Contact Info

Mailing Address:
PO Box 55071 #13825
Boston, MA 02205-5071

Email Address:

(815) 301-6733

Official Group Page 


Remembering Deshaun

The following tribute was written by one of Deshaun's college roommates, Jason Phillips.

There are so many things that would strike you about our friend Deshaun Hill. Of course, one of those things was his sense of humor. His wit was quick, and it was good natured. It made him a pleasure to be around. Deshaun always made us laugh. One of his science teachers said of him that he was the type of person that lit up a room and inspired others. A friend from college likened him to a cornerstone in the community, while a teacher in Milwaukee called him a integral part of the social fabric at his high school. Apparently, it mattered little where he was as Deshaun was the kind of person that you always wanted around.

Another attribute was his love of learning and his brilliance. And it was the kind of intelligence that was evidenced everywhere from his time at Harvard to his time at Rufus King High School where was valedictorian. And if you were to ask his family, you would know that learning was important to him from a very young age. What was truly distinctive in my mind however was his diligence. While so many things seemed effortless for him, Deshaun was a perfectionist, and I never saw him give anything less than a full and complete effort.

He was also a man of Christ and of character. I feel as though the written word cannot help but fail in these moments, and I wish that you could share some of the experiences, memories and feelings that I have. I wish I had the opportunity to have more of those experiences, memories and feelings. So many of us have been touched by his friendship. Many of us have felt his love, had his help, laughed at his jokes or experienced his compassion. My hope is that this scholarship fund can be a means to help others make the best of the talents and attributes that they share with Deshaun. Such efforts can only help to improve the world, and I believe Deshaun would agree.


Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Article

Harvard student's life cut short
Rufus King valedictorian killed in California crash while serving internship

Published on July 8, 1997

By Meg Kissinger

Deshaun Hill, Rufus King High School's 1995 valedictorian and recipient of a full scholarship to Harvard University, was a gifted man, friends and relatives said Monday.

But what really set him apart was how he used his gifts. And that makes his death on a California highway last week all the more tragic, they said.

"What was irresistible about Deshaun was his willingness to help others," said Bill Weber, a physics teacher at King. "We see a lot of gifted kids here. But not so many know how to use their gifts. Deshaun knew."

Weber invited the charismatic Hill back to King to address the students.

"He inspired the freshmen," Weber said. "He was the kid who lit up the room. We lost a very important cog at King when he died."

Hill, 20, was killed July 3 in a crash in Monterey, Calif., where he was working as an intern for the summer at Intel Corp.

He and another man were coming home from work about 5:30 p.m. when their car, which Hill was driving, went out of control for unknown reasons. According to an accident report filed by the California Highway Patrol, the car crossed into the oncoming lane and was hit by a van. Also killed was a passenger, Harvard Stephens, a fellow Harvard University student from Brentwood, Tenn.

Mary Ann Hill was sleeping when Milwaukee police officers rang her doorbell just after 2 a.m. Friday with the news.

"I told them, Please don't let anything bad happen to my babies,' "she said. "They told me, I wish it weren't so.' "

Mary Ann Hill recalled her son as a kind and good man who always thirsted for knowledge. She remembered when he was 4 years old and wanted badly to go to kindergarten. He took a test and proved to be too smart for that program.

"He cried all the way home. He wanted to go to school that bad," she said. Hill's desire for learning was evident to everyone he came across at Golda Meir Elementary School and later Morse Middle School.

"He worked very hard, but was also naturally smart," his uncle, Roger Weathersby, said. "He was a brilliant young man."

Hill was rewarded for his academic prowess. He was the only high school student ever to present a project at the University of Wisconsin Engineering Expo.

Hill's achievements were written up in Ebony magazine. His mother said his room was filled with awards and trophies that he had won over the years.

Weber said he and Hill traveled across the country together, attending various science and math expos. During one trip, Weber recalled, Hill confided that one of the reasons he wanted so badly to become a biomedical engineer was to serve as an example to young African-American students.

"He was very conscious of the special role that he had to take," Weber said. "He wanted to be an example, and he was."

Services are pending. Hill's friends have established a trust fund at Firstar Banks to help the family pay for his funeral. Donations can be made at any Firstar Bank across Wisconsin, said Cacy Odom, a King classmate.

She fondly recalled her friend.

"I remember when he got into Harvard, and I was so proud of him," she said. "Everybody was so proud of him."

In addition to his academic talents, Hill played basketball and football at King.

"Everything you could imagine in a good person, he was," said another friend, Michelle Handford.

Mary Ann Hill said she will focus on the joy her beloved son brought her, rather than on his loss.

"I thank the Lord that I had the time with him that I did," she said.

Hill also is survived by his father, Donald Hill; a brother, Derrick, 23, a student at Georgia State University; and a sister, Shari, 13.
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