Tribute to Lawrence Hill - TLC Memorial

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Lawrence James Hill
June 15, 1941 ~ May 13, 2020

James Hill (Larry), 78, of Bloomington, MN died May 13, 2020 of dementia. He had been a resident of Nine Mile Creek Senior Living for the past year. Lawrence was born in Detroit, MI on June 15, 1941to James Cupit Hill and Lucy Norene (Sherman) Hill. He is survived by his wife, Carol (Schnaidt), daughters Stephanie Hill Simione and Deb Hill Unglaube (Andrew) of Bloomington and four grandchildren (Zachary and Isabella Simione, and Eli and Maxwell Unglaube) He is also survived by his brother David and wife Alice Hill of Sterling Heights, Michigan, and sister Beth and husband Ron Chockley of Shelby Township. Predeceased by his brother, Tom.

Lawrence obtained a BS degree in European history in 1964, and a MA in Design and Technical Theatre in 1968 from Eastern Michigan University followed by a Ph.D in Theatre History at the University of Minnesota in 1979. He served as a professor of theatre arts at the University of North Dakota from 1969-1989 and from 1989-2002 at Western Carolina University, Cullowhee, NC, including terms as a department head in both institutions. He directed over twenty theatre productions, was technical director for over 120 productions and shared scenic and lighting design duties during his career. He was a scholar of theatre design and aesthetics. As theatre chair at the University of ND, he spearheaded an exhibit of seminal Broadway designers that supported the career of playwright Maxwell Anderson--a former student at UND. In the1980s, he joined with other scholars from around the country to document historic and extant theatres in Iowa, North and South Dakota and Minnesota. This was followed by two unique exhibits: The Twin City Scenic Co. and of theatre accoutrements used in the initiation of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry titled Theatre of the Fraternity. Both were supported by funding from the National Endowment of the Humanities and were exhibited nationally.

As a member of the United States Institute of Theatre Technology, he served for 6 years on the Board of Directors, five years as chair of the finance committee as well as treasurer for four years, and chair of programming for one of the Institute’s national conferences.

After retirement he and Carol moved to Athens, Georgia, returning to Minneapolis in late 2013. While in Athens, he served as an adjunct professor in the theatre department, reviewing portfolios of graduating seniors. He was treasurer for the Athens Area Habitat for Humanity. For the Jeannette Rankin Foundation, he was a member of the finance committee and read scholarship applications. After moving back to Minneapolis, he and Carol continued to read applications for the Jeannette Rankin Foundation.

While serving as a Lieutenant in the US Army in France from 1964-1966 he met his wife, Carol. They were married in Chinon, France. He and Carol enjoyed traveling particularly in Europe and the UK and they introduced their daughters to travel at a young age.
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