Friday, July 22, 2011


Apart from my dad, the man with the greatest influence on my life was my Papa, Howard Lee Hill.  When he died last year (July 21st) we tried to think of a verse that fit his life.  The above photo shows Papa witnessing to a man at the rescue mission in Montgomery, Alabama, and the verse is one that is marked in my Bible, and which we felt fit Papa perfectly.  It's Romans 1:16 which says, "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek."  Papa was a man who was not ashamed of the gospel.  Even during his illness when he was in the hospital a couple of times, in rehab, and then sent home for his final month, he was constantly witnessing.  Whether he was lucid or not, he was witnessing.  At one point he was desperately trying to get my dad (who he had led to Christ in the 1960s) to accept Christ -- not knowing who my dad was.  To help ease Papa's mind, Daddy finally accepted Christ (again)!  Papa wanted to be read to out of the Bible during those last days.   You won't believe what he wanted to hear -- Revelation! 

My Papa and me

It wasn't easy letting Papa go.  After all, this man had been my hero for 41 years.  I loved him with all my heart.  Both Papa and Nanny were and are special to me.  I was privileged to be their oldest grandchild, even though I was born to their youngest child.  I was the "world's most photographed baby."  Being the "world's most photographed baby" means that I have a lot of pictures of me with my grandparents.  Those pictures are treasures now.
"Old Fashioned Sunday"
Any time and anywhere Papa and Nanny wanted me to go, I went.  I didn't care if I went with them by myself or with others.  The point was to be with Papa and Nanny.  I got upset with one of my brothers one time.  We were the two oldest (he's the little boy in the photo wearing the overalls), so we were allowed to stay in Alabama with Papa and Nanny at Nanny's mom's house until they were ready to drive back to Indiana where we were living at the time.  Unfortunately, this said brother who will not be named, got homesick and we had to leave early!  I was so disappointed!

My Papa and me!
Papa was so full of wisdom.  When I was about 20 and going to college in Savannah, Georgia, Papa and Nanny brought my sister for a visit at Thanksgiving.  Papa took me aside and told me that people thought I was stuck up, but he realized that I was an introvert. He encouraged me to work on that.  Of course, I was also and still am very tenderhearted, so I began to cry and Papa had to comfort me.  The last couple of years of his life Papa told me on a couple of occasions what he thought about certain situations, but he always qualified it by saying that I didn't have to take his advice.  My response was that I would be foolish not to listen to him, he was older and wiser that I. 

Papa and Nanny, June 2010
I could tell you about Papa's war experience -- he earned quite a few medals, including the purple heart and bronze star.  I could tell you about his service to Christ.  Or about his work ethic.  I could tell you about his technical mind, a very smart man!  But what I remember most is his spiritual influence over our family.  Because of his salvation and his willingness to share with others, his three children and their spouses, his twelve grandchildren and their spouses, and all of his nineteen great grandchildren who are old enough have accepted Christ as their Savior. What a wonderful testimony!
I am so thankful that God allowed Howard Hill to be MY grandfather!
Last picture of me with Papa, July 2010


  1. Thank God for those memories I know when my mother died I still had all those lovely memories still with me for they don't leave us. We are blessed to have memories some people don't have it...God has been good

  2. I did not get to know one of my grandfathers but did the other one a little. it was my grandmothers I was close to and they spoiled me rotten also. Bittersweet memories you have shared and caused me to remember as I read. Thanks

  3. What a beautiful story, such wonderful memories. What a mighty and wonderful God we serve.

  4. Thanks, girls! Of course I think my Papa was the greatest. And our God is such a mighty God!