Jay French HillLittle Rock, AR, 1926 - 2022
Jay French Hill, 96, investment banker and community volunteer, died on October 10, 2022. Jay Hill was born on January 28, 1926 to James "Jay" Wilson Hill and Elizabeth "Cita" Gracie French Hill in Little Rock. Descendent from pioneers at Arkansas Post. Hill was the eighth generation of his family in Arkansas. Hill was educated at Little Rock Catholic High School for Boys graduating in 1944. He joined the U.S. Army Air Corps and served as a navigator on B-17s. Following his World War II service, Hill attended university and graduated from the University of Arkansas in 1951. He was a member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity.
A return to military service as a Second Lieutenant in the U. S. Army Quartermaster Corps during the Korean Conflict produced the good fortune of his being stationed at Fort Lee in Petersburg, Va. There he met and married a beautful school teacher, the former Patricia McGowan Payne. Married in June 1953, the Hills returned to Little Rock to raise a family. After a time as sales manager for Cameron Seed Mills, he was associated from 1958 – 1994 with the venerable investment banking and brokerage firm of Hill, Crawford & Lanford, Inc., a firm established by his father in 1932. At the time of his formal retirement in 1990, he was chairman of the board and chief executive officer. Hill, Crawford & Lanford was sold to Stern Agree & Leach (now Stiefel) in 1995. He loved serving the communities and schools in Arkansas by underwriting their bonds in helping their families invest for the future. During the 2000's, he served as a member of the Board of Directors of Delta Trust Investments, Inc. of Little Rock.
As a community volunteer, Hill was devoted to his Catholic faith serving as a lecturer and lay minister at Christ the King parish, a long-time troop committeeman of Troop 27 of the Boy Scouts of America at Our Lady of Holy Souls Catholic Church, board member and president of Subiaco Academy, and as an advisor to the Catholic diocese for its money management needs. He was a second-generation member of the Rotary Club of Little Rock (Club 99) and was an active member of the Quapaw Area Council, Boy Scouts of America executive board and various committees. For his devotion to scouting, Hill earned the Order of the Arrow's highest honor, the Vigil Honor, and he was a recipient of the district award of merit and the Silver Beaver award. At the Gus Blass Scout Reservation, Hill's contributions are remembered with the Jay F. Hill Order of the Arrow Council Circle & Amphitheater. In retirement, he was the president of the Pulaski County Master Gardeners and enjoyed outdoor recreation with his friends and family at Lakeside Country Club and the Country Club of Little Rock. Jay was affectionately known as "Jaybird".
Recently, he was recognized as a Senior Hero at the UAMS Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging.
Jay was predeceased by his wife of 59 years, Patsy, and is survived by his son, J. French Hill, his wife, Martha, and their two children, Sarah Elizabeth McKenzie Hill (Liza) and William Payne Hill (Payne). The family is grateful for the long-time assistance of Martin Morales for his dedicated care, friendship, and service to Jay, as well as the faculty and staff at UAMS Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging, and particularly his physicians --Dr. Gohar Azhar and Dr. Tim Goodson.
A Mass of Christian burial will be held at the Cathedral of St. Andrew on Friday, October 14, 2022 at 3 p.m. A private burial will follow at Calvary Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, you are invited to make memorial contributions to the Catholic High School Foundation, 6300 Father Tribou Street, Little Rock, Ark., 72205; Quapaw Area Council, BSA, 3220 Cantrell Rd., Little Rock, Ark., 72202; the Episcopal Collegiate School, 1701 Cantrell Rd., Little Rock, Ark., 72201; or in honor of Dr. Gohar Azhar to the UAMS Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging, "Greatest Needs Fund", 629 Jack Stephens Dr., Little Rock, Ark., 72205. Arrangements are under the direction of RuebelFuneralHome.com
Published October 13, 2022
OBITUARY SUBMITTED BY:
Ruebel Funeral Home
6313 West Markham Street, Little Rock, AR