Dr. Norman P. Hill

December 14, 1920December 1, 2012

Dr. Norman P. Hill, age 91, of Fall River, passed away Saturday, December 1, 2012 at his residence surrounded by his family. He was the husband of the late Bernice A. (Kendall) Hill. Born and raised in Arlington, Massachusetts, a son of the late Frederick W. and Ida (Peirce) Hill, he subsequently resided in Cooperstown NY, Assonet, and Fall River, while summering all his life at Sagamore Beach. A graduate of Brown and Nichols in Cambridge, Harvard University, class of 1942 and Harvard Medical School, class of 1945, he served in the United States Army during World War II. A Cardiologist, he practiced medicine at the Truesdale Clinic in Fall River before his retirement in 1986. He served as Chief of Medical Services at the Truesdale Hospital where he pioneered and directed the first cardiac intensive care unit in the state outside a teaching hospital. Dr. Hill and his wife traveled the world extensively in pursuit of his lifelong passion for ornithology. In the course of his travels he set foot on every continent and swam in every major ocean on earth, including the Arctic Ocean. He was a member of the Nuttall Ornithological Club, the American Ornithologists Union, Harvard Travellers Club, the Mass Medical Society, the American College of Physicians and the Manomet Bird Observatory. He wrote The Birds of Cape Cod, published in 1966, and authored numerous articles in scientific journals. He is survived by a son; David F. Hill of Ipswich, a daughter; Alison H. Jaskiewicz and her husband Tom of Mason, NH, a daughter-in-law; Anne K. Hill of Cape Elizabeth, ME, a brother; Richard S. Hill of Utica, NY, four grandchildren; Emily A. Fauble of Beverly, Peter B. Hill of Hamilton, Kate Hill Thomson of Freedom, NH, and Nathaniel Hill of Chattanooga, TN, eight great-grandchildren; Dakota, Cassandra, Luke, and William Fauble, Ada and Miriam Thomson, and Owl and Fern Montana-Hill. He was father of the late Malcolm K. Hill and father-of-law of the late Anne B. Hill. His arrangements are in the care of the Waring-Sullivan Home of Memorial Tribute at Cherry Place. A memorial service will be announced at a later date.


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Dr. Norman P. Hill

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December 15, 2012

Dear Family and Friends of Norman Hill,

My wife Betty and I were saddened to learn of the recent passing of Norman. As an avid birder and longtime friend of Norman and Bernice, Norman was always someone I looked up to as a most dedicated and erudite "amateur" ornithologist. He was always read and willing to share tales of his worldwide adventures and experiences with me despite the disparity in our ages. To this day I consider his book, The Birds of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, to be one of the finest regional books of its sort, and when I co-authored the Birds of Massachusetts with Richard Veit, his book served as a template for the kind of volume we hoped to produce. I still have a signed copy of Norman's book within arm's reach of my desk and even today I refer to it often.

As probably the youngest member of the Nuttall Ornithological Club on the occasion of my joining the Club in 1966, I always stood in awe of Norman's extensive knowledge of birds, not just in Massachusetts, but worldwide. Through the years as I came to know him more personally, that impression never changed.

I thoroughly enjoyed Norman's friendship, and it was always a pleasure to visit with him in his home, peruse his extensive library, or share some of Bernice's delicious cooking. A fine gentleman of the old school and one that I will miss.

Warm regards and with sympathy,

Wayne (and Betty) Petersen

Chandler Robins

December 12, 2012

I was sad to hear of Norman's passing. I had just mailed him a Christmas letter. Norman was an active member of the Harvard Ornithological Club and we enjoyed many field trips together and had kept in touch ever since the college days,
Chandler S. Robbins.

December 11, 2012

Norman's passing is a sad ornithological landmark. Few people actively carry on their passion for bird travel or bird science as Norm has done, making friendships and sharing bird discovery from all over the world. It has been a delight to share brief moments along this path; he will be missed by friends and contacts from places most of us have never heard of. May his travels continue well.
Brian Harrington, Plymouth, Massachusetts

John Hagan

December 10, 2012

Norman was my dear friend in ornithology and conservation for over two decades. Norman and I worked together in the late 1980s to publish his 50 years (half-century!) of bird observations in a scientific journal. In 1991, Norman and I received the Ernest P. Edwards Award for the best published paper in The Wilson Bulletin that year, titled “Population trends of some Northeastern North American landbirds: A half-century of data.” Wilson Bull: 103:165-182. Nobody had 50 years of data!

There was hardly a place on earth Norman had not been. Twice! He regaled me with stories of being shipwrecked off the coast of Tierra del Fuego and caught up in a coup in Bostwana. All mere “speed bumps” in his quest for birds.

I will miss my friend and colleague. But oh what a life!

John Hagan
Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences

December 10, 2012

It is with deep sadness to learn of Norman Hill's passing. Norman was elected to the Nuttall Ornithological Club in 1942 making him the oldest living club member. On behalf of all of the members of the Nuttall Ornithological Club our heartfelt sympathy to Norman's family, his friends and birding buddies. He will be missed!
Betty Petersen
Nuttall Ornithological Club

Jennifer (McIlwaine) Fortin

December 4, 2012

Having just received this sad news this morning, I wish to extend my heartfelt condolences to Dr. Hill's family and friends. Dr. Hill was an amazing man who touched my life in an extraordinary way. Having worked at Bay View Retirement Community for many years, I grew to know Dr. Hill as a friend.
A few years ago, he enlisted me to type his life history and print it out for him.
I still have his manuscript on my computer.
What an honor it was to do this for him! I was instantly a part of his past, reading of his travels, his itineraries and activities throughout the years, but also a part of his present, seeing this project unfold. He and his wife, Bernice had many wonderful stories to tell. I was blessed to talk with Dr. Hill often and spend quality time with him when I did. Two and a half years ago, I moved to NH with my new husband and was not able to see Dr. Hill on a regular basis. I did have the opportunity to speak with him earlier this year, for which I am most grateful. I appreciate having known such a well-traveled and brilliant man. He will be sorely missed.