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Capt. Jerry (Alan)'s Story

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Capt. Jerry Hill (Alan), son of Isabell and Alan Hill of Somerville and Gloucester, died on Monday, November 20, 2017 in Key West, Fla. at the age of 89. He attended Gloucester public schools, two years of college and then went on to serve three years in the Coast Guard. Capt. Jerry was an influential presence on the Gloucester waterfront for many decades before and after his Coast Guard service.
During his lifetime he was deeply involved in both commercial and recreational fisheries, as well as being an innovator in the inspected passenger vessel service. Starting at the young age of 12, he took people on rides on his 14' sailboat, and by age 15 he and his dad and brother, Tom had a fleet of sailboats. Over the years the sailboats were replaced by power boats which became the Yankee Fleet Deep Sea Fishing and Whale Watching. In 1977, he operated fishing trips out of Key West, Fla. and in 1994, started the Dry Tortugas National Park ferry.
Jerry owned and built numerous vessels over his lifetime, captained many voyages from Nova Scotia to Key West,Fl. and initiated many innovative recreational fishing and whale watching trips to provide public access to regional marine resources. He was forever a man of the sea. Perhaps his greatest legacy is the number of young people he hired, taught and mentored over the decades; teaching them not only the seamanship, nautical skills and love of the ocean, but also a strong work ethic and sense of responsibility.
Many people credit their positive path in life and future success to their time working with Capt. Jerry.
He is survived by his wife, Carol Hill of Manchester, Mass. and Key West, Fla., and sister, Suzie McKinley; son, Thomas Hill; daughter, Laura, and grandchildren, Julianne, Colleen, Jerry and great-grandson, William. He was predeceased in death by his brother, Thomas, first wife Connie; sons, Alan and Richard and daughter, Suzanne.
A celebration of life will be held at The Little White House, 111 Front St., Key West, Fla. on Thursday, Nov. 30th at 4 p.m. A celebration of life will be held in the spring in Gloucester as well.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Smile Train or St. Jude Hospital.
Published on  November 24, 2017
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