Donald Calvin Hill

June 26, 1945 - October 24, 2018

Donald Calvin Hill was born in Elmhurst Illinois on June 26, 1945 to Stanley E. Hill and Francis E. Hill. After moving to Montrose, CO in 1962 Donald graduated from Montrose High School in May of 1963. He proceeded through higher education for one year at CSU before moving to Durango, Colorado, in order to complete a Bachelor Degree in Biological Science at Fort Lewis College in June of 1968. He also received a Colorado Secondary Teaching Certificate in December of 1968. From 1969-1971 he taught math as well as Life, Earth and Physical Science at Arvada Junior High School and Jefferson County Public Schools. His passion for our national parks was seeded in April of 1965 as a seasonal at Black Canyon on the Gunnison National Monument and from 1968 through March of 1973 at Colorado National Monument. Donald continued as a maintenance worker for just under a year until he was recognized as a permanent asset of the Park Service. In 1975, he became an Intake Ranger becoming the first permanent employee and Ranger for the Morrow Point District at Curecanti NRA. Donald served as the Chief of Interpretation from 1978 until 1987, during which time he was married to Jane Wetlaufer (Sutton) from 1971-1987 and was blessed with a daughter, Laura A. Hill (Ritter), and a son, Bryan D. Hill. In February of 1987, he was selected to fill the Park Manager position at Bent's Old Fort National Historic Site in La Junta, CO where he finished out his career in the Park Service.
 
During his career and in his personal life Donald exercised a discipline laced with truth, ethics, education and a moral compass beyond reproach. As a father there were some as good but none better, his gentle spirit and forgiving nature was littered with whimsical humor including but not limited to the occasional "Dad Joke." Always ready to teach a lesson on any and all subjects, though sometimes quite verbose, Donald was a joy to engage with in conversation. He enjoyed camping, cooking, board games, classic movies, drawing and painting, fishing, being an occasional liturgist at the Methodist Church of La Junta, CO, as well as reading anything involving history.
 
In the community you would find him for many years faithfully attending the Methodist Church just down the block from his home. Throughout his life he has been an active Rotarian, donating his time and knowledge to help better the world in which we live. Leaving the world in a better condition is something that Donald practiced on a daily basis and we should all be so fortunate to succeed in life as he did. Donald is dearly loved and his presence will always be remembered fondly. He is survived by brothers Lee and Warren Hill, by his children Laura Ritter and Bryan Hill, by his beautiful grandchildren Hayden Ritter, Violet Ritter, Abigail Hill and Calvin Hill.
 
Please feel free to join family and friends for a service to be held on Saturday the 10th of November 2018 at 10 a.m. at the La Junta Methodist Church. There is no need for gifts or food, just a friendly smile and an open heart.
 
Online condolences may be made at www.PeacockFH.com. Peacock-Larsen Funeral Home & Arkansas Valley Crematory is in charge of arrangements.