2020 Grand Marshal Hershel Hill
Hershel Hill was born in Cave Creek, Arkansas on March 4, 1944. His parents, Cleo and Velma Hill, moved to Caruthers in 1945, where Cleo was a farm worker. Hershel attended and graduated from Caruthers Elementary and later Caruthers High School, graduating in 1962. After graduation, Hershel moved to Ukiah, California and became an auto mechanic. While in Ukiah, he also met and married Edythe Pickens and their first daughter, Virginia Hill-Yarbrough was born soon after.
In 1967, Hershel and his bride Edythe moved their young family back to Caruthers, where he owned and operated Hill’s Sundland Service Station located on the corner of Tahoe and Henderson. Hershel did auto repairs and ran the gas station at a time when a gas station/repair shop was still common. Soon thereafter, their second daughter Pamela Hill-Stuckey was born.
Hershel later sold his business and went to work as an auto technician at Frontier Chevrolet in Fresno, where he worked for nine years. Around that time period, he bought a chicken ranch in Caruthers that also had some Thompson vines. He has farmed that same piece of ground since but no longer has chickens. The family was active in Caruthers with both daughters attending Caruthers Schools.
Hershel served on the school board of Caruthers Elementary from 1977-1986 and was selected as the Caruthers Man of the Year in 1978. He was also an active member of the Caruthers Lions Club, serving as their president in 1984-85. Hershel even served on the Caruthers District Fair board for about ten years beginning in the mid 1980’s. He received the Community Service Award for his many years of service in 1988 and again in 1998.
Hershel’s passions was being a volunteer for the Caruthers Fire Department. At the time, the Fire Department was located on the Caruthers Fairgrounds in the building now operated by the Community Services District. As a volunteer fireman, Hershel drove a water truck and helped to train other volunteers in operating heavy trucks and to obtain their Class A driver licenses. He also was very involved in acquiring the location of the newest fire station located on the corner of Clemenceau and Tahoe Avenues that is now known as Station 90.
In 2003, Hershel received a Commendation of Service from the Fresno County Fire Protection district for almost twenty years of service to the community. The spirit of volunteerism and community involvement runs deep as Hershel still serves on the board of the Valley Christian Home in Hanford. He has attended the Caruthers Church of Christ since his parents first moved to Caruthers and has served as an elder for the congregation.Hershel is now retired from fixing cars, fighting fires and from farming. He still enjoys vacationing and RV’ing, hunting and fishing, and of course his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren! However, he still enjoys doing a little mechanical work here and there!
Be sure to reach out to Hershel and congratulate him on being chosen as the Grand Marshal of 2020 Caruthers District Fair!