Karin Alice Hills, 86, passed away peacefully in her home under Hospice care on Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019, at 2:20 p.m. She is survived by her three daughters: Jackie Hills-Michaud and her husband, Jonathan, from Northboro, Mass., and their children Kristen (23), Max (21) and Paige (21), Linda Malaussena and her husband, Arthur, of Sullivan and their children, Candace O’Keefe (32) and Ryan Daley (29), and Christina Kief and her husband, Timothy, of Hancock and their children, Ginger (34), Megan (32) and Brooke (20), her beloved companion dog Monty and her brother Charles Markham of New Jersey. She has four great-grandchildren.
Karin was married to Bill Hills in 1953, founder of the Open Door Recovery Center and the Hills House in Ellsworth. She and Bill had moved to their beloved Sullivan in 1979. They renovated an old farmhouse, circa 1820, where they poured their heart and soul into their old house. This is where they happily lived the life they loved.
Karin was an accomplished artist. Not only did she love to do her artwork, she also taught watercolor classes for over 25 years for the Adult Ed at Sumner Memorial High School. After Bill’s passing in 1999, Karin helped at Open Door as a receptionist and was their unofficial greeter. She was a notary public for several years and had worked at the Sullivan Library as well. She loved gardening and surrounded their home with her lovely gardens and belonged to the local garden club.
Karin loved to travel with her sister-in-law Carolyn Markham. Over the years they traveled to Mexico, Alaska, the Islands, Rome, Croatia and Barcelona. She traveled to Sweden to visit relatives whom she had always kept in close contact with.
She grew up sailing as a child. Her husband, Bill, was an accomplished sailor. When they were first married, she and Bill raced Woodpussies and Lightnings on the Navasink River in New Jersey. Throughout their married life, they continued to sail both on the Long Island Sound, N.Y., and then the Maine coast, spending their weekends finding new harbors and ports along the way. They continued to sail till Bill’s passing.
Karin’s most recent favorite pastime was four-wheeling with her daughters. She went out just two weeks before she passed — the last trip was from Sullivan to Machias on the Sunrise trail, perched on the back seat of the Arctic Cat with a smile on her face the entire time.
She was always happy, had an infectious smile on her face and a kind word for everyone. She was patient, loving and kind. She was loved by many. It was not unusual for her to strike up a conversation with a complete stranger, especially if she found out they were from New Jersey. She would spend an hour on the phone with a wrong number. We would take her to a store to shop, only to lose her when it was time to check out. When we would find her, she would be in deep conversation with a total stranger telling them her life story. She was an open book.
A church memorial service will be announced at a later time.