Cover photo for Richard Nelson Hill's Obituary
Richard Nelson Hill Profile Photo
1941 Richard 2022

Richard Nelson Hill

April 12, 1941 — February 13, 2022

Richard Nelson Hill, son of Alice Jowitt and Arnold Hill, was born April 12th, 1941, in Staten Island Hospital. In 1947, with his mother and brothers Larry, Don, and Jeffrey, the family moved to Sebring, Florida. He graduated from Sebring High School in June of 1959 having been named the Scholar/Athlete for the state of Florida that year. He attended Davidson College on a Dana Scholarship, where he graduated in 1963 as a member of Phi Kappa Alpha fraternity. There he met Scott Beaver; a student at Meredith College in Raleigh, and they married on December 7th, 1963.


As an officer with the US Army, Richard was stationed in Bamberg, Germany from 1963 to 1966. Scott soon joined him where they welcomed daughter Kathy in 1965 and began a love of international travel. Richard, Scott and Kathy moved to Durham in 1967 so that he could study for his Master’s Degree in the Art of Teaching (MAT) at Duke University. Our son Chris joined the family in 1968.


Richard’s calling as a teacher came to fruition in 1969 when he joined the faculty at Jordan High School where he taught for 22 years. He earned his MAT in 1971 and his Doctorate in Education in 1980; both from Duke University. During his time at Jordan, he taught Honors World History to 10th graders, AP European History, and Economics, and advised both the model UN club (known as JUNC) and the Quiz Bowl, which came in second in national competition. He also supervised MAT students and with his wife Scott, organized more than a dozen memorable trips to Europe for high school students. He moved to the newly created Riverside High School in 1991, where he taught for twelve years and was asked to design the AP and Honors World History courses. He taught several courses through Olli (Osher Lifelong Learning Institute), including Art History and Durham Regional History. After his retirement in 2001, he designed and taught online AP European History courses for LearnNC from 2002-2005, and his curriculum was used as a model for remote, online instruction.


Richard transferred his love of art history and teaching to his volunteer work with Duke University’s newly opened Nasher Museum of Art, where he was a docent for almost 10 years. He also served as President of Sister Cities of Durham, and traveled to Tanzania, Siberia, England, and Japan as a member of the organization and a representative of his beloved city.


Richard and Scott moved to Croasdaile Retirement Village in 2019. Richard is preceded in death by parents Alice Jowitt Hill and Arnold Hill and brothers Larry Hill and Jeffrey Hill. He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Scott Hill, daughter Kathy Starks (Phillip Ewing) of Johnson City, NY and his son Chris Hill of Durham; grandchildren Geoffrey Starks of Syracuse, NY, Meredith Starks of Atlanta, GA, Brendan Hill of Raleigh, NC and Fiona Hill of Boone, NC; daughter-in- law Alex LeMay; brother Don Hill (Patricia); sister-in-law Patricia Beaver (Bob White), and beloved nieces and nephews and grand nieces and nephew.


Memorial services will be held on Saturday, February 26 at 2:00 PM in Few Chapel, Croasdaile Village, Durham, NC. In lieu of flowers, please send memorial contributions to Durham Public Schools Foundation, 411 W. Chapel Hill St., Suite C2, Durham, NC 27701.


 A Celebration of Richard’s life will be held at a later date.

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