Loyd Elwin Hills, 90, of Casper, joined his wife Willa Ann and their Lord on April 30th, after a short illness. He was born July 5th, 1927, in Twin Falls, Idaho, the son of Fred and Glada Belle Hills. He attended schools in Twin Falls, Jerome and Nampa, Idaho. He was a varsity basketball player and also lettered in track and field at Jerome High School, graduating in 1945.
He joined the Navy in June of 1945, just two months before the end of World War II and, after basic training, served as a Yeoman processing sailors for post war discharge with Submarine Group 3 Pacific at camp Aiea, Hawaii and then aboard USS Dionysus (AR-21), USS Blue Ridge (AGC-2), and USS Carter Hall (LSD-3), homeported in San Diego for the majority of his enlistment. He was discharged as a Yeoman Third Class Petty Officer in October 1947.
After discharge in the fall of 1947 he rode his brother's Army 45 motorcycle from San Diego through a snow storm back to his family home in Jerome, Idaho where he worked on his father's farm and hired out to work other farms in the year following discharge. While visiting his brother Fred who was pastor of a church in Cutbank, Montana, in January 1949, just days before starting college, he met his sweetheart, wife and life long pal Willa Ann Swisher who was attending his brother's church. They were engaged on Valentines Day and married June 11, 1949. Following marriage, they settled in Nampa, Idaho where Loyd studied Religious Education for two years at Northwest Nazarene College. He has said that the reason he wanted to attend college was so he could keep playing basketball. His first son was born in 1950 while attending college.
In 1951 Loyd returned from college to help work the family farms. He farmed in Jerome, where his remaining 3 children were born. In 1962 he moved his family to Casper, Wyoming in order to be near Willa's family. After working briefly for the Natrona County COOP and the American Oil Company warehouse, he became a letter carrier with the US Postal Office where he continued until retirement in 1992. As a senior letter carrier he was responsible for training many new young carriers over his career.
Loyd and Willa opened the Sew Shop, a custom drapery and alterations business in 1978 and Loyd's role was the installation of custom draperies all around Casper and neighboring communities during the evenings after his postal work. In the early eighties the Sew Shop was closed and the business continued from the basement of their home, providing alterations services for Casper Dry Cleaners, One Hour Martinizing and many longtime customers.
Loyd was also active as a Sunday School Teacher, Youth Group Leader, vocalist and music leader in Casper churches: First Church of the Nazarene, Grace Chapel, Wesleyan, Evangelical Free, Boyd Avenue Baptist, and The Salvation Army. He provided vocal music for weddings and funerals in Casper for over 50 years. After the death of the love of his life in 2013 until this spring he donated his time to the Salvation Army food bank accompanied by his primary caregiver, companion and grandson Taylor Hills.
Loyd was preceded in death by his parents and 8 siblings; sisters Mary, Alice, Hazel, Gladabelle, Evelyn, Lillian, and brothers Fred and Orrin. He is survived by one brother Kenneth Hills (Marilyn) of Nampa, ID. In addition he leaves behind four children; Ed (Marta) Hills of Littleton, CO; Terry (Jan) Hills of Lakewood, CO; Lyle (Laura) Hills of Rock Springs, WY; and Rhonda Hills of Casper, WY. He is also survived by 13 grandchildren and 18 great grandchildren living in Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, Oklahoma, Nevada, and Tennessee.
A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, June 16, 2018 at 2:00 p.m. at the Newcomer Casper Chapel.