After graduating from high school, I immediately went to work in the advertising business, first in Ft. Smith and then in Dallas, TX. I was called back to Ft. Smith in 1962 to run the advertising and display departments of Pollock Stores (the Arcade department and furniture stores). Coming back to Ft. Smith was good because I began to date Elizabeth (Griffin, class of 1962) and we were married in ’63. This year, we celebrate our forty-first anniversary.
I started to Ft. Smith Junior College in 1963 and then we moved to North Little Rock in 1964 where I attended Little Rock University (now UALR). Although I never worked less than 40 hours per week, I was able to graduate with a BA in three years. I began teaching social studies in the North Little Rock School District in 1965. I was a Psychology major and I was planning to become an Industrial Psychologist. Teaching allowed me time to go to graduate school in the summer to work on my graduate degrees. I completed over 112 credits in graduate school at the University of Central Ark. And the U of A at Fayetteville and Little Rock but I never became a Psychologist. I found that teaching was my “thing” to do. After four years in the North Little Rock District, I left teaching for a year to sell insurance. Boy, did I make a mistake. I did ok but when that year was over, I went back to teaching in the Pulaski County School District, and I continued until 1993 when I retired. That was a total of 28 years. The last 18 years of that time, I was a Vocational Education Coordinator for the district. I would have gone 30 years but the district offered and “early out”, a years salary, so I took it and my teacher retirement and did not look back.
I did not stay retired though because the next week, I began work for the Department of Human Services in Child Care and Early Childhood Education. I retired from that position last November (2003) after 10 years with the State of Arkansas. I also now draw my Social Security and three retirement checks aren’t bad.
My wife, Elizabeth, also attended Little Rock University and she employed by the VA Medical Center as a Personnel Management Specialist. She retired from the VA in 1997 after 30 years and then also went to work for the DHS as Aide to the Chief Counsel. She also retired again in November, last year, and her two retirement checks are good too.
We have one daughter, Allison, born in 1970. She and her husband live in North Little Rook too and they had their first child last July. Ethan is his name and he is our only grandchild and he is the joy of our lives.
We are very active in our church and we serve in many capacities.
I have always enjoyed good health, at least until 2001 when I found out that I had prostate cancer. I had surgery in August that year to remove it. I had more cancer last year (bladder) and I had 7 weeks of radiation treatment. The LORD is good and I’m doing fine now. I was saddened to see how many of our classmates have passed on. I will pray for GOD’S blessings on all of us that remain today.
Richard Hill - 2004