Hill Blackett, Jr.
April 14, 2016
Hill Blackett Jr., a long-time Steamboat resident, died peacefully, at his home, on April 11, 2016, after battling leukemia for several months. He was 91.
Hill was a man of many talents and interests and had a long, happy life of commitment, love, and adventure. He was an accomplished horseman as a youth, an airman during World War II, a devoted father, a successful advertising executive, a skilled investor, a prolific artist, an award winning sailor, a dedicated skier, an avid and well-traveled fly fisherman, a loyal friend to many, and a discrete-but-generous philanthropist.
Hill was born on January 11, 1925 in Chicago, Illinois, and grew up in Winnetka, one of its northern suburbs. He attended North Shore Country Day School and, after World War II, Princeton University, graduating in 1949. He enlisted in the Army Air Force immediately after high school and served as bombardier on a B-24 in the South Pacific for the last two years of the War. He married Nancy Lourie, also from Winnetka, on December 29, 1948. They raised their three children in Winnetka, while Hill worked at several advertising agencies, including Clinton E. Frank Advertising, and his own agency that he operated for seven years. Hill and Nancy's marriage lasted almost sixty years, until her death in 2005.
Before and especially after retirement, Hill created wonderful sculptures, using wood, stone, plaster and welded and cast metals as his media. Although he considered his art as only a hobby, he worked hard at it, studying for several years under Abbott Pattison at the Art Institute of Chicago. Several of Hill's pieces are on display in Steamboat, including the "Tahitian Madonna" near the cafeteria entrance to Yampa Valley Medical Center, "Peter" at the Yampa River Botanic Park, and "Bravisimo" at the Musical Festival Grounds.
Hill was preceded in death by his parents, Gladys W. Blackett and Hill Blackett, his wife, Nancy L. Blackett, his grandson, David G. Blackett, and his sister, Priscilla B. Rogers. His survivors include: his beloved partner, Boo Ross of Steamboat; his three children, Hill Blackett, III, Scott L. Blackett, and Mary Blackett Randall; his five grandchildren, and his four great-grandchildren.
A memorial service for Hill will be held on May 8, 2016 at 4:00 p.m. at St. Paul's Episcopal Church at 846 Oak Street in Steamboat Springs. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Hill's memory to YVMC Foundation (https://secure.acceptiva.com/?cst=5c77de) or the Strings Music Festival (http://stringsmusicfestival.com/support/).
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