Clayton Hill

Published 10:41 am Tuesday, May 14, 2024

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April 21, 1923-April 26, 2024


Clayton Hill, age 101, Patriarch of our Hill Clan, formerly of Niles, Muskegon, Holland, and Port Richey, FL, passed away on April 26, 2024, in Holland, MI.

Clayton was born 4/21/1923 in Niles, MI to John D. Hill and Ferne (Wolf) Hill-Palmer. He is preceded in death by his second wife of 22 years, Jean Marie (Foster) Berry, his first wife of 57 years, Dorothy V. (Kist) Hill; his sister, Janice (Hill) Bennett-Berger; his nephew, Lee Bennett; great-nephew, Mark Bennett; stepsons, David (Mary) Berry and Donald (Barbara) Berry.

Clayton is survived by his son, Dennis (Diane) Hill of Niles, MI; his daughter, Loreasa (Bill) Hyde of Lakeway, TX; his daughter, Tammi Sue Mayfield (Sam Angell) of Spring Lake, MI; his ex-son-in-law, David Mayfield of Holland, MI; and his stepchildren, Douglas (Kris) Berry of Gig Harbor, WA, and Linda (Matthew) Maycroft of Muskegon, MI. He is also survived by 15 grandchildren; Jefferey (Mary) Hill, Brent (Tina) Hill, Chad (Nicole) Hill, Heather (Fred) Alcazar, Christopher (In Hee) Hyde, Brian (Angela) Hyde, Christina (Stephen) Cahill, and Isaac Mayfield; step-grandchildren, Jay Berry (Marylla Cook), Ian Berry, Deanna (Bao) Nguyen, Brittany Burns, Lauren Berry & Andrew DiLernia, Matthew Maycroft Jr., and Alex Maycroft. He leaves behind 21 great-grandchildren and 10 great-greatgrandchildren. He is also survived by his brothers, Stewart Hill of Goshen, IN and Larry (Stephanie) Hill of Middleburg, FL.

Clayton graduated from Niles High School in 1941 and married Dorothy Kist in 1942. He then served in the US Army/Air Force in the Indo-China Front. After the war, he worked for the South Bend Lathe Works and Studebaker. He started a TV repair business in Niles, MI partnering with Oscar Moore. His shop was located in the back of “Elmer’s Bike Shop” on Main St. and later moved to the Westside of Niles in the former Hermann’s Market. He also worked for Whirlpool in Benton Harbor and Dauphin, PA. In 1972, he returned to Kalamazoo, MI and built a home there, and worked for Montgomery Wards.

Throughout his life he liked to fix and make things. He built garages, houses, and even a house trailer and surfboard, so his family could better enjoy their summer camping trips. He belonged to St. John’s United Church of Christ in Niles for over 25 years. He even was a square dance caller and formed “Hills Happy Hoppers” square dance group in the 60’s. He loved his speed boat, loved to sail and to scuba dive. He also earned a pilot’s license for small planes. His later years were spent refurbishing and showing old tractors. He and his son, Dennis, spent many summers together showing their tractors at various regional shows.

Clayton retired to Port Richey, FL in 1986 where he resided at Ja-mar Trailer Park (38 years) and was very involved in the Board for over 15 years. He taught art and carving classes, along with being a fix-it person doing odd jobs for many residents there. He enjoyed his life with Jean as well as playing his organ and even playing 9 holes of golf up until 2019. He left Port Richey, FL with Jean in March of 2023 and moved to the Senior Community in Muskegon, MI. After Jean passed, he moved to Addington Place of Vista Lakes in Holland, MI to be closer to family.

A Memorial service for family and friends will be held June 18, 2024, from 11:30 am – 3:00 pm at St. John’s United Church of Christ’s Fellowship Hall, 601 Sycamore St., Niles, MI 49120, 269-683-4420. A luncheon will be served afterwards in the Hall. Congregational people & other friends in the Niles area who want to attend the luncheon, please give Loreasa (Lori) Hyde, (Clayton’s daughter), a text, (214-616-2234), email, (, or call that they will attend the luncheon for a “head count”. Lori will keep friends and family informed by text and email. For Obituary information, contact Langeland Sterenberg Funeral Home, 315 E. 16th St. Holland, MI 49423. (Tap on his picture.)

In lieu of flowers, please consider a Memorial contribution in Clayton’s name to a charity of your choice, or to Clayton’s favorite “Antique Farm Power Club” (West MI nonprofit 501C3). Enthusiasts who collect, preserve, and show antique farm equipment. To give, send donations to Antique Farm Power Club, Attn: Kathy Bannink, 505 Westway Dr. NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49534 or