James Harold “Jay” Hills, 53, of Great Mills, MD passed away Tuesday, September 17, 2019 at University of Maryland Shore Regional Health in Easton, MD with his wife at his side.
He was born May 19, 1966 in Leonardtown, MD to Mary Carol Mattingly Russell of Leonardtown, MD and the late James Laurence Hills. He was known by many names, James, Jay, “God Damnit Jay”, Stem, Jay-bird and MY LOVE.
While still in high school, Jay worked at the Exxon gas station in Leonardtown. Jay began racing (#54) in 1982, at Potomac Speedway. He graduated from Leonardtown High School in 1984 and went on to Diesel Mechanic School at the Diesel Institute of America. He soon discovered that being a mechanic was not his passion. He wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps and began working at Larry Hills and Sons where he took over the business with his brother when his father passed away in 2017. Jay also volunteered for the Second District Volunteer fire department serving as CAPT, Board of Directors and an Engineer.
He married the love of his life, Annie, on August 8, 2008 and enjoyed their time at the “pit”. Annie and Jay’s relationship has been envied by others since the day they met. He adored her the same way she adored him and it was evident to everyone around them. They built their life on the family land and he was proud of that fact. He smiled wide every time someone spoke about his wife and of the business that he, his father and brother built together. Jay was a wizard at running any of the business’ equipment. If you witnessed him operating a backhoe, bobcat or excavator, you stood there with your mouth wide open as he moved that large piece of equipment like it was an extension of his own body. We believe he was the real life transformer, a man one with a machine. He did everything with precision. Sometime the perfectionist in him drove others crazy even though they knew they had to be patient since he was doing the right thing.
Those who knew Jay, knew that he enjoyed buying scratch-offs, camping with family and friends, swimming, watching NASCAR, playing Pitch and corn hole (which he hated to lose), drinking 16oz Bud Light out of aluminum bottles and he collected everything (coins, plastic cups from everywhere he ate, hats, coke bottles with names, bud light collector bottles, race cars, capitals gear, etc.).
We cannot think of anyone who knew Jay that wasn’t a friend of Jay. Jay Hills will be remembered as the most kind, most generous, most sincere, most respected, and most honest person on the face of this earth. He would give anyone the shirt off his back and the last dime in his pocket. He was loved by all and those are not just words used lightly in this situation.
In addition to his mother, he is also survived by his wife, Ann Margaret “Annie” Hills; his step mother Debbie Hills, his step father Johnny Russell; his four sons, Daniel Alioto, Nicholas Alioto, Kevin Hills and Adam Hills of Valley Lee, MD; his two sisters, Diana Oh (Tom) of Hollywood, MD, Tracy L. French (Scot) of King George, VA and his brother, Darryl B. Hills (Jennifer) of Great Mills, MD; and many extended family and friends. He is preceded in death by his father, James Laurence “Larry” Hills.
Family will receive friends on Tuesday September 24, 2019 from 4-8pm at the 2nd District Volunteer Fire Department social hall. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Wednesday September 25, 2019 at 10 am at Holy Face Catholic Church in Great Mills MD. Interment will follow at Charles Memorial Gardens in Leonardtown, MD.
Serving as pallbearers will be Nicholas Alioto, Darryl Hills, Tom Oh, Rob Seltzer, Mark Bowes, Johnny Bean, Steve Burch, Willie Farr and Harvey Carter. Honorary pallbearers will be Eric Calvano, Brandon Oh, Matthew Oh, Trevor Hills, Savannah Hills, and Bradley Hills.
Jay would say when it’s your time it is your time. Unfortunately, none of us were ready for his time.
Memorial contributions may be made to Second District Fire Department and Rescue Squad, P.O. Box 1, Valley Lee, MD 20692.
Condolences may be made at www.brinsfieldfuneral.com
Arrangements by the Brinsfield Funeral Home, P.A., Leonardtown, MD