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December 20, 1952 - January 2, 2023
In loving memory ~
With broken hearts, we announce the passing of Jan David St. Keverne Hill on January 2nd, 2023, at age 70, after a recent and astonishingly aggressive cancer took him unexpectedly. He leaves behind his best friend and wife of 46 years, Mary, and daughters Genevieve (Matt), and Alexandra (Tomas), four beautiful grandchildren Claire, Charlotte, Liam, and Benjamin, three remaining siblings Kip Hill, Kolly Hill-Davie, Angie Brockhurst, as well as numerous friends and extended family.
Jan was born December 20th, 1952 in Vancouver, the fifth of six children to Kathleen Nora and Athelstane Peter St. Keverne Hill. He spent his childhood on a small farm in Mt. Lehman and later attended high school in Ladner, B.C.
He went on to complete a Bachelor of Science degree followed by a teaching certificate at UBC in 1976. He and Mary were married that same year and moved north to Prince George where he taught at Kelly Road Secondary School from 1976 to 1986. During that time, they started a family and flirted with farming. After relocating
with the family to the Cowichan Valley, Jan completed a law degree at the University of Victoria and worked as a lawyer for the B.C.
Ministry of Attorney General advising the Ministry of Forests until his retirement. He continued to lead the family in further farming adventures and instilled in them a love and appreciation for the natural world. Friends describe him as "a fantastic storyteller, gifted writer, and the master of analogies. Jan would often leave you in stitches with stories of life on the farm, world travels, grandkids and life in general." "He was so curious and interested in everything and everyone." Deeply clever and equally humble, Jan appreciated the intricacies of everything from fine art to raising sheep. He was a man of many skills and talents, from woodworking to beekeeping, with an excellent eye for craftsmanship that can be seen in his many works, large (a barn) or small (the beautiful quotidian furniture that fills the house), and an exceptional ear for all of the
classical music he appreciated and encouraged.
As a man with countless interests and an insatiable thirst for knowledge (and tools), it's no wonder that he was fond of the A.A. Milne poem "The Old Sailor," though his family would lovingly swap "basking" for "researching." He was a scientist and a lawyer until the end, considering every possible aspect of, well, everything before choosing a course of action.
This made him an excellent person with whom to talk through problems, which came in handy as he encouraged and supported his family in all of our pursuits. He was extremely thoughtful, and we have been honoured to be the recipients of so much of his love and attention.
We will miss his dry sense of humour, his inquiring mind, his creative ideas, and his excellent culinary offerings, particularly the cinnamon buns and dill pickles. He was a wonderful and generous husband, father, grandfather, brother, and friend to many. Special thanks to Jim and Anna Gowriluk for their constant friendship and support. We are
all lucky to have been a part of Jan's life. In light of this tragic loss, do tell the people you love that you love them. A gathering of family and friends will be held later this year.
You could also consider making a donation to the BC Cancer agency, or to the Pacific Salmon Foundation.