State Senator Jack Hill, one of the most beloved public servants for Bulloch County and one of the most influential members of the Georgia Legislature, died suddenly Monday afternoon. Gov. Brian Kemp announced Hill’s passing on his Facebook page. Hill was 75.
According to a report in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Tattnall County Sheriff Kyle Sapp said Hill was found dead in his Reidsville office Monday. While Hill self-quarantined after being possibly exposed to the coronavirus during a Senate session on March 16, Sapp said his death is not believed related to the virus, according to the AJC report.
Hill was first elected to the Georgia State Senate as a Democrat in 1990 and was re-elected to his 15th two-year term in 2018. Hill announced he would change parties in 2002 and was easily re-elected to his District 4 State Senate seat as a Republican through the 2018 election. He was the longest serving member in the Senate and he had qualified to run for his 16th term in February.
In his posting about Hill’s death, Kemp wrote: “Georgia lost a gentle giant today. Jack Hill was one of the kindest, most thoughtful people I ever served with. His loss is devastating to our state, but he leaves behind an unmatched legacy of hard work and public service. Please pray for his loved ones, colleagues and community.”
Hill served as chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, one of the most powerful positions in the Senate. Hill also served as the vice chairman of the Senate Rules Committee, as a member on the Natural Resources and the Environment and Regulated Industries and Utilities, as well as an ex-officio member of the Finance Committee.
In addition to Bulloch County, Hill’s Senate District 4 included Evans, Candler Effingham and parts of Tattnall and Emanuel counties.
Born in Reidsville, where he lived all his life, Hill operated a grocery store in the Tattnall County town for decades. He was a graduate of Reidsville High School and what was then Georgia Southern College, now Georgia Southern University. Hill is survived by his wife Ruth, three children and seven grandchildren.
Look for a more complete story on the passing of Sen. Jack Hill in Thursday’s Statesboro Herald and on statesboroherald.com.