Michael "Mike" C. Hill was born On September 29, 1934 in Banquette, Texas, just a few miles southwest of Robstown, TX. He died on April 30, 2013. He was preceded in death by both parents and his sister Joyce Marie. Mike was born on a ranch where his parents stocked Hereford cattle & quarter horses. At the age of 5, Mike was helping his Dad drive cattle on his Shetland Pony. His father was killed by a train/auto wreck In Angleton, so Mike went to work at a service station after school to help his family financially.
Mike graduated from Angleton High School in 1953. In high school he lettered in 3 sports, football, baseball and track. He attended Stephen F. Austin State College.
In February 1954, he joined the US Army Special Forces Group Airborne, based in Ft. Bragg N.C. Mike described the next 3 years as 'Hell". He attended jump school with the 82nd Airborne. He became a Ranger, then trained on a submarine to become a Frogman. He then trained in Mountain Survival & Repelling Training in the mountains of NC.
The Army Special Forces Group is a unit of 12 men per team, trained to fight behind enemy lines and to teach guerillas how to fight their enemies. The Special Forces Group is also known as the Green Beret. Mike earned his Green Beret.
After the Service, Mike returned to Angleton to take care of his mother & sister. He attended Stephen F. Austin, then transferred to the University of Texas, where he graduated. He became a Licensed Medical Technologist, and managed a clinic near the Heights Hospital, where he stayed for 13 years. Another tech at the hospital photographed on the week-ends and asked Mike if he would be interested. That was the beginning of a 40-year in Photography. He attended Sam Houston State College where he earned a degree from the Texas School of Professional Photographers. He loved to photograph oil rigs off the Louisiana Coast. He did photography for Texaco, Shell and Marathon.
Mike joined the Professional Photographers Guild of Houston in 1972. In 1974 he became a member of the Board. He was Guild President in 1985 and became the first Executive Director of the Guild in 1987. He remained Executive Director until June of 1994. He moved out of state but then returned when his sister became ill. He returned as Executive Director in 2003 and remained there until he retired in 2007. He loved the Guild and all of the members. They were his family. He was also a member of the Professional Photographers of America and the Texas Professional Photographers Association, where he was a Board member for many years.
Mike met Barbara and they quickly became good friends. After a short period of time they fell in love. They became soul mates and on July 3, 2008 at sunset, they exchanged vows on the East Beach in Galveston. Barbara was the love of Mike's life, and although he promised her twenty years, his heart gave out & God took him from us.
Mike leave his wife Barbara and seven grandchildren, Samantha McNeely, Damen, Bella & Elliot Polleck and Zachary, Mitchell & Zoe Stilwell. Step-daughter Debi Stilwell, and step-sons Ray & Randy Polleck. Also step-son & step-daughter Noel & Gini McNeely.