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Odie Lee Hill

WEST POINT – Mr. Odie Lee Hill, 92, of West Point, beloved father, grandfather and great-grandfather, passed away on Monday, Aug. 8, 2016, at North Mississippi Medical Center in Tupelo. Visitation is Thursday, Aug. 11, 2016, from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. at Calvert Funeral Home in West Point. The funeral service will be Friday, Aug. 12, 2016, at 10 a.m. in the Calvert Funeral Home Chapel with the Rev. Mike Hunter officiating and assisted by the Rev. Jeff Shannon. Burial will follow at Macedonia Methodist Church in Chickasaw County. Pallbearers will be Max Hill, Jake Hill, Dale Hill, Cal Hill, Heidi Hill and J.P. Vinson. Honorary Pallbearers will be his church family at Christ United Methodist Church.

Mr. Hill had been retired from the CECO Corporation in Columbus for 30 years. Prior to his retirement he worked at CECO Corporation for 20 years as an electrical maintenance specialist. After retirement Mr. Hill was an avid woodworker, gardener and part-time electrician. Being a firm believer in DIY, he was also his own maintenance and repairman over his several rental properties during his retirement years. His family and friends admired him for his tough, spirited and independent nature. Before he became ill at age 89, Mr. Hill lived on his own in his own home, drove his own pickup, did his own shopping, and maintained his own property. The illness that struck him in 2013 finally claimed him, but not without a courageous three-year battle.

Mr. Hill was a veteran of World War II, having served in the United States Navy from 1942 until 1945.  He served as a gunnery mate aboard the destroyer escort USS Leslie L.B. Knox (DE-580), which saw extensive combat action in the Atlantic, Mediterranean, and Pacific Theaters. The destroyer escort upon which he served provided crucial naval backup to the United States Marines in the pivotal Pacific Battle of Iwo Jima.

Mr. Hill was a founding member of Christ United Methodist Church in West Point, where he remained a member until his death. He was also a lifelong benefactor of the Macedonia Methodist Church in Chickasaw County, the church of his childhood and youth.

Mr. Hill was born in Chickasaw County on Feb. 6, 1924, to the late Jacob and Vannie Hill. In addition to his parents, Mr. Hill was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 67 years, Opal Beatrice Hill, in 2009; by an infant son, John Daniel Hill, in 1945; and by five brothers and three sisters.

Mr. Hill is survived by three sons: William “Gert” Hill of West Point; Roger D. Hill (Vicki) of New Hope; David G. Hill (Maryann) of Oxford.  He leaves behind eight grandchildren: Jake Hill of West Point; Calvin Hill (Kelly) of Chattanooga, Tennessee; Dale Hill (Malinda) of Caledonia; Heidi Hill and Casey Hill Aqrabawi (Rami), both of Brandon; Max Hill (Ashley), Summer Hill Vinson (J.P.) and Chloe Hill, all of Oxford; and eight great-grandchildren. Mr. Hill is also survived by a younger brother, Frank Hill of West Point.

Being a child of the Great Depression, family and historical circumstances limited his educational opportunities.  However, Mr. Hill was a firm believer in the value of education and forever preached that value to his children and grandchildren. As a result of his guidance and influence, all of his children and grandchildren have attended college. He counts among his progeny a jet-certified corporate pilot, a master’s level educator, a lawyer, a registered nurse, a teacher and coach, a master carpenter, a Ph.D. journalist, an Ivy Leaguer, a union representative, a corporate sales representative and successful independent business owners — all of whom make for a lively group of individual free-thinkers. His family guidance and influence has been and will continue to be extensive.

Memorials may be made to Christ United Methodist Church, 1230 Oak Drive, West Point, MS 39773 or to Macedonia Methodist Church Cemetery Care Fund, C/O Mr. Sonny Kimbrough, 2038 Highway 8 East, Houston, MS 38851.

Friends may leave an online condolence at www.calvertfuneralhome.com.