Harry Hill

Courtesy Woodland SB

There was something about Harry Hill. Something wonderful. Harry was a hard working man, a father and grandfather, and a Hall of Fame Mummer. Harry Hill passed away at the end of September.  He was just 57. Harry was a dedicated former String Band Captain that everybody in Mummery knew.  But, Jim Wolfinger may have said it best when he commented on Facebook that Harry Hill was an “excellent person.”

Harry made you feel at ease. He would do whatever he could to help.  That is how he made me feel when I would see him on the street or when I visited years ago in the Greater Overbrook clubhouse. So much work had to be done. Everybody was running around worrried, but Harry had a steady, determined handle on it.

The last time Harry Hill captained Greater Overbrook was in 2004.  Greater O’s theme for 2013 seems especially fitting now: “Greater O’s Headin’ for the Hills.” Hill is in the title and Harry liked the country.  Born in Norristown, he lived much of his life in the Trappe/Phoenixville area. After leaving Greater Overbrook, Harry joined Woodland String Band. He as much as anyone appreciated the victory Woodland earned on January 1, 2012.

Courtesy Woodland SB

What many people are remembering now are the snapshots of life, the easy-going, happy moments with Harry and there is no shortage of them.  A moment like Woodland President Tom Loomis singing  “On the Way to Cape May” with Harry Hill down the shore this summer.  It is that one to one connection that Harry was able to make as a Captain and as a person.  He was great with kids.  I remember asking little Foley Anastasi who his favorite String Band Captain was and Foley, who knew every Captain by name, instantly said, Harry Hill.  He was about 4 when I asked this.  He’s 7 now.  Foley’s answer is still the same.

Courtesy Woodland SB

As I was thinking about Harry today, about what I knew, but more importantly, what so many others who knew Harry better were saying,  a lyric from Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Simple Man,” came into my head. “Be something you love and understand.”  Well, that was Mr. Harry E. Hill and it was something wonderful.

6 Responses

  1. Steve,

    I love your write up about Harry.

    Harry was an important part of the Robison family. He has always been a part of whatever we did, crab fest in our small back yard, Christmas dinner and family parties just to name a few. He will be missed and our hearts are heavy but he is no longer in pain.

    Harry, we love you and we will set a plate for you at Christmas.

  2. That was a beautiful tribute to a terrific man, thank you Steve.

  3. Thank you Steve for the blog on Harry, excellent words to sum up Harry’s life. He truly was a “Simple Man”. Here is a funny thing to remember about him, you know he loved to jam and one of his favorite songs to play was “Angry” well in all the years I’ve known him I have never seen Harry angry; he always had a smile on his face.


  5. Steve….It was awesome for what you wrote about Harry Hill….He was a true husband, father, friend and mummer. He will always be remembered to the Mummer family and will be truly missed by all. RIP Harry……

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