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Archive for Sunday, October 31, 2004

Area business owner killed in wreck

Head of Lawrence Paper Co. Alan Hill remembered as caring employer

October 31, 2004

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Alan Hill, president and co-owner of Lawrence Paper Co., was killed Saturday morning in a traffic accident in Wabaunsee County.

Hill, 65, of Tecumseh, died at the scene of the crash when his 2003 GMC sport utility vehicle was struck by another SUV, according to a Kansas Highway Patrol report.

The driver of the other vehicle, Michael W. Johnson, 34, Mayetta, may have gone through a stop sign, the report states. Johnson was taken to Stormont-Vail Regional Medical Center in Topeka. A condition report was not available Saturday night.

The accident occurred about 6:30 a.m. a mile west of the Shawnee County line at the intersection of Mission Valley and Harveyville Road. Hill was wearing a seat belt, according to the report, and Johnson was not.

Alan Hill along with his brother, Justin Hill Jr., owned the business that had been in their family's name for more than 100 years, dating back to their great-grandfather, J.D. Bowersock. The company manufactures cardboard boxes and other packaging materials.

Justin Hill Jr., who will take over his brother's management duties at the company, said Alan had been an exemplary president.

"Obviously we're going to miss him out there," Hill said. "He's been a fine president of the company. He was very caring to the employees."

News of the accident was "a huge blow" to plant employees and others who knew him, said Dave Wiese, production supervisor at the paper company. Wiese described Alan Hill as a good boss who was very involved with the business and one who knew the people who worked for him.

"He was the type of owner that you would frequently see down on the plant floor," Wiese said. "He was not an absentee executive. He had his hands on the wheel at all times."

Denny Johnson, a divisional superintendent at the plant who had known Alan Hill since they attended Lawrence High School together, said Hill was an honest businessman who took an interest in his employees.

"I can't imagine him not being there," Johnson said. "He was a hands- on person and had contact with everything. Lawrence Paper Company was Alan Hill."

Alan Hill is survived by his wife, Norma, and two daughters.

Funeral arrangements are pending.

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