remembering jack hill

Posted on October 20th, 2016 by mountain girl  |  12 Comments »

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Just two days after the loss of my grandmother, we were sad to learn of the passing of our friend Jack Caleb Hill. He and David had worked together in the tech department at the International House of Prayer in Kansas City, and the three of us spent a lot of time hanging out after work. Jack had a great sense of humor and he and David kept each other laughing. I have a permanent visual etched in my memory of Jack hunched over his wheelchair shaking with laughter at the crazy scenarios they spun.

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We spent muggy summer evenings (and many icy winter ones) driving through Kansas City in search of good food. He loved D’Bronx and Rosati’s pizza, Jack Stack, Arthur Bryant’s, Oklahoma Joe’s BBQ, and random hole-in-the-wall hamburger joints.

We even spent our first wedding anniversary eating dinner with Jack after work, since we were happy to hang out with him and too hungry to make other plans. I remember the look of horror on his face when he found out we were sharing our anniversary evening with him, LOL.

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When I was five months pregnant with Zia, we went on a cruise to the Virgin Islands with Jack. This picture was taken when we docked in Barbados. You might notice Jack and David were just a tiny bit excited about getting off the ship. ;)

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Just after Zia was born, David and Jack traveled to Europe and installed servers in Paris, London, and Madrid. Here they are posing (all cool, tough, and macho-like) with the London Eye.

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And here, in the pyramid building in front of the Louvre.

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This view of Jack is crystal clear in my memory. He would sit out there in front of the IHOP missions base every day in the summer, working on his computer, and look up with a smile and wave when you walked by.

It’s hard to believe he’s gone.

Jack was a thoughtful, kind and loving friend. He gave honest feedback and encouraged those around him to pursue their dreams. He would puzzle over the meanings of movies we watched and sometimes talked with me about artworks we looked at–sure there was a deeper meaning than met the eye.

Although Jack spent more than half his life with the use of less than half his body, he didn’t bring attention to his own hardship. He felt deeply for others and cherished close friendships. One of my favorite memories with Jack was when he asked me to help him paint and decorate his new office. He so appreciated my help and was thrilled with how it turned out.

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Jack would have been 52 this December 27th. He spent 30 years setting his face against hardship and discouragement in order to live a vibrant and meaningful life. His life has touched many, and I am so honored to have been a part of it.

We miss you so much, Jack.

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12 Responses to “remembering jack hill”

  1. Your Lion says on :

    Miss you Jack, until we meet again, Keep roaring man DL

  2. Mom & Dad says on :

    Hi honeeee…thanks for the pix of Jack and your fond memories. This helped us know him a little more. Luv u/ mom

  3. mountain girl says on :

    Thanks, Mom. I’m sure you would have liked him a lot if you had known him. :)

  4. Kim says on :

    What a beautiful tribute. I am so very sorry for your loss, he sounds like a wonderful man. Sending you love and light. xo

  5. mountain girl says on :

    Thanks, Kim!

  6. Kit says on :

    Hey Mia and David, so sorry to here about this. He seemed like a great guy.

    Love,

    Kit

  7. mountain girl says on :

    Thanks, Kit! Hope you’re doing good–are you going up north for Thanksgiving?

  8. ACM says on :

    I’m so sad to hear about Jack. I worked with him in Arizona for a few years. He was my first mentor and a great friend. He had a wonderful sense of humor about life and I never for a moment thought of him as handicapped. While I knew him in 1996, I see from the photos that the last twenty years did not change him a bit. I had a chance to talk to him a couple of years ago and I’m grateful that we reconnected. I know he will be missed by all whose lives he touched. Farewell my friend.

  9. Nayomi Thomas says on :

    Thank you Mia for remembering Jack. I still can’t believe it.

  10. Terry says on :

    I am Jacks sister in AZ and thank you posting this tribute. I have been so very conflicted about his passing and heard more horrible stories about what kind of a person he really was. From my understanding he was a very tormented person, living with a lot of demons from his past and how we were raised. I’m so very sad that we were not closer and that I did not see either of these people, the one you speak of and the one others are talking about. Regardless he was still my brother and my only living relative left on my side of the family and even though we were not close the last few years I will still miss him with all my heart. I hope he has finally found peace

  11. mountain girl says on :

    Terry,
    Thank you so much for commenting. I truly believe Jack found hope and peace during the last months of his life, and even throughout the last several years–although I know there was also much sadness and loneliness. As you said, I think he was tormented for a long time, but the Jack I knew worked really hard to overcome the issues that tried to engulf him, and to rise above their hold on his life. He really cared about people and was very kind even in his struggles. I believe he found God and lived from that strength within him as often as he could. He had a faith in Christ and believed that when he passed into the next life, he would be perfectly whole and full of peace and joy. I believe he is there now, waiting for us and having the time of his life.

  12. Heidi says on :

    I was stunned and saddened to learn of Jack’s passing. I met Jack while doing some work at IHOP (twice annually) a number of years ago. Jack was such a warm and welcoming soul. We had some wonderful conversations and I so appreciated how frank and forthcoming he was. He had a great sense of humor and was quick to smile. Thank-you for your lovely tribute to remember your dear friend. I’m so sorry for your loss.

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