Eric Hill, 73, a 19-year resident of Iowa, died peacefully on December 12, 2021 at Mercy Hospital Hospice after having suffered from idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.
Eric was born in Detroit, Michigan, but spent the majority of his childhood in Saudi Arabia where his father worked for the Arabian American (ARAMCO) Oil Company. At the tender age of 8, Eric, his parents and four siblings, 6-year-old Nancy, 4-year-old Jeff, and 2-month-old twins Tim and Tom, found themselves aboard the ill-fated Italian ship, the Andrea Doria, in July of 1956 when it was struck by the Swedish ocean liner, the Stockholm, and subsequently sank off the coast of Nantucket. Thankfully, the family made it off the ship, safe and sound, after hours of climbing due to the vessel badly listing before sinking. Needless to say, life settled down considerably afterwards while he and his siblings attended grade school on into the 9th grade while still being raised in Saudi Arabia. Eric went on to attend high school at Riverside Military Academy in Gainesville, Georgia. Upon graduating high school, Eric briefly attended the University of Michigan, but life on campus was a bit too dull for him, so he decided enlisting in the Army would be a great adventure.
Eric served in the U.S. Army for eight years and was stationed at multiple places in the U.S., but also served in Turkey, Okinawa and Germany, where he met his wife of 49 years, Sylvia, and where their first son, Padriac Meriadoc, was born. Their second son, Kendall Celeborn, was born at Ft. Bragg, North Carolina, Eric's last duty station. (His children's middle names were a nod to J.R.R. Tolkien, of whom Eric was a devoted fan.)
Eric was retired after having worked for the Drug Enforcement Administration for 20 years. Prior to working for DEA, he had a career as a deep-sea diver, mainly diving for oil companies not only in the Gulf of Mexico, but also in the South China Sea and the Arabian Gulf. The career in diving meant living in places like Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Brunei, (on the island of Borneo) and the Philippines. His family was able to accompany him to most of these places and his daughter, Karin Galadriel, was actually born in Brunei.
Eric was a life-long avid bridge player and enjoyed playing regularly at the Bridge Center in Urbandale where he was a popular partner for multiple players. He also enjoyed playing pinochle with family whenever the chance presented itself. Eric's other hobbies included reading, playing chess and board games with family, travel, researching family genealogy, stamp collecting, computer games and leather working.
Eric was also somewhat of a chef, mainly self-taught, and enjoyed making all sorts of delicious dishes for friends and family. He was immensely fond of reading, and kept adding to his collection of books as he felt there is no such thing as having too many books.
Eric is preceded in death by his father, Ellis Dixon Hill, his mother, Clara Elizabeth Hill and his eldest son, Padriac. Eric is survived by his wife, Sylvia, his son, Kendall and daughter-in-law, Jessica of Arizona, daughter, Karin of Clive, Iowa, his sister, Nancy of Kentucky, his brother, Jeffrey and sister-in-law, Grace of Oklahoma, his brother, Timothy, and sister-in-law, Miriam of Canada, his brother, Thomas, and sister-in-law, Pamela of Virginia, as well as five grandsons, two granddaughters, one great-granddaughter, and one great-grandson in addition to numerous nieces and nephews.