Leo E. Hill

Leo E. Hill, 80, Indianapolis, formerly of Greenfield, died Friday, July 20, 2012, after a long illness.

Mr. Hill was born Aug. 10, 1931. His parents were Jerald Hill and Bertha Willis Hill. Mr. Hill spent his entire life in the Indianapolis area, graduating in 1949 from George Washington High School and marrying the love of his life, Elizabeth J. Stockton, in September 1950 at East 16th Street Christian Church.

Mr. Hill worked 34 years at Eli Lilly and Co., spending much of his career at Greenfield Laboratories in various technical positions. He assisted in trials of chemical compounds that eventually became some of the country’s best-known medicines. He was proud of that work, but the greatest sources of joy in his life were his family and his faith. The happiness he derived from watching his sons succeed was perhaps exceeded only by playing with his grandchildren and savoring their joy on Christmas mornings.

Mr. Hill was deeply patriotic, and his life was profoundly shaped by his experiences in the Army in 1952-53. He was a combat veteran of the Korean War, serving in a rifle company in the 2nd Infantry Division’s 23rd Infantry Regiment at the height of the United Nations forces’ struggles to hold rugged terrain near the 38th Parallel. In his later years, he wore a small Combat Infantry Badge on his lapel as a reminder of the sacrifices his generation made on battlefields.

Until his health made it difficult for him to venture out, Mr. Hill attended Burge Terrace Baptist Church. Throughout his life, he was involved in several church families, serving as an elder, Sunday school teacher and other positions in the congregations. In the late 1960s and 1970s, he was a member of the Men’s Chorus at Cumberland Christian Church, which traveled to area churches for performances. His faith was a cornerstone of his life.

Mr. Hill is survived by his wife of nearly 62 years, Elizabeth; his sons, David (Paula Jarrett) Hill and Edward (Christina) Hill; his grandchildren, Ian and Cathlyn Hill; his brother, Walter (Jane) Hill; a sister, Shirley Walters; and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; a granddaughter, Ashlyn Grace Hill; and a sister, Mabel Chatham.

Services will be at 11 a.m. Wednesday, July 25, 2012, at Wilson St. Pierre Funeral Service and Crematory, Sterling Gerber Chapel, Indianapolis. Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, July 24, at the funeral home. Burial, with military honors, will be in Forest Lawn Memory Gardens in Greenwood.

Memorial contributions may be made to United Way of Central Indiana, P.O. Box 88409, Indianapolis, IN 46208-0409.