Bob Hill, who died on March 4

Robert (Bob) Hill died peacefully at home on March 4, 2012, in the presence of his family.

Bob was born in Brooklyn in 1922 and grew up in Lake Mahopac, New York. After one year at New York University, he enrolled at UC Berkeley. His college education was interrupted by World War II, during which he served as a radio operator in the Army Air Corps in the South Pacific. After the war, he returned to Cal, completing his A.B. in Physiology in 1949 and his PhD. in 1953.

Bob’s life was altered by a single incident that took place in the laboratory in 1950. A dog bite led to rabies treatments that provoked a nearly fatal reaction that resulted in permanent spinal damage. His courage and determination in surmounting this obstacle were inspirations to all.

Bob’s career was devoted to assuring the safety of newly developed medicines through preclinical laboratory evaluations. He started his career as a research associate at UC Berkeley and subsequently worked at Diablo Laboratories and later for Syntex Corporation.

He developed a reputation for designing thorough and reliable testing protocols, and started his own consulting firm, Hill Research Associates, after retiring from Syntex in 1985. He and his wife, Dale Walker, worked together in this endeavor until their retirement in 2003.

Bob was a long-time member of several professional organizations including the Society of Sigma Xi and the American Physiological Society. He married Dale Walker of Pasadena, California, in 1951. They had three sons: Barry, Allan, and Lorin Hill. He is survived by his wife, three sons, three daughters in law (Mildred, Mary Jayne, and Anne Hill), seven grandchildren (Thomas, Naomi, Maria Christina, Haley, Danica, Cameron, and Shannon-Rose Hill), his sister, Judith Ruby of Lake Oswego, Oregon, and numerous nieces and nephews.

Bob had a lifetime passion for the outdoors, birdwatching, farming, and woodworking. Bob’s last years were spent in a variety of community service projects, most notably volunteer work for the History Project of Los Gatos Library. He also made wooden toys that he donated annually to local toy drives during the holidays. He enjoyed theater, ballet, and football, as well as travel and exploration with Dale, his sons, and grandchildren.

A gathering to share memories of Bob will be held at a later date. Inquiries may be sent to Friends are invited to contribute in his memory to the UC Berkeley Foundation.

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Tracey Taylor is co-founder of Berkeleyside and co-founder and editorial director of Cityside, the nonprofit parent to Berkeleyside and The Oaklandside. Before launching Berkeleyside, Tracey wrote for...