William A. Hill “Wild Bill Hill” was born December 22, 1925 in Memphis TN to William A Hill II and Zoe Abren “Billie” Hill. He is preceded in death by his wife Novella Hill, father William A. Hill III, mother Billie Hill, 2 sisters, Kathlyn Thompson and Joyce Elmore, 1 brother James Hill, 2 sons William “Porkey” Hill of Arkansas and Anthony Madkins of Gary. From previous marriage he is preceded in death by Alma L Hill and June Roby.
He leaves to honor his memory 1 brother Walter Carter, 2 daughters, Sharon D. Hill, of Gary and Catherine Spann of Gary, 6 sons Michael Johnson (Ruby) of Ft. Worth Texas, Bradford Johnson of Atlanta GA, Stephen Hill of Atlanta GA, Dwight Johnson of Iowa, Christopher Madkins of Indianapolis, and Paul Madkins of Valdosta GA. His very special friends, Dr. Sharron Liggins, Bennie Muhammad, Zola Agona Azania, Helen Brooks, Adlee Hodges and Senator Eddie Melton.
Bill’s mother was an legendary piano player and vocalist with the Jimmy Lunsford Orchestra in the 1920”s. Bill also performed on stage with her tap dancing at the age of five. They moved to Gary to live with family in 1936 after his father died and attended Froebel School in the early years. At the age of 13 he begins to play the C-melody Saxophone by ear and later the Tenor Saxophone under the direction of Thomas “Chu’ Crump. Bill graduated from Roosevelt High School in 1947. In his later years he attended Indiana University Northwest and received his Bachelor of Arts in Afro- American Studies.
When he was a young man in his twenties he developed his own band and traveled the Chittlin Circuit playing music and had the opportunity to play with some of the greats, like B.B, King, Bobby Blue Bland, Ray Charles, Sonny Boy Williamson, Al Green and
Bill was a servant leader in his community and has served in many capacities on numerous boards throughout Lake County, IN to include Drug Free Gary, Lake County Substance Abuse Council, Gary Neighborhood Service, Salvation Army, NAACP, Gary Literacy Coalition, Provisions, Reclamation and Restorations Ministries, Second Chance Drug Court Foundation, and several others, founded DAPPA (Dually Addicted Persons Assistance and Recovery Group), and developed HillCrestManor Selfology Institute along with and in partnership with his wife Novella Hill which is still in operation and facilitated by his daughters.
He has received many honors and awards for service to the community to include Honorary Deputy Sheriff in 2008, Irwin Lewis Community Service Award, Excellence in Service from Salvation Army, The Golden Hoosier Award, the highest award a citizen can receive for community service in the State of Indiana and he was the first from Northwest Indiana , Gary Legend award and Hero of the Community Award (honored at Bulls Center Court in Chicago). Bill has receives letters of Recognition from former Governor Mitchell Daniels, Michele Obama for writing programs for the Boys and Girls Club and community service, and Congressman Peter Visclosky just to name a few. His professional Memberships include Gary Chamber of Commerce, Neal-Marshal Alumni Association, and The Greater Jazz American Jazz Association.
It all started with a prayer and promised to God, that if he helped him with his addiction, he would spend the rest of his life helping others who have the same problems he had and their families. For the past 40-50 years he has kept that promise until he was no
longer physically able. Bill has given a large part of his life to the community and in mentoring the youth and others . The root of it all is his unwavering faith in God who he trusted wholeheartedly with his soul.
May his soul rest in peace knowing his promise was kept and God is well pleased