Chaplain Colonel (Ret.) Charles Forrest Hill
August 31, 1932 – December 2, 2018
Retired Chaplain Colonel Charles Forrest Hill passed through our arms and into the hands of God on Dec 2, 2018 after an 18-year fight with Parkinson’s. We have no doubt that a joyous shout out occurred in the heavens at his arrival, as he was always quite deliberate, and did things in his own time. Born in Fayetteville, TN in 1932 to James and Venie Hill. The youngest boy of five, he was a quiet, athletic, easy going, and mischievous spirit. Charles, also known as “Pee Wee” to his friends, declared at the age of 10 that he had found his calling: he would dedicate his life to Christ and be a Chaplain. After graduating from Huntsville High, he went to Howard College where he met the love of his life Mavis Golden. Together, with only love in their pockets, and a shared calling for service, they moved back to Huntsville where he coached Football, Baseball, and taught history while saving to go to seminary. Two boys later, he entered the Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. One daughter later, with a Master’s in Theology he entered the Army to become a Chaplain, and taught Clinical Pastoral Education at Dix Hospital in Raleigh.
His decorated military service stretched from Fort Lee, VA to Stuttgart, Germany, Fort Belvoir to Fort Hamilton, Fort Jackson to Okinawa, and then to Fort Benning. He was made an Honorary Citizen of Ruit West Germany in 1965. He described his tour in Germany as the high point of his life with his family. He said, “I can see Vann and Mike running to the house after school. The trips we took in the VW camper were fun and adventurous.” He recalls his daughter Patti dragging his newest baby, Belinda around “like a sack of something. Good times.”
He went from Germany to Vietnam, while his family stayed stateside in Dale City. There he assisted with the evacuation of missionaries from Vietnam, during TET in 1968, as well as saved numerous children from an orphanage fire set by the Viet Cong. It was also here where he found many in need of substance abuse help. In doing so, he was pivotal in developing the Army’s Drug and Alcohol rehabilitation protocol. “Every soldier is worthy of the grace of God, a kind word, as well as a good hand of poker.” His ability for dialogue and open conversation without condemnation served him no matter his station. Following Vietnam he continued to supervise the drug and alcohol program at Moncrief Army Community Hospital at Fort Jackson. He ministered by example: from working with the prisons on Okinawa to being the Deputy Staff Chaplain at The Infantry Center Chapel on Fort Benning—he treated all with grace and compassion.
After 22 fulfilling years in service, he thought a nice relaxed retirement was in order, so he served as reverend to the Pine Mountain Soil and Water Conservation District, and became the minister of Bethesda Baptist Church. He loved the fellowship of the congregation and it took him back to his youth—and his first Baptist church in Huntsville. His humble, kind demeanor helped them break ground on a fellowship hall that today serves hundreds of area families. He left there after 10 years and was bestowed the honor of Pastor Emeritus.
He then retired a third time at Woodlawn Baptist after 5 years, all in a hopes of playing more golf with his friends and Mavis. A lover of God’s great outdoors, fishing, Braves Baseball, and Alabama “Roll tide” Football he was a wonderful husband, extraordinary father, and gentle speaker of the good word. His humble nature was assured of God’s grace. He asked that we all, “Love each other, be good to one another, and pass on to others your love and happiness, and keep each other in the hands of Christ’s love.”
He is preceded in death by his father James Hill, mother Venie Hill, siblings Buster Hill, Dorothy Moran, Mary Ann Stephens, and his sons Michael and Vann Hill. He is survived by his loving wife Mavis, their daughters and husbands Patti and John Shelton, and Belinda and Geoff Thomas, three grandchildren: Michael Hill, Matthew Hill, and Molly Thomas, and by his sister Betty Pigg of Fayetteville, TN. A memorial service will be held at Bethesda Baptist, December 6 at 2:00pm. Visitation with the family will be at 1:00pm with refreshments being served after the service.
If you wish in lieu of flowers, the family asks that contributions be made in honor of Charles F. Hill to the American Parkinson Disease Association at apdaparkinson.org or Bethesda Baptist Church, 3830 GA HWY 85. P.O. Box 157. Ellerslie, GA 31807.
Our deepest thanks and gratitude to all those that helped guide us through this passage at Kindred Hospice.
- James Hill, Father
- Venie Hill, Mother
- Buster Hill, Brother
- Dorothy Hill Moran, Sister
- Mary Ann Hill Stephens, Sister
- Michael Hill, Son
- Vann Hill, Son
- Mavis Hill, Loving Wife
- Patti and John Shelton, Daughter and Son in Law
- Belinda and Geoff Thomas, Daughter and Son in Law
- Michael Hill, Grandchild
- Matthew Hill, Grandchild
- Molly Thomas, Granchild
- Betty Pigg, Sister
- Mr. Hill also leaves behind many other relatives and friends to cherish his loving memory.
- In Honor of Charles F. Hill to the American Parkinson Disease Association
Bethesda Baptist Church
P.O. Box 157, Ellerslie, Georgia 31807
- Visitation Thursday, December 6, 2018
- Funeral Service Thursday, December 6, 2018
Chaplain Colonel (Ret.) Charles Forrest Hill
William & Jane Ginn
December 5, 2018
We send our Love and memories of Brother Charles Hill to you Mavis and family. We had such a good relationship and loved him stopping by the house for a hot biscuit. Also for the relationship he had with my husband Billy. Please know that our love is with you'll always.
December 4, 2018
When I was ten, I received a camcorder for Christmas and I became a documentarian for the following year. Recently, my mom and I found an old video from those days in which I asked Charles Hill, my grandpa or "papa", "Whatcha doin papa?" to which he replied, "Watching you."
I know he is. Then, now, and forever.