Robert Webber Hill Jr., father of Williston Northampton head of school Robert W. Hill III and the Henry Norman Hudson Professor Emeritus of English at Middlebury College, died at his Weybridge home Tuesday evening, Jan. 28, 2014, one week after his 80th birthday.
Born in Wilmington, Del., he attended the Tower Hill School through the seventh grade, distinguishing himself as an eager math and science student, a relentless classroom questioner, and a fearless competitor in any sport or game he chose to play, all qualities he continued to display throughout his life. In the fall of 1947, he entered the second form (8th grade) of Westminster School, Simsbury, Conn., the boarding school from which he graduated magna cum laude, despite the reputation of being “the most slovenly student” the school had ever seen. He entered Harvard in the fall of 1952 and began to consider English as a major while maintaining his interest in the physical sciences. Bob weathered an almost disastrous sophomore slump at Harvard, righted himself with a characteristic surge of determination in his final two years, and emerged again magna cum laude.