James M. “Jim” Hill, 83, of Ponte Vedra Beach, FL, passed away peacefully at home on Thursday, December 7, 2023. Jim was born November 13, 1940 in Steubenville, Ohio, the son of the late Jesse “Bill” Hill and Mary Rea Hill. He spent the last 33 years of his life living in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida enjoying golf, the beach and his many new friendships established here. Previously, Jim lived in Steubenville, Ohio and Flanders, New Jersey. Jim was married to his loving wife, Patricia Ann “Patty” Barna Hill for the past fifty-four years. He was a beloved husband, son, brother and uncle.
Jim is survived by his loving and devoted wife Patty; his brother Patrick (Becky) Hill of Charlotte, North Carolina; several nieces and nephews; and his faithful companion, Ruby. Jim was preceded in death by his parents, his sister, Martha Rea Cecelones, and his brother, William E. “Bill” Hill. Jim adored his family and embraced the Barna family as his own. He and Patty were kind and generous hosts, welcoming countless family and friends to their many homes throughout the years.
At the young age of 25, when their father died suddenly, Jim went from being brother to step up and fill the role of surrogate father to his youngest brother, Patrick (then, only age 8). Jim guided Patrick into adulthood, taught him many useful skills such as how to throw a football, how to hit a golf ball and how to select a fine wine to pair with dinner. Jim also served as an excellent role model demonstrating how a man should conduct himself in marriage, with family, and in life.
Family fun included everything from Jim’s nieces’ giggly slumber parties in Steubenville and rides in the MG ragtop “Batman” car, to the epic Jersey shore reunion and spring breaks (and even a honeymoon) in Ponte Vedra Beach- Jim knew how to show us a good time! He introduced happy hour to two generations of nieces, nephews and their friends- first Shirley temples, then graduating to fine wine and cheese on the beach. He always made sure we had green beer on St. Patrick’s Day. He taught us all how a steak should be properly cooked- medium rare. We all have white knuckle memories having been entrusted to drive Uncle Jim’s precious Mercedes, Cadillac or whatever sporty car he happened to have in the garage. Because of Jim’s generosity, many of us got to see our first PGA tour, go to our first professional football game, watch our first Broadway show or eat our first fancy five-course meal.
In Florida, Jim established a successful business, J.M. Hill and Associates, serving as a manufacturer’s representative for the automobile industry. Jim also served in the Ohio National Guard. An avid golfer, Jim spent much of his free time on the golf course with friends perfecting the traits of patience, concentration, and confidence with the game.
We are all so very blessed to have had this wonderful man in our lives and will think of him every time we raise a toast of Famous Grouse.
Friends and family may call on Tuesday, December 12th from 2-4 P.M. and 7-8 P.M. at St. Justin the Martyr Orthodox Church, 12460 Old St. Augustine Rd., Jacksonville, FL. A celebration of life is scheduled for Wednesday, December 13th at 10:00 A.M. at St. Justin the Martyr Orthodox Church. A Burial will follow immediately thereafter at the church cemetery.