Haven S. Hill

1939 ~ 2022

Obit Photo Haven Hill uniform 2

  Captain Haven S. Hill, age 82, passed away on August 07, 2022, shortly after moving to Loveland, Colorado, where his younger daughter lives with her family. The cause of death was an intracranial hemorrhage.

   Haven Hill was born in Duluth, Minnesota to parents John and Vera Hill. He had a healthy upbringing on the Minnesota Iron Range. To know Haven is also to know his wife, Roberta. They were almost inseparable, known to each other since the 10th grade at Duluth Central High School. In the age of sock hops and school dances, the couple started “going steady”. Haven was a good student and a rock-solid athlete in football, basketball, and track. After high school, Haven secured a congressional appointment to the Air Force Academy. In late June of 1957, he entered the AFA class of 1961 at Lowry AFB, Denver, CO. Meanwhile, Roberta began her RN medical training at St. Luke’s Hospital in Duluth.

   In 1957, because the Air Force Academy campus at Colorado Springs was still under construction, Haven began his Academy years at Lowry AFB, in Denver, CO. During his first two years at the Academy, Haven participated in varsity football and basketball. He also underwent the physical move and transition to the Academy’s new facilities at Colorado Springs. Haven was a member of the Air Force Academy’s 3rd graduating class on June 07, 1961; Secretary of the Air Force Eugene Zuckert was the commencement speaker.

   Following AFA graduation, Haven and Roberta joined the many recent graduates in marriage ceremonies, their wedding on July 01, 1961. It is notable that in total they would enjoy 61 years of marriage.

   The Air Force pipeline had a slot for pilot training set aside for 2/Lt. Haven Hill at Vance AFB at Enid, Oklahoma. Pilot training and married life went well for Haven and Roberta, and Haven’s next training assignment was to Tinker AFB at Oklahoma City for transition to the Douglas C-124 Globemaster. Known to Air Force flight crews as ‘Old Shakey,’ the C-124 was one of the more complex reciprocating engine aircraft in the Air Force inventory. After Tinker AFB, Haven’s permanent assignment was to the 62nd Troop Carrier Wing (Military Air Transport Service - MATS) at McChord Air Force Base, Tacoma, WA.

   The 62nd Troop Carrier Wing was a MATS special mission troop carrier wing with long-range tenacles, mainly serving Alaska, the Aleutians, and the entire Pacific. Haven, no doubt, found the C-124 flying excellent preparation for his airline career to follow.Obit Photo Haven Hill with wife.2

   Haven and Roberta’s marriage had roots in the military and was a truly remarkable marriage. The couple produced three wonderful children: daughters Linda and Sally and son Steve. This family’s legacy of hard work, led by example, inspired many to also become either an RN or an airline pilot. Son Steve is a Delta pilot based at MSP and Sally’s husband is a pilot with Frontier Airlines in Denver. Daughter Sally is a retired nurse and 2 granddaughters are currently practicing nurses.

   The official date of Haven's hire by Northwest Airlines is Sept. 13, 1965. His initial crew position was the classic new hire Second Officer on the Boeing 727. This was followed by a series of upgrades, the first to Second Officer on the Boeing 707 series at MSP. At that time, Boeing 720/320 First Officer preceded an initial Captain upgrade on the 727. In 1969, he completed his initial Captain upgrade in the Boeing 727 and thereafter, pretty much stayed glued to domestic flying. During his long career, Haven became one of NWA’s high flight time pilots on the Boeing 727. When his seniority permitted, Haven upgraded to Captain on the DC-10. This became his aircraft until his official retirement on November 11, 1994.

   Haven participated in various sports activities including basketball on the NWA employee team. He also enjoyed golf and tennis, the latter he shared with Roberta. He and his family spent many weekends at “the cabin”, fishing and boating. It was no secret that the couple had their lifetime quota of Minnesota winters, so toward his retirement, Haven started looking west to their vacation home in a beach condo complex in Encinitas, CA. The beautiful coastal town fully pleased the couple for 28 years, until their needed move to CO, due to Haven’s increasing health issues.Obit Photo Haven Hill senior.2

   Our colleague, Haven Hill, is survived by his wife of 61 years Roberta, daughters Linda and Sally, and their son Steve, plus nine grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

    We NWA pilots have been honored to have known and worked with Haven Hill.

    (~ Hill Family & Bill Day)