Aloha, Senior: Ronald “Senior” Hill: 1942-2007

posted by / Photos / December 21, 2007

Editor’s Note: He was the King of the Hill House – the notorious “House of Pain” that helped shape some of the world’s most accomplished surfers in the late 80s and early 90s, guys like Brock Little, the late Todd Chesser, Shane Dorian, Ross Williams and Kelly Slater. No matter who it was, “Senior” and his wife, Cory, would open the doors to their house on Papailoa and let them crash. On the couch. On the floor. Wherever there was room. And if Chesser or Little didn’t haze the kids at a nearby outer reef, you could count on Senior to keep ’em in line. After Chesser died in 1997, the Hill house became everyone’s second home for Thanksgiving, as well. Since Thanksgiving was Chesser’s favorite holiday (he could eat two turkeys on his own), Senior and Cory figured it was only appropriate. But on November 20, just a couple days before this year’s Thanksgiving celebration, Senior lost a year-long battle to lung cancer. His family: wife Cory, daughter Racquel and son Ronald were by his side, and he kept his sharp wit til the very end. This year’s Thanksgiving gathering was a bit different. It went on not only in the name of Todd, but in the king of the Hill house. We’ve included a selection of photos from the day, along with photos from his services held at Haleiwa harbor on December 9. And to give you a better idea of what a legend Senior was, his daughter, Racquel “Two Scoops” Achiu, put a eulogy together for him. Aloha, Senior.

Surfing Lightbox
You need to upgrade your Flash Player


Senior, as we liked to call him, along with my mom Cory, opened their home to a large part of the surfing community back in the day. We started out as a small bunch of neighborhood groms that included Kolohe Blomfield, Todd Chesser, Brock & Clark Little, Seth McKinney, Walter Cerny, Mike Walsh, Ross Williams and of course, my brother Ronald. Fortunate enough to live on the beach with one of the best breaks on the North Shore as our playground, we knew that surfing was going to be a large part of our lives, and our little neighborhood gang quickly expanded!

In the 38 years of living on the North Shore, The Hills House, also known as the House of Pain, has welcomed a vast amount of surfers through their front door. Long before anyone was someone, Senior was welcoming surfers from around the world to take refuge at the house. “If you can find a spot of the floor it’s yours,” he used to say. He’d follow it up with, “If there isn’t room, we’ll make room”. The word NO did not exist in Senior’s vocabulary, unless of course you wanted to tap in on his beer stash!

Before we knew it, our little gang expanded to include, Kelly Slater, Chuy Reyna,Chris Billy, The Malloys, Sunny Garcia, Shmoo, Matty Liu, the list goes on and on. The HillHouse was home and Senior was everyone’s makeshift dad. Regardless of who you were or whoyou became, there was no label with Senior, his home was your home. If you showed up at the front door, sandy feet, wet trunks, board and bag in hand, and totally unknown to Senior, the door was still open.

While at the hospital, Matty Liu came to visit, he shared with me his disbelief at how strange it was that for the very first time, ever, he was visiting Senior and didn’t get a hug. See, Senior, since we were kids, would give these hugs, whether he saw you yesterday or last year…it was a hug, a hug so tight, so genuine, like it was the last. After Senior’s passing, during our usual Thanksgiving (in honor of Todd Chesser) we paddled out, formed a circle and Kelly Slater had shared his same experience with “the hug”. Corny?? Maybe……but so true and a true testament to how much Senior impacted so many people….with something as simple as a hug.

My dad was a sincere and unconditional man. He was so proud of our surfing ohana. He would brag about someone’s recent win, no matter where in the world they were, to anyone who would listen. Even if they didn’t make their next round, he would find found something to boast about. These guys could screw up in the worst possible way and he’d still be there standing with a smile. Senior’s pride for the surfing ohana that he watched grow absolute. He, at times, liked to credit himself for having a little something to do with the success of everyone that walked through that front door. And he did.

The pride that he carried for each and everyone of his “surfing kids” was clear to all who knew him. It didn’t matter who you were or where you came from, Senior lived the Aloha way, he was….is… the Aloha {{{Spirit}}}. He will be sorely missed. As my brother Ronald put it at Senior’s service: “Senior was a surfing legend…….he just never surfed.”

Related Posts:

  • No Related Posts