William ‘Bula’ Hill, Jr., 87, of Sunset Drive, Negaunee, passed away peacefully early Friday morning, November 15, 2019 at the Marquette County Medical Care Facility.
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Bula was born March 8, 1932 to William and Toini (Wertanen) Hill, Sr., and graduated from Negaunee High School, Class of 1950. Shortly after school he joined the United States Navy and served during the Korean War as a Liberty Boat Captain, his picture once appearing on the cover of LIFE magazine. He was severely injured in a car accident, an incident he was not expected to survive.
Following his service to his county, he returned to Negaunee and married Patsy Letts on December 30th, 1955, and raised their seven children: Leroy (Lola) Wahlstrom of Racine, WI, Betty Bingham of Marquette, Patricia Barnes of Port Gibson, MS, and Terry, Timothy (Laura), Mark (Stacy) and Greg Hill all of Negaunee. Bulla worked for Michigan Telephone and later AT&T as the manager of repairman and test services, retiring after nearly 40yrs. of service between the companies.
Mr. Hill was a former member of Immanuel Lutheran Church, Negaunee, and was an active community leader. He was a charter member of the Hiawathaland Snowmobile Club, serving as president and trail boss for many years, served on the Harvest Festival Board and was a charter member of the Marquette County Fair Board. Bula was also a member of Peninsula Pathfinders snowmobile pioneers who traveled nationwide to Yellowstone and other notable locations. He was a longtime and well known Little League coach, coaching several teams to championships. In his spare time, Bula enjoyed bear and deer hunting, teaching his sons and grandsons along the way
In addition to his children, he is survived by 25 grandchildren and numerous great-grandchildren; a sister, Susan LaRock of Rapid River; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. He was preceded in death by his parents; loving wife, Patsy (Letts) Hill in 2003; longtime companion, Carol Martin; and 5 sisters: Ione, Bernice, Eleanor, Jeanette and Edna.
Funeral services will be held at 4:00 pm on Wednesday, November 20th at Immanuel Lutheran Church, with Rev. Steven Solberg and Rev. D. Michael Carriere officiating. Burial will be in the Negaunee Cemetery. The family will greet relatives and friends from 2:00 pm until the time of services at 4:00pm at the church on Wednesday, and also at a luncheon immediately following services in the church fellowship hall. Mr. Hill’s grandsons will serve as pallbearers.
Bula’s memorial page may be viewed at koskeyfuneralhome.com.