Obituary

Gale  Robert Hill
Gale  Robert Hill
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Gale R. Hill, 94, of Lake City, MN died Monday, August 24, 2020 at Lake City Care Center.
Gale Robert Hill was born December 25, 1925 to Robert and Zrada (Fleming) Hill in Lewiston, MN. He grew up in Lewiston. He served in the United States Army from 1943 - 1945 in France and Germany during World War II. He spent his 19th birthday in a fox hole. He received a bronze medal from the United States Army. He married Yvonne "Bonnie" Hinkley on September 25, 1948 at Central Methodist Church in Winona, MN. From 1956-1984 Gale worked as letter carrier in Rochester for the U.S. Postal Service. The couple moved to Wabasha in 1986. He was honored to participate in Honor Flight in 2008, following his honor flight he talked to many grade schools' classes about WWII. He was an active member of the Wabasha County Historical Society Museum.
Gale is survived by his children, Wayne (Starla) Hill of Ostrander, MN and Linda Hill of Rochester, MN; one granddaughter, Shaleah; one sister, Janet Seabern of Winona, MN; many nieces and nephews and his special friends, Bruce and Georgianne Johnson of Byron, MN. He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Bonnie in 2008; one brother, Kenneth; and one sister, Marlys Zeigler.
A Funeral Service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, September 2, 2020 at Ranfranz and Vine Funeral Homes, 5421 Royal Place NW Rochester, MN. Visitation will take place from 5:00-7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, September 1, 2020 at Ranfranz and Vine Funeral Homes and one hour prior to the service on Wednesday at the funeral home. Burial will take place at Fremont Scottish Cemetery in Winona County, MN. Social distancing and masks will be required for all services.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials to Minnesota Masonic Charities or Christ United Methodist Church in Rochester.
Ranfranz and Vine Funeral Homes is honored to be serving the Hill family. To leave a special memory or condolence please visit www.ranfranzandvinefh.com

Services

Visitation

Sep
1
Tuesday
Ranfranz and Vine Funeral Homes
5421 Royal Place NW
Rochester, MN 55901
5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

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Service

Sep
2
Wednesday
Ranfranz and Vine Funeral Homes
5421 Royal Place NW
Rochester, MN 55901
11:00 AM

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Burial

Sep
2
Wednesday
Fremont Scottish Cemetery
County Road 111
Fremont, MN, United States 55952
2:00 PM

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H Healing Registry on Sep 1, 2020

CandleSomeone has supported the family by purchasing them flowers or gifts from the Healing Registry.

D Dorene Menden on Sep 26, 2020

So sorry to hear of Mr Hill’s passing. He had insurance with WA Group in a Winona and I met with him often. Such a dear man. So kind and polite.
Dorene Menden

A Andru Peters on Aug 31, 2020

Oh my, so saddened to return to MN and read about a great fellow veteran, Gale Hill, having being ordered to a higher calling. In recent years became good friends with Gale, swapping many "war stories" about WWII & Germany. Always looked forward in in spending a Christmas dinner with Gale some where in town. As a Legionnaire & VFW member he will always being revered as being part of the greatest veteran generation in military history; As well as being one of a hand few of remaining WW II veterans. My "hand salute" to a fellow veteran and may he rest in peace.

D Debbie Schouweiler on Aug 30, 2020

I got to know Gale at the Methodist church in Kellogg. He always had a smile and comment to make you feel good. I got to go to breakfast with the grievers group my Mom and he were part off. I always enjoyed listening to the stories told and good natured ribbing that went on. His smile will be greatly missed but I know he is happy and feeling great now

B Brian Heins on Aug 29, 2020

As an add-on to my previous message, I wish I had known of Gale's military service at the time I worked with him. I was an 18-19 year old kid and he was a veteran of the Battle of the Bulge. I had no idea. I would have congratulated and thanked him for his service. I'm honored to have walked the same catwalk as he did.

Utmost respect, honor, and gratitude to you, sir. Rest well. You've earned it. Vaya con Dios, go with

B Brian Heins on Aug 29, 2020

I worked with Gale at Lakeside Packing Company in Plainview 34 or 35 years ago. We made thousands of gallons of cream-style corn together in a hot, humid room. I enjoyed working with him and I'm sorry to hear of his passing.

