Retired Chief Petty Officer, Paul “Popsey” Edgar Hill, 83, died at Chateau Girardeau on March 12, 2017.

Paul was born October 9, 1933 in Princeton, Indiana to Charles Alexander Hill and Elizabeth Fae Benbrook. After graduating from Princeton High School in 1953, he joined the Marines and was assigned to the 2nd Amphibious Reconnaissance Company at Camp Lejeune, NC. After two years, he transferred to the United States Navy, serving as a Cryptologic Supervisor, Radio Operator and Special Instructor and served for over twenty years at various Navy bases, including Edzell, Scotland where he met and married his wife Constance Laing, in 1966. He also served on several ships including the USS Princeton, USS Saratoga, USS Foristal and the USS Mt. McKinley. During his extensive military career, he was awarded the National Defense Service Medal, the China Service Medal and Good Conduct Awards.

Having known poverty in his childhood, he knew his military training accompanied by higher education was the ticket to a better life. He attended Pensacola Community College and eventually completed an MBA at the University of Evansville in Indiana. He instilled in his son and daughter a strong desire to pursue higher education, resulting in them earning an MBA and Ed.D, respectively.

He was discharged with full honors in 1975 and worked in private industry before once again working for his country in the civilian sector at Rock Island Armory and at Lake City Army Ammunition Plant. Widowed in 2008, he spent his remaining time moving around the U.S. living in Florida and Oklahoma before returning to the Cape Girardeau area to be near his daughter and her family.

Paul’s daughter and her family are forever indebted to the care provided by Southeast Hospice personnel including Dr. Edwards, Joanna Gray, Lynn Boren and Bob Conway, as well as those not mentioned, who provided care for him when he first returned to the area in 2014. Also, Sherry James and her organization, Comfort Keepers, were a saving grace providing numerous hours of care while he lived in a private residence. He lived his last fifteen months at Chateau Girardeau, and even though the sign on his door was very fitting… Pets Welcome, People Tolerated, he developed positive relationships with the personnel and residents. Finally, he is greatly missed by his loving friend, Darlene Daniel and his cat, Ickee. He is remembered as “a top notch guy”, a brave and loyal soldier, as well as a patient and loving father and grandfather.

He is survived by a loving daughter, Dr. Pamela Barnes (Jeremy) of Jackson; a son, Kevin Hill of Edmond, Oklahoma, and another daughter from a previous marriage, Lorraine Weaver. He is greatly missed by his teenage grandchildren, Matthew, Emma and Taylor Barnes for his puzzle playing, his quick wit, gorgeous blue eyes and his handsome smile.  He is also missed by his Oklahoma grandkids, Katelyn, Brittany and Jackson Hill.  He is preceded in death by his parents, a brother, Ray, and his wife, Constance.

He is to be cremated and interred at Arlington National Cemetery, alongside his “Bonnie Scottish Lass” Constance. No local services will be held.

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1 Comment
  1. J. Kinsey, FCC(SW) USN, (RET)

    “Just A Simple Sailor”
    He was getting old and paunchy
    And his hair was falling fast,
    And he sat around the Legion,
    Telling stories of the past.

    Of a war that he had fought in
    And the deeds that he had done.
    In his exploits with his buddies;
    They were heroes, everyone.

    And ‘tho sometimes, to his neighbors,
    His tales became a joke,
    All his buddies listened,
    For they knew whereof he spoke.

    But we’ll hear his tales no longer,
    For our sailor has passed away,
    And the world’s a little poorer,
    For a Sailor died today.

    He won’t be mourned by many,
    Maybe just children, or a wife.
    For he lived an ordinary,
    Very quiet sort of life.

    He held a job and raised a family,
    Quietly going on his way,
    And the world won’t note his passing;
    ‘tho a Sailor died today.

    He was just a common Sailor
    And his ranks are growing thin,
    But his presence should remind us,
    We may need his like again.

    For when countries are in conflict,
    Then we find the Sailor’s part,
    Is to clean up all the troubles,
    That the politicians start.

    If we cannot do him honor,
    While he’s here to hear the praise,
    Then at least let’s give him homage,
    At the ending of his days.

    Perhaps just a simple headline,
    In the paper that might say:
    “OUR COUNTRY IS IN MOURNING,
    FOR A SAILOR DIED TODAY”

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