Larry Virgil Hill, 78, passed away peacefully in his lifelong home in Prineville, Oregon, on January 18th, 2022. He spent his final day celebrating his mom’s 96th birthday along with family friends and a slice of chocolate cake.
Larry was born July 13th, 1943, in Prineville, Oregon, the first child and only son of Virgil “Son” and Marie (Taylor) Hill. Larry’s early years were spent in several small sawmill camps, none more memorable than one in Big Summit Prairie in the Ochoco Mountains of Central Oregon. The family lived in a one-room cabin without running water and electricity. The son of a sawyer, Larry shared many outdoor adventures with his beloved younger sister, Shirley, and developed an interest in hunting and fishing. He became proficient with the bow and arrow and mastered using a bullwhip. To the dismay of his parents, he once convinced his sister to hold a comic book above her head and slashed it in half with a crack of his whip.
Shirley wrote the following about her brother, “Larry was a sweet and protective brother. The story goes that I only had to call his name, and he would come running - sometimes a necessity growing up with twenty cousins!”
Larry loved to dance with his parents and sister on Saturday nights to Lawrence Welk. At high school dances, he was always sure to cut in and steal a dance with his sister. Larry and Shirley later shared a nostalgic dance at Shirley’s son’s wedding in 2014 at Black Butte Ranch.
In 1953 the Hill family moved to Prineville, where Larry was enrolled in elementary school. Larry attended Crook County High School, where he was known as an excellent student and athlete.
Larry was a two-time outfield letterman on the CCHS baseball team. In his junior year, he was awarded a scholarship to attend JESSI (Junior Engineers and Scientists Institute). Larry was a member of the Key club his senior year and graduated from CCHS in 1961. Dan Browning, Larry’s high school chemistry and physics teacher remarked years later at a reunion that Larry was one of the brightest students who ever sat in his classroom.
Larry attended Oregon State University for two years. He later went on to earn a Computer Programming degree (Cobol and Fortran) from La Salle Extension University. Larry worked for various local companies throughout his career including the Forest Service, Northwest Security, Madras Farms, and Pinkertons.
Larry developed health issues in the 1970s that affected the remainder of his life. He lived at home and was cared for by his devoted mother. Shirley wrote in her journal, “I believe in angels - I know an angel, our mother, who created a safe and loving haven for Larry.” Despite his ailments, Larry remained positive, happy, curious, and kind. He will be remembered as a loving son, brother, and uncle.
Larry is survived by his mother, Marie Hill Binam (96) of Prineville, Oregon, and his nephews Tobin and Taran. Tobin and his wife Ha live in New York City. Taran and his wife Nancy reside in The Woodlands, Texas. Larry leaves behind four great-nieces and nephews, Tobin’s daughters Seneca (21) and Tyanna (17), and Taran’s sons Decker Virgil (14) and Stege (11).
Larry will be interned at Juniper Haven Cemetery in Prineville, Oregon, beside his father, sister, and other relatives.
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