Ray Hill, the oldest son of Frank and Ruby Hill, was born in Weiser, ID on January 7,1931. He grew up and has lived most of his life on the Hill homestead on the Oregon slope. He attended Jefferson Grade School on the Oregon Slope and Ontario High School and was class of 1948. He worked on the family farm and neighboring farms in the summers. Because his draft deferment changed from 4-A to 1-A, he quit his senior year at Northwest Christian College. He met the love of his life, Jennie Porter and they were married June 14, 1952. Ray worked at a lumber mill in Eugene until it burned down. He went to work at a McKenzie River farm.
The day came… he received The Letter… the greeting from the President of the United States. “Your friends and neighbors have selected you.” He reported to the draft board at the Weiser Post Office on October 20, 1952. Ray met with fellow draftees and was taken to Boise for physicals and to be sworn in. He was on his way to Fort Lewis, WA. to await assignment. It was here he learned his first lesson of Army life as will as many others. One of those lessons was one he had heard many times growing up: “Do what you are told and don’t talk back.” He was assigned to Camp San Luis Obispo for Basic infantry training. “When you get to Korea, this is what you’ll see“ was a quotation he heard often. Another one was “think of this as a payment for your citizenship.”
After basic training, he began training in the Southwest Signal Corps School to become a telephone installer-repairman. He learned the art of pole climbing, repairing field wire and telephone maintenance and repair. Upon graduation from that training school, Ray was sent to Fort Jackson near Columbia. SC.
After that he was assigned to Camp Gordon near Augusta, GA. At this point Jennie was able to join him. While there he was able to hone in on his communication equipment skills. He and fellow G.I.’s served as instructors for ROTC cadets, summer camps and assisted in Reserve Officer’s Training. He didn’t know it at the time, but teaching suited him. Later he found that teaching ROTC cadets wasn’t that much different than teaching 5th and 6th graders.
He spent time rehearsing with his coronet in a regimental band, which performed at various events and parades.
Ray was honorable discharged from the US Army at Comp Gordon in Augusta, GA on October 20,1954 with the rank of E-3. He served an additional 6 years as an inactive Army Reservist. During his service he earned the National Defense Ribbon, the American Defense Ribbon and the Good Conduct Medal and Ribbon.
After military life and before continuing his studies to become a teacher, Ray worked on the family farm, Consumer Supply Corp in Weiser, Buick dealership and various other jobs. He attended the newly established TVCC. He would have been in the 1st graduating class, but he attended night school so it took him an extra year.
He moved his family to Hood River to live with Jennie’s mom and he rented an apartment near the Portland State College. He would come to Hood River on weekends to see his family. He graduated from Portland State College in 1968.
He taught elementary school for 3 years in Hood River and 25 years at the Annex Elementary School near Weiser.
In attendance for this luncheon was his wife , Jennie, son Ken Hill (Janna) and daughter Jeannie Carter(Craig), sister Anna Pfefferie and brother, Glenn Hill.