Walter Flack Hill died Saturday, April 19, at River Oaks Retirement Manor in Lafayette, Louisiana after an extended illness. Walter was born in New Orleans, Louisiana on May 30, 1927 to George Walter Hill, Jr. and Gaynelle Flack Hill. He attended school in New Orleans before going to sea with the Merchant Marine in 1945. After Leaving the Merchant Marine, he enrolled at Southeastern Louisiana College in Hammond. He graduated from Southeastern in 1950, cum laude. It was at Southeastern that he met the one true love of his life, Sue, when they were both cast in a student production of the play "Saint Joan". They were married January 28, 1949. Walter began working in radio while in college. After college, he worked at radio stations in Hammond and Bogalusa before taking a job at WJBO radio in Baton Rouge in 1955. While at WJBO, he served as the sports director and news director covering the Louisiana legislature. Then Governor Earl Long referred to him as that "skinny red headed kid." Walter left WJBO in 1961 and went to work for WBRZ television. While there, he hosted the long running "Midday in Louisiana" show with Jean Wheeler and Gordon Louden, as well as live morning news and weather broadcasts. Walter began his sports broadcasting career by broadcasting Southeastern Louisiana College football games. He later was the press box public address announcer at L.S.U. football games where he met John Ferguson. With Walter's intro of "Here comes the Tigers!", the two men teamed to broadcast L.S.U. football for nearly twenty years. Because of the extended reach of radio stations WWL in New Orleans and KWKH in Shreveport, the broadcasts were heard throughout the mid-west and on the east coast. L.S.U. fans serving in the armed forces in the Mediterranean occasionally sent letters saying they had heard the broadcasts. Walter retired from WBRZ as Sports Director. After his retirement, Walter continued to keep busy hunting, fishing and traveling with Sue. He and Sam King, sports writer of the Advocate, routinely tried to "out-lie" each other with their fish stories. Walter prided himself on covering the story, not being the story. He was a highly skilled interviewer who had the ability to get the person being interviewed to "do the talking", whether it was Charley McClendon, Bear Bryant, Arnold Palmer or the local high school valedictorian who had just won an essay contest. Walter routinely signed off his broadcasts with "This is Walter Hill, rounding third and heading home." He was safe at home on Saturday. Walter is survived by his wife of sixty-five years, Sue; by his son Mike and his wife Brenda of Lafayette, his son Steve and his wife Anita of Pineville, grandsons, Brian, Darren and Adam and granddaughter Jennifer Arnold and her husband Jonathan. Visitation is scheduled for Friday April 25 from Noon to 3:30 p.m. at Rabenhorst Funeral Home, 11000 Florida Boulevard, Baton Rouge, Louisiana with a memorial service to immediately follow, conducted by Rev. Judy Sibley. At his request, Walter's body has been donated to L.S.U. Medical School. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the "The Nature Conservancy, The Atchafalaya Project" or the "National Wildlife Federation."
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Rabenhorst Funeral Homes East
11000 Florida Boulevard
Baton Rouge, LA 70815
Published in TheAdvocate.com from Apr. 21 to Apr. 25, 2014