B B. Wayne Quist on Aug 29, 2020

With Gale Hill at Read’s Landing Schoolhouse Museum June 2018.

B B. Wayne Quist on Aug 29, 2020

With Gale Hill at Read’s Landing Schoolhouse Museum June 2018.

W Wayne Quist on Aug 27, 2020

Lake City World War Two Vet Celebrated 19th Birthday in a Foxhole During the Battle of the Bulge, Christmas Day 1944 By B. Wayne Quist
Editor’s note: Memorial Day is Monday May 28th this year and at a time when there are so few surviving members of the “Greatest Generation,” we thought it would be appropriate to honor and remember our all of World War II veterans, many of whom have already departed. Here in Lake City we have a dozen or more World War II vets still living and local author B. Wayne Quist recently interviewed Gale R. Hill who fought in the Battle of the Bulge as a teenager in 1944. Gale R. Hill was born on Christmas Day over 92 years ago. He lives in Lake City and has a story to tell, like so many Second World War veterans. Gale’s infantry unit was attached to Patton’s Third Army during the brutal Battle of the Bulge and he spent his 19th birthday in a foxhole as a huge German offensive pushed deep into the thin American lines. Gale was born December 25, 1925 on a farm near Wyattville in southeastern Minnesota. A fierce blizzard with gale-force winds welcomed Gale Hill into the world that day and his father, who was a First World War veteran, said that was the reason Gale was named “Gale.” Gale was drafted into the Army and ordered to active duty before his scheduled high school graduation in 1944 but the Army had a program that later awarded his diploma. Gale’s first assignment was Camp Hood, Texas for 17 weeks of intensive infantry training followed by four weeks of advanced combat infantry training at Camp Van Dorn, Mississippi with the 63rd Infantry Division. Gale said his infantry training saved his life more than once and that they were lucky to have such good training because many men didn’t receive any, and they were sadly among those who did not survive as combat infantrymen. After completing training in November 1944, Gale and his fellow riflemen traveled by train to Camp Shanks, New York where they shipped out to Le Havre, France on a 7-8-day sea voyage. Le Havre had become a main entry point into the European Theater of Operations (ETO) as Eisenhower’s Allied Army built up to more than two million troops by the fall of 1944 – Le Havre had 1,887 arrivals in October 1944 after the port reopened; 89,825 arrived in November and 101,646 in December when Gale and his buddies arrived. It was the beginning of the coldest European winter on record, and just a few days before the start of the bloody Battle of the Bulge. On December 16, 1944, Hitler launched a massive surprise counter-attack in the Ardennes forest, a densely wooded area in Belgium and Luxembourg. The German army penetrated deep into the American lines, creating a 50-mile “bulge” into Eisenhower’s 12th Army Group lines. This was the start of the Battle of the Bulge and Gale, along with thousands of other newly-arrived riflemen, were rushed from Le Havre directly to the front lines aboard French “forty-and-eight” boxcars, so-named during the First World War because they could carry 40 men or 8 horses.

J Jean Sullivan on Aug 27, 2020

Gale was a special guy, soft spoken, always a smile or grin! A member of our grieving group! Rest in piece my friend.

C Cheryl Nymann on Aug 27, 2020

CandleIt was always such a delight to see Gale at our small church in Kellogg. He was always smiling, and always sent me letters and notes of encouragement. I will certainly miss him.
Pastor Cheryl Nymann

C Cindy Frego on Aug 26, 2020

My sisters and I have fond memories of when "Mr. Hill" was our mailman. He was so kind and never minded having to go behind the bushes to get to the mailbox because we had built a fort over the front steps. God bless and take care.

A Adam Pierce on Aug 25, 2020

Alas my Brother!

N Nancy & Alan Jenks on Aug 25, 2020

Rest in peace, Uncle Gale. I am so glad Al and I got to spend time with you these last 10 years after we moved to the west side of Wis. Miss you! But I know you are with Aunt Bonnie now.

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