OBITUARY

William "Bill" Hill-Alto

January 24, 1950June 25, 2020

William L. Hill - Alto of Roswell, GA passed away peacefully at home on June 25, 2020. Bill was born on January 24, 1950, in Putnam, CT to Viola (Honkanen) and John Alto. Bill graduated in 1968 from Roy C. Ketcham High School in Wappingers Falls, NY, and in 1972 from Hope College in Holland, MI. In 1975 he went on to graduate from New Brunswick Theological Seminary, and in 1993 he obtained his teaching certification in special education from William Paterson College.

Bill was both a teacher and a minister. He loved helping people learn and find God. He had the patience of Job and the wisdom of Socrates. Bill was extremely good at being present whenever you spoke to him. He had a wonderful sense of humor and was always trying to find just the “right” gift for you. When you were with Bill you knew you mattered. Everyone had value to Bill.

Bill taught and ministered throughout the world. During his seminary instruction he ministered at the Sloane Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. In his youth he was a teacher of English in Taipei, Taiwan; a camp counselor in Warwick, New York; a Mission Intern in Cairo, Egypt; a Social Worker in Times Square, New York City with Project Find; a pastor in Fairlawn, New Jersey. Later in life he was a co-pastor and teacher in Amity Reformed Church in Vischer Ferry, New York, Second Union Church of San Juan in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, a Pastoral Associate of Children in the Community Church of Glen Rock, New Jersey; and a minister at a church in East Bethel, Vermont. In addition to his pastoral teaching he became a teacher of special needs children in Pompton Lakes, New Jersey and The Phoenix School in West Paterson, New Jersey, Fayston Elementary School in Fayston, Vermont and a Special Educator in Randolph Union High School in Randolph, Vermont. At his retirement in 2018 he moved to Roswell, Georgia from Vermont to be closer to his children and grandchildren.

He is survived by his partner of 20 years, Greg Voorheis of Roswell, GA, his daughter Joanna Hill - Alto, of Decatur,GA, his son Jonathan (Lauren) Hill, his grandchildren Maren, Kamryn, and Wynne, Johns Creek, GA . He is also survived by his sister Joan (Bruce) Howe of Red Hook, NY.

Bill was predeceased by his parents and a brother, Robert Alto.

There are no calling hours. Services are private at the convenience of the family.

In lieu of flowers, donations, on Bill's behalf, may be made to:

cancer.org/hopelodgeburlingtondonate (American Cancer Society) ....or mail to: Hope Lodge Lois MCClure-Bee Tabakin Building 237 East Avenue Burlington, VT 05401-3438

or to the Kidney Foundation www.kidneyfund.org/pledge‎

Services

No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.

Memories

William "Bill" Hill-Alto

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Gaye Fedorchak

July 3, 2020

Oh, Bill. It's so hard to know what to say when my head and my heart are so full as I think about him. I couldn't officially call Bill my 'brother-in-law', but he was surely my brother-in-love. I will miss him for the rest of my life. Bill was not only a beloved brother, he was also a colleague in my profession. He was so great with people, but had this especially rare gift when it came to connecting, engaging and empowering young people. He set firm boundaries, but the kids sensed how profoundly he cared about them. That deep trusting relationship, that came so naturally to Bill, let him set his expectations very high for each of his students.... Over time, through incredibly patient persistence and careful structure, he taught each one how to reach higher than they ever thought possible. Bill saved souls. Bill was also my dear friend. I've learned so much from him. I will always miss my brother-in-love. I wish him free and joyous peace in God's loving embrace.

Patt Cushing

June 30, 2020

It was with great sorrow to hear of the passing of Bill. He was an incredibly wonderful person. I was most honored to work with him at RUHS. He definitely left a mark on the students, faculty, and institution with his caring and heartfelt work. Always patient, always loving, and always meeting the needs of each individual student. I am sure there is a place for Bill in heaven. My thoughts are with all the family and friends that will truly miss this unique man. I will always remember you,Bill. x

Zach Whitmore

June 30, 2020

Bill
I've known you for as long as I can remember and I am so sad to hear of you passing. You always gave me the best advice and brought a smile to my face whether it had been in church or at the high school. Thank you for all the long winded conversations that made me smile. And for just saying hello to me when we passed in the hallway. Thanks for being a friend. You will definately be missed.

