Buford Hill, of Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, passed away peacefully at the McGraw Center for Hospice Care on Tuesday, May 9, 2023. He was born in Dalton, Georgia November 17, 1929, to Buford Hill, Sr., and Marie Parks Hill.
Buford was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Gary Hill, and his wife Betty Hutchings Hill. He is survived by his children, Libby Renn of Sylacauga, Alabama, Frances Huston and grandson, Jonathan Huston of Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, and Richard Hill (Yui) and grandson Hugh Hill of Athens, Georgia, and wife Patricia McGovern Hill of Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. He will be missed by all who loved and respected him.
Buford graduated from North Georgia College in 1950 with a BS degree and a commission as a Second Lt. in the US Army Reserves. He served 9 years in the reserves, resigning his commission in 1959 while being a company commander in the 108 Airborne Infantry Division.
Buford was an avid Boy Scout and became an Eagle Scout in 1944. After a brief stint as a high school math teacher, he began his 43-year professional career with the Boy Scouts of America in 1950 as a staff member in Rome, Georgia. Buford served on the staff in Columbia, SC and Athens, GA before being promoted to Scout Executive in Fort Myers, FL in 1966. He returned to Athens as Scout Executive in 1968. In 1972 he became part of the National Staff of the BSA as Area Director responsible for 13 Scout councils in Alabama and Mississippi. Buford earned the position of Scout Executive of the Orange County Council in southern California, 14 years later, in 1990, he was promoted to Regional Director of the Western Region. In this position, he was responsible for 14 western states and U. S. citizens in the South Pacific and Asia. Buford retired in September of 1993.
He was the recipient of many awards and honors, including being selected by North Georgia College and State University as the “Hall of Fame” recipient for 2001. Buford has been recognized by the National Society of Fund-Raising Executives and has received the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award and the Silver Beaver Award from the Boy Scouts. He served the Presbyterian church as a Deacon and Ruling Elder and was a leader in various Kiwanis and Rotary Clubs and a PTA President. Buford was an avid outdoorsman and loved mountain climbing, sailing, scuba diving, winter camping, backpacking, and fishing. But canoeing was his favorite.
In 1954, Buford married the love of his life, Virginia Elizabeth (Betty) Hutchings of Rockmart, Georgia. Together they raised 3 children. Betty was instrumental in Buford’s many successes. They traveled the world together, with Buford visiting all 7 continents and Betty 6 (she did NOT travel to Antarctica!). After her death in 2009, Buford married Patricia McGovern. For 10 years Buford and Pat were close companions and shared many interests, including a love for history, music, and nature.
Following cremation, a Memorial service and celebration of his life will be held Friday, June 9th, 2:00 at Palms Presbyterian Church in Jacksonville Beach, FL. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to your local Boy Scout Council, McGraw Hospice Center in Jacksonville, FL, or Palms Presbyterian Church.