. He was 96 years old. He was born on December 26, 1921 in Natick, MA and lived in Natick, Sherborn, Yarmouthport and Brewster during his adult life. At the time of his death, he had been married to Cynthia Mahard Hill for almost 72 years.
John graduated from Natick High School in 1939 and then took a post-graduate year at Hebron Academy before studyingMechanical Engineering at the University of Maine at Orono and racing with the ski team. His time at the University of Maine was interrupted by World War II. John served in the army as a jeep driver in a mortar company in Belgium, Holland,France, and Germany and was awarded a Bronze Star for action in the Battle of the Bulge. He returned to the University of Maine at the end of the war, and graduated in 1948.
John and Cynthia were married in 1946 and lived in Orono until 1948. They then returned to Natick with their infant daughter, Penelope. In Natick, John and Cynthia had two more daughters, Christina and Suzanne. John ran the family ice manufacturing operation until 1957 when it was phased out and transformed into the Natick Oil Company. He also assisted his brother, Oliver, in starting the O.B. Hill Motor Transportation Company. Natick Oil merged with Coan, Inc. in 1968. Coan became the largest representative for the Becket Oil Burner Company, at that time the largest company selling oil burners in the world. John also became the President and Design Engineer for Ultimate Engineering, a start-up boiler company. During the oil crisis of the 1970s, John appeared before a US Congressional Committee for Energy and Power (Representative Dingell was the Committee Head). He was a consultant to Walden Laboratories and produced “Guidelines for Reducing Fuel Consumption of Residential Oil Burners” under a US Department of Energy contract.
John was a member of the Board of Investment and Vice President of Natick Five Cents Savings Bank and the Middlesex Savings Bank. He was also a director of the Natick Trust Company and served on the Natick Town Finance Committee for ten years. After moving to Sherborn in the 1970s, he was active with the Sherborn Forest and Trails Association and the Pilgrim Church of Sherborn. John was very interested in the history of Massachusetts and traced his own family’s history back many generations to Mayflower passengers Stephen Hopkins, Elder William Brewster and Thomas Rogers.
A lifelong lover of equestrian sports, John was a member of the Norfolk Hunt Club for many years. He also rode with the Millwood and Tanheath Hunt Clubs. His children competed in horse shows and pony club events and John and Cynthia volunteered at many of the horse events. In 1989 and 1991, he went on riding vacations to Kenya and Tanzania with his children.
John is survived by his wife, Cynthia Mahard Hill, and three daughters, Penelope Dennehy (Peter) of Barrington, Rhode Island, Christina Maloney (Bill) of Harwich, Massachusetts, Suzanne Leiter (Jay) of Norwich, Vermont, and five grandchildren, Peter Dennehy, Johanna Dennehy, Elizabeth Maloney, Suzannah Leiter and Sophie Leiter. He was pre-deceased by his four siblings, Elizabeth Weatherby, Marylen Small, Oliver Hill and Barbara Style.
A memorial service is planned for June. Memorial donationsmay be made to the Scholarship Fund of the MassachusettsSociety of Mayflower Descendants, 175 Derby Street – Suite 13, Hingham, MA 02043-4036 (781-875-3194).