Just shy of 90 years old, devoted husband, father, stepfather, grandfather, and great- grandfather, Raymond John Hils, Sr., of Cincinnati, Ohio, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, August 2, 2023. Born on August 12, 1933, in Bellevue, Kentucky, Ray is the third of four sons to Joseph Hils and Muriel Listerman. Ray graduated from Saint Xavier High School (Cincinnati, Ohio), and John Carroll University (Cleveland, Ohio). At John Carroll University, he was actively involved in campus activities, including church ministry, playing tennis, serving as a member of the ROTC, and singing in the choir and musicals. It was during a musical at John Carroll where Ray heard a beautiful singing voice behind the curtain that he was drawn to meet. The voice was that of his college sweetheart, eventual wife, and love of his life, Laetitia “Tish” Maher. Together, they moved to Virginia where he served as an army Cadet at Fort Eustis. After completing his army duties, he moved his young family to Cincinnati, Ohio, by way of Cleveland, Ohio. The family blossomed as he embarked on a 44-year journey as an owner and operator of two Ben Franklin stores. He and Tish, who were always willing to sing and entertain at any gathering, were active and long-time members of Mother of Christ church in Winton Terrace, as well as The Community of the Good Shepherd in Montgomery. A valued friend and mentor to so many, Ray is most remembered for his work with tithing campaigns.
Ray is preceded in death by his beloved first wife of 50 years, Tish (Maher) and their foster child, Jackie Ake, as well as his parents, Joseph and Muriel, and three brothers, Donald, Joseph, and David.
Ray is survived by Carol, his second wife of 16 years, and her adult stepchildren. Ray and Tish’s surviving children include Raymond (Beth) Hils, Jr., Ann (Bob) Shinkle, Maureen (Stephen) Shaul, Kevin (Becky) Hils, and Barbara (Joseph) Dial. Ray, otherwise known as “Pop”, is fondly remembered by his eight grandchildren, three great grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews for his stories and advice.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at The Community of the Good Shepherd, Catholic Church, 8815 East Kemper Road, Cincinnati, Ohio 45249, on Wednesday, August 9 at 10:00 AM. Mass will be live streamed at www.good-shepherd.com
A private burial will follow at Spring Grove Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Working in Neighborhoods, 1814 Dreman Avenue, Cincinnati, Ohio 45223.