Manfred Hill

July 4, 2018


Visitation: Visitation will be Monday from 2-8 p.m., with family present from 5-7 p.m., at Canton Lutheran Church.
Service: Funeral services will begin at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, July 10 at Canton Lutheran Church.

“You know?” These two simple words started millions of conversations between Manfred and his family, friends and often times complete strangers.  His effortless start to an exchange lead to him finding out about your life, your family and possibly if you were somehow related to him. Manfred’s innate “gift of gab” made him an instant friend to all he met.

Manfred Eugene Hill was born February 13th, 1924 on the Hill family homestead to Charles and Nora Hill where he lived with his 2 brothers and 2 sisters. He graduated from Canton High School in 1942 and set off to explore. He spread his wings by hopping on a train to Milwaukee with his brother Charles and worked as a cook. Their trip ended abruptly when they had to get back to South Dakota because the war broke out.  Manfred then went to work in Sioux Falls to help build the Air Force Base. South Dakota provided so much for Manfred, corn, dirt & eventually a beautiful redhead. Once again, his articulation paid in dividends when he artfully negotiated buying a coat for a spunky little waitress; his future wife, Leona Wiebe. They were married on May 6th, 1945 and went on to have 5 beautiful children. They created a legacy of love, countless memories, so much laughter and 72 years of marriage. The original power couple farmed, raised seed corn and later in life became part owners of First American Bank in Canton.

Dapper through all the decades humble pie became his favorite. When told he was looking good, (which was often) Manfred’s eyes would smile and his tag line was simply “never been a problem.”

Being a proud Norwegian, Manfred served as the very first president of the King Olav chapter, Sons of Norway in Canton. Anyone who met him knew of his Norwegian heritage and probably were able to trace their own through his vast knowledge and connections. Although he only visited Norway nine times, you would have guessed he was raised there.

Not only could Manfred talk his way through most anything, he could fix almost anything as well. He didn’t have formal training, but he never needed that, just time and his little red tool box. He was always ready to help a neighbor on the farm, teach his family countless lessons and of course sit down for the always important coffee time at the café. If you ever took Manfred anywhere, you just automatically added in 40 extra minutes to wait for him to talk to everyone. Manfred spent his life doing what he loved, visiting with all he encountered, working the land, and fixing all that he could, from motors to minds. Growing his multi-generational farm was an accomplishment he cherished and the legacy his family has carried on in continuing this feat made him swell with pride. He was known to say, “Work hard and the rest will come easy”. Manfred was a true testament to this.

Manfred was survived by his adoring children, Paulette Vetos (Stan), Richard (Linda), Randy Hill, Karla Hill, Carla Bass (Tom), & Renee Johnson, 15 cherished grandchildren, 40 great grandchildren & 2 great-great grandchildren and his sibling Lyle Hill.

He was preceded in death by his treasured wife Leona, his parents Charles & Nora Hill, and his siblings & spouses, Charlotte & Ezra Petterson, Irma & Eldon Lyso, & Charles & Gladys Hill, Kay Hill

Manfred passed away on the Fourth of July, in true fashion to the firecracker he was. What a sight it must have been to have seen the smile on his face, the one that started with the twinkle in his eyes, as he reunited with his beautiful sparkler of a bride.

Take a lesson from this one of kind, wise soul and release your inner Manfred and be an instant friend to all you meet-“it’s never been a problem!”

Manfred’s funeral service will be at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, July 10, at Canton Lutheran Church, with burial at the Lutheran Cemetery north of Canton.  Visitation will be Monday from 2 to 8:00 p.m. at Canton Lutheran Church.  Family will greet visitors from 5 to 7:00 p.m.

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15 condolences have been left

  1. My sincere condolences to the Hill family. Manfred was a real wonderful person and he is missed. I had the privilege of traveling to Norway with him in 2005 as part of the Hadeland Lag of American group. He knew almost as much as the tour guides about Norway! I also got to visit him at his “home” in Sioux Falls in June, 2017 and we had another wonderful talk about our trip to Norway. Jon W. Halvorson, former Mayor of Lacey, Washington and fellow Norske.

  2. He will truly be missed. He was such an inspiration to all, friendly, smiling, ready to tell you a joke, and never in a hurry. How awesome!! Sympathies to all the family🕊

  3. To the Hill Family,
    You have our deepest Symphony of your Father Manfred,
    We enjoy running in to him at any of the stores in Canton, He was one of those guys that made you laugh and walk away with a smile, he had a heart of gold, and if you ask him a question you might as well find a chair because you knew you were going to get a lesson from him..lol
    We are Blessed to have So many wonderful memories of Manfred that will be kept in our hearts .

  4. So sorry for the loss off this wonderful, beautiful soul. He would stop by my office at the depot, often, and never tell the same story twice. He was a great friend and I will truly miss his smile and that twinkle in his eye that you spoke of. God Bless.

  5. Manfred and Leona were the first neighbors to greet us as we rolled into our new home in Canton. We lived next door to them for 7 years and they treated us like family. Never hesitated to stop in, mow the lawn when we had our first baby, and were always willing to let the kids stop over for some licorice. I’ll never forget the day we put our for sale sign in the front yard and Leona was right out that back door shaking her cane at me. They will always hold a special place in our hearts.

  6. I have so many memories of Manfred, and they all make me smile. Our sympathy to his family that he loved so much and was so deeply proud of

  7. Manfred’s memory will be treasured and cherished by me and my family. He was a great friend and
    relative.

  8. Manfred and Leona were the first people who invited us to their home in 1971 when we first moved to Canton! We were so welcomed by them. And we’ve never forgotten that gesture. What a genuine couple. Manfred’s humor was subtle and always made us smile. Yes, we will miss him along with the many people he knew! Bless both their memories!

  9. Wow, beautifully written obituary of an amazing man. Sweet that he had all those loving arms surrounding him at his bedside & waiting for him on the other side! Dianna & Vince Johnson

  10. Manfred was my first boss. I don’t remember how old I was when I detasseled corn, but I have a lot of memories. Manfred was a fun guy and I always enjoyed talking to him whenever we would meet.
    Diane Rahn (Johnson)

  11. May he sing a song and talk to everyone around the HEAVENS,May God bless you all at this time

  12. I first met Manfred in 1976 at the Valdres Lag and visited regularly each year he attended another Valdres Stevne. I enjoyed his time and stories. We were together twice visiting Norway. I have great memories of both Manfred and Leona. Blessed is their memories. As a family, share stories, remember good times and not so good. Laugh, cry, hug, but most of all honor and share their heritage passed on down to you as the childrend and grandchildren.
    In Sympathy,
    Stephen Wills

  13. Hill Families-
    Another wonderful Angel is in Heaven- We are sure dad met him at the Gates to Welcome Him Home to The Lord… So many wonderful and fantastic memories will be kept in our hearts and minds. He was a one of a kind and will be missed here- All our love and prayers to all of you The McMurry families
    Rachel McMurry
    John and Katherine McMurry
    Carla and Doug McMurry-Kozak
    Diane McMurry
    Brent and Suzanne McMurry
    Renee and Brit McMurry-Gilman