Life Sketch for a Funeral

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My dad married his high school sweetheart, Lisa Malee Erickson, on February 5, 1993. He had joined the Army Reserve and left soon after they were married to attend basic training at Ft. Leonard Wood in Missouri. I'm his first daughter, Christine Brianne Hill. I was born May 26, 1993, while he was in training. Daddy was given leave to come home and see his new baby daughter, but had to return just two days later. He completed his training two months later and returned to his wife and baby. He adored Christine and would not be without her. I was looking at pictures and talking to my mom, she said she remembers him sleeping with Christine on his chest. (Insert letter from Ryan to Christine) Dad was always very supportive of us kids. He did not like cheerleading, and never failed to let me know that, but he always paid for me to participate because he knew it made me happy. If I happy, he was happy. Mom, Dad, and I moved to Utah in 1993 so Ryan could attend the University of Utah. One of his favorite classes was photography and Lisa remembers taking Christine to the photo lab to spend time with him. In August 1995, the family moved back to Idaho and lived in Mud Lake on the farm. I would ride with Ryan in the stacker, or “snacker” as I called it. Ryan was taking classes at the ISU extension during that time. Ryan and Lisa were serving as Primary teachers in their ward there– a calling that Ryan loved because he got to be with kids. That was a good time for our family, and we later moved to Rexburg. On August 16, 1996, I got my baby brother, Nathan Grant Hill. Dad spent a lot of time with Nathan as a baby because Lisa was working full-time. Lisa remembers he was so happy to have a son. Nathan spent a lot of time with his Dad in the combine. As he grew up, Nate loved to go fishing and camping with Ryan. He especially liked the homemade bows and arrows and walking sticks that Ryan would carve for him. Ryan and Nate went on a week-long hunting trip. Ryan bought Nathan a new bow. They didn’t get anything, but they had a good time. Even though they loved the outdoors it wasn't always smooth sailing. Nate and dad were going down the Alpine Slide together, and hit a curve going too fast, and instead of riding the sled down the mountain, Dad was riding Natie's face instead. Nate has scars on his head from getting hit with tree branches on the head from dad collecting fire wood. Nate came out with battle wounds, but they always have a good laugh about it later- well, at least dad laughed at Nate's expense. Nate and Ryan shared a special connection through their love of sports and music. Ryan only missed one of Nate’s football games. When Nate chose his number, he chose the number 11 because he didn’t want to be just like his Dad, but he knew the numbers 1 and1 added up to 2, which was his Dad’s number. When Nathan started wrestling, Ryan posted on his Facebook account, “Nate took first in his first wrestling tournament. I love football, but I gotta say wrestling is intense.” He loved to watch Nate wrestle. Lately, Nate liked playing a game with his Dad where he would play clips of songs and then ask Ryan who sang it, when it was made, and whether it was famous. If my dad would say the song was popular and my Nate didn't agree he would come back with "Nobody's heard this song!" When Christine and Nathan were young, Ryan worked as a snowmobile guide in Park City. He was a great guide and met some interesting people, including the California Attorney General, and kept in touch with many of them. A few days before Christmas in 1996, Ryan got in a snowmobiling accident that shattered his elbow and broke his forearm and scapula. Uncle Dave can remember sitting on Ryan while they tried to reset his dislocated shoulder and thinking how strong he was even in that condition. The first thing he asked when he was coherent was whether his snowmobile was alright. We can all remember being so grateful to have him home...
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