Family and friends recently celebrated the life of Leo Hill. Sr., who contributed to improving opportunities for African Americans in the greater Los Angeles area and in corporate America. He passed away on March 6 at the age of 84.
Leo Hill Sr. was born March 27, 1937 in Columbus, Texas to Gussie and Clara Mae Hill. His family relocated to Los Angeles where he graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School.
After high school, Leo attended Los Angeles City College (LACC) and later transferred to Cal State L.A. He excelled academically and athletically and was inducted into the CSULA “Hall of Fame” in 1985 for his outstanding basketball skills.
Leo married Jacquelyne “Jackie” Owens on November 15, 1959. This union produced a son, Leo, and a daughter, Stacy.
During his 30+ years career, Leo worked in the areas of affirmative action, diversity and human resources. He received accreditations from the Certified Professional Managers as well as professional designations in industrial relations and personnel management. He also completed coursework for a Master’s degree in personnel management.
In the corporate arena, Leo directed affirmative action programs in the Radar Systems Group of Hughes Aircraft Company. At Lockheed Corp., he served as director of Diversity and Equal Opportunity Programs. He retired from Lockheed in December 2003 after more than 22 years of service.
Leo has been listed in “Who’s Who in Black America” since 1978. He was a member of the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Professionals in Human Resources Association, Society for Human Resources Management and the American Association for Affirmative Action.
He also served as a board member for the African American Unity Center, and has been co-chair for the Corporate Advisory Committee for the Los Angeles County Human Relations Commission. Leo and Jackie hosted the first fundraiser for the Los Angeles Brotherhood Crusade in 1968. In March 2002, Leo was enshrined in the Watts Promenade of Prominence “Walk of Fame.”
Leo is survived by his loving wife of 63 years, Jacquelyne “Jackie” Hill; his children, Leo Hill Jr. (Valerie); and Stacy Hill-Williams (Clarence); twin sister, Cleo Hill-Jackson; grandchildren, Leo Hill III, Jade Hill, Tayte “Ebonie” Williams, Bryce Williams brother-in-law, Ronald “Ronnie” Hendrix (Ernie), and many other relatives and longtime friends.