Former State Representative, Business Leader Dies

Local leader Dewey Lewis Hill passed away today (Tuesday).

Dewey Hill (NCLEG)

Hill, 97, served ten terms in the state house, representing Columbus and Brunswick counties, from 1992 until 2012. As a young child he worked in his father Otto’s combination grocery store, farm supply and gas station. The original building is now headquarters for the Hills business interests.

Dewey Hill served in the Navy at the end of World War II, and when he returned in 1946, went to work full time in the family business. He took his family’s small grocery store in what is now south Whiteville and turned it into a multi-million dollar company with interests in real estate as well as retail. At its peak, Hill’s Supermarkets had 39 stores.

While he had retired several years ago from an active role in the grocery chain, Hill was famous for his hands-on approach to management when he was still active. He was well-known for visiting stores and talking to customers, and could often be found wearing a store apron, straightening shelves and watering vegetables in the produce sections.

Hill led the powerful Agriculture Committee for much of his legislative career. He was a longtime resident of Lake Waccamaw and an avid proponent of the lake.

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Jefferson Weaver is the Managing Editor of Columbus County News and he can be reached at (910) 914-6056, (910) 632-4965, or by email at