Peter Hill was born on August 9, 1928 in Springfield, Massachusetts to Jean Westerfield Hill and Arthur Cheney Clifton Hill. Peter was an only child until decades later his father remarried and had one daughter, Ruth Maxwell Hill, who has predeceased him.
Peter grew up in Brooklyn, NY and later moved with his parents to Tokeneke, in Darien, CT, where he enjoyed his dog and outdoor life around their pond and woods. As a teenager, he moved with his parents to Georgetown in Washington, DC where his father joined the War Production Board and Peter attended Sidwell Friends School. He excelled in the arts and developed a keen eye for design and painting.
From 1946-1950 he attended Dartmouth, majoring in English and pre-med. From 1950 he went to Harvard Business School, graduating with his MBA in 1952. After travelling around Europe that summer, he returned to the United States and was admitted to the Navy where he served in Kittery, NH, and was in charge of supplies.
A while after he was honorably discharged from the Navy in 1956, he went to Pendle Hill, a Quaker study, retreat, and conference center outside of Philadelphia. There he met and married Inge Bruun (Danish) in 1958. He and Inge had four children: AnnMarie Hill Senol of Bethel, CT, twins Thomas Peter Hill of Castleton, VT, and Karen Jean Hill of Savannah, Georgia, and Lisa Christina Hill (deceased). Peter’s grandchildren are: Nese Senol Devenot of University Heights, OH and Baris Senol of Bethel, CT. Peter’s great grandson is Ellis Michael Devenot of University Heights, OH.
Peter held a long career in the selling and restoring of fine antiques. He was gifted in seeing what others could not see and restoring worth to each piece. Near the beginning of his career, about 60 miles from Washington, DC, he came across a century-old home that was about to be demolished. Inside the house hung the famous Zuber wallpaper that had been imported to the USA from France in the early 19thC. Recognizing its historic value, he arranged to buy the wallpaper for $50 and remove it himself with only a putty knife and razor blade. He worked tirelessly by himself well into the night, and when he had taken it all down he contacted the Smithsonian.
John Newton Pearce of the Cultural Historical Section at the Smithsonian, aware of the First Lady’s Americana initiative for the Diplomatic Reception Room, visited Peter Hill’s home to review the wallpaper. Fascinated, Pearce scheduled a date for Hill to take the wallpaper to the White House. On April 3, 1961, Hill and his family journeyed to the Executive Mansion—wallpaper in hand—and presented it to the first lady. She admired the wallpaper and allowed him to choose the room where he thought it fit best. Hill selected the Diplomatic Reception Room. The NSID purchased the wallpaper from Hill for $12,500. They afterwards generously donated the wallpaper to the White House.13
In the 1970s he moved to East Lempster, NH where he built his home to include his studio and gallery. In the late 1990’s he moved to Keene, NH and bought an 1868 house of Italian Renaissance design and began lovingly and accurately restoring the house and its carriage house to period magnificence. He engaged in months of research about the house to register it on the National Register of Historic Places. Today it stands as one of the area’s jewels.
In 2004 he opened the first Healing Rooms of New Hampshire, under the International Association of Healing Rooms, and trained up teams to minister healing in the anointing of Jesus Christ.
In 2007 he married Sally Hill, then of Brattleboro, VT, and with her two daughters, Eleanor and Ninoa Helai, lived in the historic house, finishing its restoration, planning and holding conferences in the carriage house, and overseeing Healing Rooms every week.
In 2015 Peter and Sally moved to Moravian Falls, NC and in February of this year moved to Highlands, NC where he enjoyed wonderful majestic views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. On the morning of August 12, 2019 he transitioned peacefully to LIFE with Sally at his side.
*Burial (family only) will take place at 1pm Sunday, August 25, 2019 at Highlands Memorial Park, Highlands, NC.
**A memorial service will be held in Keene, NH at 1 pm Saturday September 14, 2019.
Bryant-Grant Funeral Home and Crematory is serving the Hill family.