James Marion "Jim" Hill Jr., passed away Tuesday, October 1, 2019 at the age of 87 years. Born September 29, 1932 in the Fairview community in Lonoke County, he was a son of the late James Marion Hill and Marietta "Cricket" High Hill. He was a 1950 graduate of Lonoke High School. Described as "Pine Bluff's MVP", Jim was active in all facets of local sports, from umpiring high school baseball to being an active 55-year volunteer for the national Babe Ruth Baseball organization. He was a National Babe Ruth League, Inc. Board Member since 1992. In 2009, he was elected to the National Babe Ruth League, Inc. Hall of Fame. In 2006 he was inducted into the Babe Ruth League, Inc. Southwest Regional Hall of Fame and was one of the first three members to be put in the Pine Bluff Jr. Babe Ruth Hall of Fame in 1998. In 2015 he was awarded the Lefty Gomez Volunteer of the Year Award, the highest honor bestowed to a Babe Ruth League Volunteer. In 2003, he was named to the AAA Hall of Fame. He has worked many District, State, Regional and World Series as Tournament Director, Task Force Member, or Groundskeeper. Jim retired from Entergy (Arkansas Power and Light Company) as procurement coordinator in 1991 after a 38-year career. He served as a board member for the Pine Bluff Convention Center and Visitors Bureau and was a member of the Festival of Lights Board. He was alsoa longtime member of Olive Branch Missionary Baptist Church. Jim's full-time hobby and passion was taking care of Taylor Field, which is an old WPA ballpark that has attracted six Babe Ruth World Series tournaments, a Babe Ruth Girls' Softball World Series, a Class-A Pro Baseball Club and a 1995 NAABT Tournament, which was telecast on ESPN. Survivors include his wife, Thresa Jackson Hill, whom he married on October 2, 1954; his children, Steve Hill (Susie), Sheila Hill Cato (Mark), and Sherri Lynne Hill McLemore (Andrew); his siblings, Martha Jacqueline "Jackie" Richey, Joyce McCullah, John Hill (Bobby), Josephine Hill, Judy Hill, Jane Murphy (Donnie) and Jerry Lee Hill; four grandchildren, Jennifer Hill, Jimmy Hill, Lauren McLemore, and Lindsey McLemore; and a great-granddaughter, Jordan MaKayla Hill. The funeral service will be held Saturday, October 5, 2019, 10:30 a.m. at Olive Branch Missionary Baptist Church with Dr. Roger Stewart officiating. A graveside service will follow at 2:30 p.m. in Oak Grove Cemetery in Lonoke County by Ralph Robinson and Son. Visitation will be Friday from 5-7 p.m. at the church. Memorials may be made to Olive Branch Missionary Baptist Church, 5130 Bobo Road, Pine Bluff, Ark. 71603; or the Taylor Field Preservation Fund, Post Office Box 6654, Pine Bluff, Ark. 71611. For online condolences, please visit RalphRobinsonandSon.com.
Published October 3, 2019