For eight years, Ron Hill served on Milton’s Park and Recreation Advisory Board – infusing wisdom, leadership and humor to make the city a better place.
For many more, he was a great neighbor, great friend and great role model for hundreds of people, young and old, around Milton.
And now, Ron Hill is gone, having died earlier this week after contracting the novel coronavirus COVID-19. He was 63.
“He was a stand-up guy and a wonderful leader,” Milton Parks and Recreation Director Jim Cregge said. “And I miss my friend.”
Hill began feeling ill last week, went to WellStar North Fulton Hospital, and passed away there Tuesday, March 24.
In addition to being a Milton resident, Hill taught and coached football, basketball and track at the Mount Vernon Presbyterian School in Sandy Springs.
“Coach Ron Hill (as) a coach, teacher and friend had a heart full of grace and a soul generated by love,” the school said on its Facebook page. “We could only wish to have a little of Coach Hill in our lives – a big smile with an even bigger heart."
Born in Staunton, Virginia, Hill attended high school and played football and basketball there before joining the military. He began coaching after his military service ended, including stints at a Virginia high school and – starting in 2013 – at Mount Vernon Presbyterian.
In addition to coaching boys and girls in multiple sports, Hill substituted as a teacher at the Sandy Springs school. Nikki Rucker, a Mount Vernon teacher, recalled to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution how Hill subbed for her Advanced Placement language class and others.
“He was the bright spot for everybody,” Rucker said. “You think of the school, you think of Coach Hill.”
While he worked at Mount Vernon, Hill called Milton home. And he didn’t just live in the city – he served it well. His insight, character, and leadership were on display wherever he went.
Hill frequently exhibited these traits while on Milton’s Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, having served for the majority of the city’s years in existence. He started on the board on September 2011 and rolled off in August 2019, helping to resolve numerous hot-button issues as the city’s Parks and Recreation department developed.
“He brought a lot of common sense and wisdom to the board,” Cregge said. "Ron always stressed to me to learn from every situation. He taught me that life is a continuous education.”
Hill is survived by seven children and 16 grandchildren.