Shannon Nelson

June 30, 2020

To Bill's Family -
First and foremost - I am so very sorry for your loss. We have never met, but I feel like I know many of you. I had the distinct honor and great pleasure of working along side your beloved Bill for many many years at RUHS. We were both Special Educators and were close to the same age. We shared a deep love for our students and the same philosophies in not only Education, but throughout the many strands of life in general. Bill was the kind of man you knew you could always be yourself with no matter what - there never was any judgement.
He gave his all in everything he chose to do - his heart was way bigger than most any of us could ever dream of. His eyes always had a sparkle. His manner was always one of trust and comfort.
Bill was an extraordinary human being, all who knew him - knew it right away - yet he was never aware of it himself.
In these days of uncertainty, may we all take a lesson from this man - Ever giving to anyone, always willing to give of himself, even when it might have been a little too much for his health to endure, Kindness, Patience, Understanding, A Gentleness of word and touch that would and could soothe anyone at almost any time. That was Bill.
My Dear Friend - I will always cherish our times together. Our chats after school, Our lively Special Education Department meetings - at school and out of school. I just loved it when you would get laughing so hard you found it hard to stop. I will cherish the beautiful candle you gave me one Christmas - saying you knew I just HAD to have it.
And to Bill's Family - how much he loved you all - we would swap grandchildren stories. He couldn't wait for the time to get to Georgia.
You are now free from any pain and battles Bill. You have deserved that for some time.
Our hearts ache deeply, but our love for you will stay as strong as you always were.
Yes, Heaven has reclaimed one of its Angels.
Shannon Nelson, Retired RUHS SPED

Lisa M. Floyd

June 30, 2020

Words cannot express how sad this makes me. Bill was so excited to have more time with family and his life in Georgia. I feel so grateful to have worked with him and learned from him as a teacher at Randolph Union. I remember clearly sitting with Bill with a student whose graduation was on the line, working as a team to get a final assignment completed. We were there late - but the work got done. I was always proud to be on a team with Bill! He will be so missed.

Chelsea Kurutza

June 29, 2020

Bill,

I am so saddened to hear the news of your passing! You were the most caring person I have ever met, and one of the toughest people! I can remember coming to your classroom almost every day to grab snacks and to grab insight. You sir were my inspiration most days to do better and to become better! Even after I left school, I remember coming to you with every new event in my life, like having my children. I remember the long hours of us bickering to get my course work done; I can remember pushing your buttons. I don’t think I ever managed to actually thank you though for all the hard work you put into myself and into the other countless people you’ve guided over the years!
May you rest easy Bill!!! You will be greatly missed by so many and your memory will live on with all of us!!!

Zachary Bingham

June 29, 2020

Bill, you were my hero throughout high school. You kept me out of trouble and brought me up when I needed you most. I will miss you very much. May your soul forever Rest In Peace.

Sherrie Weyant

June 29, 2020

Oh Bill, my heart is broken after hearing of your passing. I have missed you so much. I know that the words I want to express will not come out as I wish, but I will do my best.
I worked with Bill for many years at RUHS. Always patient and kind to every student, no matter the situation, always a friend and confident. Bill and I worked great as a team, for some reason we ‘clicked’ and we always complimented each other’s way of approaching whatever was brought our way. Bill always had a wonderful rapport with all of his colleagues and wonderful respect for them. He was a wonderful, gentle, loving, and caring man, who taught me a lot and was a cherished friend. Bill often talked about his family who he loved so very much. My heartfelt condolences go out to everyone in Bill’s life and wish you peace during this heart breaking time.
Bill, rest easy my friend

Michael Gray

June 29, 2020

I am sorry to hear of your loss. I worked for many years with Bill at RUHS, and will always remember his optimistic outlook on any situation life threw at him or the students he worked with. I learned so much from Bill, and have tried to carry that optimism into my life since. I am lucky to have had the chance to know and work with him.

Tina O'Donnell

June 29, 2020

I worked with the ever gentle Bill Hill-Alto for many years at RUHS. His space was the one our most challenging students went to for safety, guidance and no small amount of unconditional love. Bill's selfless mission was to provide this haven of support for the kids who most needed it.
Bill was equally supportive of the faculty who shared a hand in working with his students. He was a patient listener with a quick smile and a geneorous laugh, a beloved and respected colleague for all.
I knew that Bill had struggled with health issues - though they never stood in the way of his work with students. I am saddened that after those many many years of hard work that his retirement was relatively short. I never met Bill's partner or any of Bill's family, but I know they were loved, and I am so so sorry for their loss. Bill's life touched so many and his work will long be remembered.