Samuel D. Hill, 74, attorney in Towson, lacrosse enthusiast

November 25, 2001|By Lane Harvey Brown | Lane Harvey Brown,SUN STAFF

Samuel D. Hill, a Towson attorney and avid lacrosse fan, died Thursday morning in Towson. He was 74.

Born to Gerald and India Hill of Baltimore, Mr. Hill graduated in 1945 from City College, where he was a member of the lacrosse and swim teams. He served a year in the Navy at Bainbridge Naval Training Center in Cecil County before attending Princeton University, where he became an All-American honorable mention lacrosse player before graduating with a degree in history in 1950.

He attended the University of Maryland School of Law at night and passed the bar in 1954. He spent his entire career with the firm of White, Mindel, Clarke and Hill, which later became Hill, Foley, Stone and Miles. He thoroughly enjoyed his work and continued practicing law until a few weeks ago, family members said.

A down-to-earth man who cherished routine, Mr. Hill jogged every morning for years and whistled as he went through his day. He cultivated indoor plants and loved taking long walks in the country.

His daughter Polly Hill McGlone of Towson recalled the outings: "A Sam Hill walk usually involved a couple of adults, many kids and many dogs. Dad would drive around the neighborhood in our red VW bus, stopping in front of various houses and throwing open the door to let kids and dogs jump in. The owners of the dogs never seemed to mind that their clean dogs returned reeking from rolling in cow pies."

He spent childhood summers in Ocean City, where he learned to body surf and went on to join the beach patrol when he was 15. In 1947, while lifeguarding, he met his future wife, Betty Jane Bearry. The couple celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in August.

Mr. Hill was a member of St. Mary of the Assumption Roman Catholic Church in Govans. For many years, he was part of the charismatic renewal in the Catholic Church. He was on the board of the National Service Committee and was a leader of the Abiding Presence Prayer Group for 25 years.

He was an avid reader and devoted Princeton fan. He returned to Princeton each year with his family for reunions.

"He had a great career in lacrosse at Princeton," said longtime friend Dr. Merton Gaines of Roland Park. "During the last 15 years, he had a special enthusiasm again for Princeton lacrosse. All of the players and fans during this span were devoted to him."

During the past three years, Mr. Hill and his wife traveled around Maryland to weekend craft fairs, selling doll clothes made by their daughter Holly Hill Willse of Towson. They ran the business, A Doll's Closet, from their home.

A memorial Mass will be offered at 10 a.m. Monday at St. Mary of the Assumption Roman Catholic Church, 5502 York Road.

Donations may be made to St. Mary of the Assumption Church or to Catholic Charities.

In addition to his wife and daughters, Mr. Hill is survived by a son, Samuel D. Hill Jr. of Bethesda; another daughter, Heidi Hill Strassner of Ladera Ranch, Calif.; a sister, Barbara H. Morrison of Towson; and 12 grandchildren. A daughter, Wendy Elizabeth Hill, died in 1971.

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