David “Dave” Henry Hill kept a list of 70 things he wanted to see and do in California affixed to his refrigerator, his sister, Laramie Logan said.
He loved visiting national parks, was an avid runner and had been planning an adventure tour of the Galapagos Islands, that included 5 mile swims every day, said his mother, Carol Hill, of St. Augustine, Florida.
He was living his life to the fullest, actively knocking out his list of things to do in California, Logan added.
Now she wonders if her little brother, a lieutenant commander who was a pathology resident at Naval Medical Center San Diego, had an inkling that his life would be short.
Hill, 38, was killed Dec. 2 after he was struck by a minivan while crossing the 2700 block of India Street near the northbound Interstate 5 exit ramp, according to the San Diego County Department of the Medical Examiner.
Carol Hill said her son was jogging at the time of the incident.
Timothy Underwood, a detective sergeant for the San Diego Police Department, said no charges have been filed, nor did he anticipate any in the future.
“This appears to be a tragic accident,” Underwood said in an email to Navy Times.
Hill received his Navy commission in 2005 after graduating from the University of Virginia, Carol Hill said. He’d wind up serving two roles in the Navy.
He first worked as a civil engineer with the Seabees but while he was in Souda Bay, a doctor inspired him to choose a different path, his mother said.
During nights, he prepped for medical school and eventually studied at the NOVA Southeastern College of Osteopathic Medicine in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Hill arrived for his most recent tour of San Diego in June 2018, after attending an internship program from June 2014 through October 2015, according to a Navy biography and a statement from a memorial program provided by Naval Medical Center San Diego spokesman Mike Alvarez.
He worked as an anatomical pathologist in the hospital’s lab, Alvarez said.
“He was universally respected and admired by his fellow residents, faculty and laboratory staff,” the program said.
It noted that his athletic drive — he ran a marathon on a ship’s treadmill in Antarctica, his mother said — carried over into his work.
“He was a devoted son, brother, and uncle, rabid Louisiana State University and New Orleans Saints football fan, proud Cajun, and trusted friend within the department,” the program said. “He will be profoundly missed by all who knew him.”
Logan lived near her brother and said he was a frequent visitor, often spending hours playing Legos with her three children— Maia, who is 7 ½, Ty, 5 and Grace, 16 months.
He’d always bring Kinder Eggs, hollow chocolate eggs with a treat inside.
He’d found a community in pathology, which he compared to engineering, Logan said.
Instead of working on machines, he was working on bodies.
“He was in a beautiful place in life,” she said.
The family discovered Hill’s California checklist after his death. Maia made a copy of it, even adding a few items of her own, Logan said.
“We’re planning on seeing the same sights," she said.
In addition to his mother, sister and a brother-in-law and nieces and nephew, Hill is survived by his father, Michael, of St. Augustine; Florida, a brother and sister-in-law. Matthew and Joanne Hill, of Mountain Brook, Alabama; a grandmother, Pearl Kwiatkowski, also of St Augustine, Florida, and numerous other family members, according to an obituary.
He will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
Courtney Mabeus is a senior writer at Navy Times. Mabeus previously covered the military for The Virginian-Pilot, in Norfolk, Va., where she first set foot on an aircraft carrier.