Eight Bells: Wade Paul Hill

Published on July 9th, 2014

Wade Hill, of Friday Harbor, WA passed away at his home as he wished (July 7, 1920 – June 17, 2014). He was born in San Francisco, CA and grew up in West Los Angeles when it was still covered in orange groves. He attended UCLA transferring to Cal Berkley, where he received a degree in mechanical engineering.

Wade was a flight engineer on a B-29 crew off Saipan flying 30 missions over mainland Japan during WWII. He married Robyn Lyford on June 10, 1944 in Pratt, Kansas while on leave (he had to go AWOL to do so!). They remained married until her death in 2004. A daughter, Elizabeth, grandsons Emmet, Jordan and Evan and great granddaughter Phoenix survive them. Their oldest daughter, Pamela passed away in 2002.

Wade’s great passion in life was yacht racing and in this he was very successful. He crewed on the Cal 40 Psyche when they won the 1965 Transpac [Don Salisbury (owner), Ben Mitchell (navigator), George Griffith, Jack Jenson, Connie Doran and Wade Hill]. In 1966 he won the Carr Trophy in San Francisco, and he competed in the early days of the Congressional Cup. After moving to the Northwest, he won the Cal 20 Nationals. He has sailed many boats, winning many races in many places. At the time of his death, he was the oldest Staff Commodore of the California Yacht Club, having served as their Commodore in 1967.

He also was avid ham radio operator and continued participating in a “net” daily until his death.

Details of a Celebration of a Life well lived are: A Potluck Wake for Wade Hill is planned for Saturday August 2nd from 12 noon to 4PM at the Mullis Center in Friday Harbor.

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