John Cooper Hill was born on May 1, 1929 in Marion, Arkansas to the union of Fred Hill Sr. and Laura Howard Wilson. John was the third child of seven children and was blessed to outlive all of his siblings. He was baptized and accepted Christ while in Marion, Arkansas at Pleasant Grove Baptist Church. After his mother became ill, John and a few of his younger siblings were sent to live with other relatives. John spent most of his time with his beloved grandfather, “Papa” until he was unable to care for him. At this time he decided to moved North to Cleveland, Ohio to reunite with his older siblings.
It was in Cleveland that he made a new life and met his future wife, Herine Nix. John was a devoted husband and later a faithful caregiver throughout Herine’s illness and until her death. They were happily married for 57 years and had two daughters, Patricia Okusanya and Cherine Ward.
John was employed as a welder at Interior Steel Equipment, Euclid Crane Company and the company he would later retire from General Motors Fisher Body. It was at Fisher Body that his welding skills were refined and polished as a welder journeyman. He was often requested to work additional time to weld machinery that had broken down and caused the manufactured car part assembly lines to come to a standstill. He remained there until the plant’s closing in 1992 and refused the offer to travel out of town to Lordstown or Michigan for work.
While working at Fisher Body, John was inspired to create an anti-theft device for automobiles because of the increasing car thefts in the area. He later secured a patent for his unique device and began manufacturing his own lock to sell. The plant closing inspired him to open his own business called “On the Dot Welding” Company which expanded into making everything from burglar bars, railings, to welding on cars. His work can be found throughout the city and state on many businesses and residences. John continued to work right until the Covid-19 shutdowns of March 2020. Even when the shutdown was lifted the shop remained closed for safety purposes and his deteriorating health.
John enjoyed spending time playing the guitar and piano, sharing stories, doing brain teaser puzzles, eating sweets or chocolate, and especially being with family and friends.
On Thursday, October 29, 2020, John departed this life of labor into rest free of pain and cancer. John leaves to cherish special memories, two daughters, Patricia Okusanya (Babatunde) and Cherine Ward (Michael), three grandchildren, Tokumboh Okusanya, Ashlee and Kelly Ward, two great-grandchildren, Riley and Xavier Williams, and a host of nieces, nephews, other relatives and dear friends.
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