Beloved husband, father and grandfather, Gene A. Hill, aka, “Gene the Barber” passed away peacefully with his wife, 2 daughters and son at his side. Gene was born March 8, 1932 and passed away February 15, 2021 following a battle with Alzheimer’s. Gene is preceded in death by his parents Fred and MaryTom Hill, his brother Craven Hill and his sister Marilyn Mays. Gene is survived by his wife of 68 years Peggy Hill, his 3 children - Debbie Gooden (Ed), Jeff Hill (Lynn), Robyn Miller (Blaine); 8 grandchildren - Tressa Speight (Justin), Lerin Hukill, Jeff “JD” Hill (Britani), Kristen Milligan (Adam), Austin Hill (Anne), Brad Miller (Carrie), Ryan Miller (Crystal) and Brittany Partin (Phil) and 15, soon to be 16 great-grandchildren.
Gene was born and raised in Akron, Ohio and graduated from West High School, where in ninth grade he met the love of his life, Peggy, whom he later married. Gene played high school basketball and often skipped school to play pool, earning him the nickname “Slick”. Gene served in the United States Navy and fought in the Korean War. He was later stationed in Charleston, South Carolina where Gene & Peggy welcomed their first child, Debbie. After discharging from the service, they returned to Akron, Ohio and had 2 more children - a son, Jeff and another daughter, Robyn. Gene and Peggy settled into a nice life of raising their three children, being very involved in the church Gene grew up in - Calvary Baptist Church. Gene served on many church committees through the years and was a church Deacon, Head Usher and even helped with the construction of Calvary Baptist Church on White Pond Drive. Gene and Peggy have many life-long friends from Calvary. Gene was a true patriarch of his family making sure they were in church every Sunday and leading his three children to Christ. He was a dedicated and faithful follower of his Savior, Jesus.
Gene followed in his Father’s footsteps, went to Barber School and became an Akron Barber, owning and operating 2 Akron Barbershops (Gene Hill’s Barbershop). He barbered up until March 31, 2019, cutting his last head of hair at 87 years old! His first barbershop was in the Firestone Tire and Rubber Company and he quickly became the “esteemed” barber that all of the Firestone executives went to. He also became the Athletic Program Director for Firestone and ran all of their sports programs - basketball, baseball, flag football, swimming and ping-pong. He also played basketball, was an avid golfer and won many, many ping-pong tournaments. After he gave up playing basketball, he then became a high school and then college basketball referee. Most weekends were spent in a gym, where many times he would take Peggy and the children along. In the summers he spent his weekends on the golf course, again, playing in and winning many golf tournaments. He has many golf “buddies” that to this day love to tell “Gene Hill Stories”! He was also a true outdoorsman and loved to hunt. He raised his own hunting Beagles and taught his children how to train them! As if all of this isn’t enough, he also loved water sports and owned a Cobalt boat and spent many family weekends and vacations at Salt Fork or Cumberland Lake, in Kentucky, boating and waterskiing, even mastering slalom skiing where he and his son had many competitions.
Gene did not just exist or survive life - he truly lived life to the fullest, always seizing every opportunity to make the day full of fun, laughter and a good memory. He was gregarious, ornery and never knew a stranger. He became a friend to everyone he met. He and Peggy recently moved to The Inn at CoalRidge and in usual Gene style, he quickly became the CoalRidge “cut-up”, always making staff and residents laugh. He will be missed, not only by his wife, children and grandchildren, but many many friends, as well; especially his golf buddies.
The family would like to thank Bella Care Hospice for their loving and kind care of Gene and support for Peggy. They would also like to thank The Inn at CoalRidge for enriching Gene and Peggy’s lives. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to The Inn at CoalRidge Activities, 1500 CoalRidge Parkway Wadsworth, Ohio 44281. We will always love and miss you Handsome Hill!
Private services entrusted to Newcomer Funeral Home. Gene will be laid to rest at Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery.