Sylvester Paul Hill


Sylvester Paul Hill, 81, of Columbus, passed away from cancer on Wednesday, January 18, 2023, surrounded by loved ones; he survived a first diagnosis sixteen years ago. Paul was born on November 28, 1941, in North Vernon, to Sylvester George and Sally Virginia (Biehle) Hill, the second of nine children.

Paul was a 1959 graduate of Hauser High School in Hope. He had a long career in automotive service and sales. After living in Arizona during the 1980s and 90s where he owned brake-and-alignment businesses, he returned to Hope and opened Hill Auto Sales and Service with siblings Steve and Sally in 2001. His customers lovingly called him “Abuelo” and he enjoyed serving them popcorn and cold soft drinks. He retired in 2018 but still found himself under vehicles and attending auctions as an octogenarian. Always tender-hearted, he loved pets and tending to neighborhood wildlife. He strived to make life easier for all those he encountered and often repeated the saying, “can’t never did anything!”

Survivors include his five children: Kelly (Donald) Payne of Texarkana, TX, Scott (Karen) Hill of Mt. Washington, KY, David (Heather) Hill of Memphis, TN, Dana (Randy) Ricks of Davis, OK, and Shannon (Brian) Zuercher of Huntington; seven siblings: Kay Hoover of Kingman, AZ, Fayanne Beecher of Columbus, Steven Hill of Winnsboro, LA, Sally Manning of Columbus, Ron Hill of North Vernon, Joyce (Tom) Kimberlin of Flatrock, and Joe Hill of Solsberry; eleven grandchildren: Jon and Greg Payne, Tabitha Moore, Julian Crawford-Hill, Molly Williamson, Ashley Brashier, Christopher and Brittney Seale, Samuel and Benjamin Fitzke, and Zephria Zuercher; ten great-grandchildren: Aubrey, Maddox, Savannah, Lucy, Corbin, Logan, Willow, Alice, Wiley, and Roman; grand-nephews Dexter and Maxwell; Gustavo (Stephanie) Lopez, who was like a son, and his children Aleck and Talitha; and many other nieces and nephews with whom he shared close relationships. He was preceded in death by his parents; sister, Marsha Regan; and great-grandson, Tristan.

In keeping with Paul’s wishes, cremation will take place. A celebration of life will be scheduled in July and interment will follow at Garland Brook Cemetery.

As an infant, Paul suffered from pyloric stenosis and his life was saved by the care he received at Riley Hospital for Children. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in memory of Paul to Riley Children’s Foundation, PO Box 3356, Indianapolis, IN 46206-3356 or to Our Hospice of South Central Indiana (OHSCI), 2626 17th Street, Columbus, IN 47201, where he received excellent end-of-life care.