Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Dennis Patrick Hill

MARQUETTE, Mich. - Dennis Patrick Hill, 78, entered eternal life on Dec. 12, 2019, in Marquette, following complications from advanced cancers.

Born on Christmas Day, Dec. 25, 1940, in Wakefield, and formerly of Kivela Road, Negaunee, he is survived by daughters, Jennifer (Cedric) Ballarin of Bloomfield Hills, and Robyn (Michael) Clancy of Woodstock, Ga .; granddaughters, Axelle and Ainsley Ballarin, and Elle and Caroline Clancy; sisters, Nancy (George, deceased) Mitchell, Rose (Dewey) Maki; brother, Tom Hill; many nephews and nieces, great-nieces and nephews, cousins, and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents, Uno and Thyra Hill.

Born on a farm in Wakefield, he entered school speaking only Finnish, and was no stranger to hard work from an early age, skidding logs behind a team of horses in the great northern woods by the age of 13 for his father's business. He earned a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from Michigan Technological University where he was a member of the Theta Tau fraternity, graduating in 1965 after marrying Mary Margaret Modjewski from Bessemer. He accepted a job with Cleveland Cliffs Natural Resources where he could be near Lake Superior, another love of his. Working for 33 years in large iron ore mines for Cliffs, he had a variety of management roles. Additionally, in his free time, he ran a charter fishing business on Lake Superior. His other fervent past times included hunting out west and in his native western Upper Peninsula.

He was a member of the Lions Club of Negaunee for several years and an avid Negaunee Miner and Northern Michigan University sports fan. When not pursuing his passion for hunting and fishing and encouraging and teaching others about the great outdoors, he worked on many projects including building his beloved hunting camp, bridges, barns and buildings. Additionally, he donated actively to several charities from his alma mater to cancer research. He will be remembered for his hard work, intelligence, sportsman skill, sisu and strong personality, yet one who knew how to have a good time. He adored the love and attention from his daughters and granddaughters, encouraging them to study, work hard, and follow in his devotion for the woods and water.

Diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer at 57, he dealt with it courageously for more than 20 years. The family would like to recognize and thank U.P. Health System, Emory Hospital in Atlanta, Dr. Acharya, U.P. Home Health and Hospice, and Brookridge Heights for their amazing work, dedication, talents and empathy in helping him fulfill life and countless family, neighbors and friends.

Memorial services will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 21, at Koskey Funeral Home in Negaunee. The family will receive friends from 10 a.m. until the time of services at 11 a.m. at the funeral home on Saturday.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that contributions can be made in his name to the Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University, Office of Gift Records, Emory University, 1762 Clifton Road NE, Suite 1400, Atlanta, GA 30322 or online at

Dennis' memorial page may be viewed at