State Senator Hill dies after battle with cancer

OLYMPIA, Wash. - Sen. Andy Hill, the key budget writer for the Washington state Senate, has died of lung cancer. He was 54.

Hill died Monday surrounded by his family, according to a statement released by his colleague, fellow Republican Sen. Joe Fain.

He was elected in 2010 to represent the 45th legislative district, which includes his hometown of Redmond. He was currently serving a second term following his re-election in 2014.

Hill, who never smoked, was first diagnosed in 2009. The cancer ultimately spread to his lymph nodes and his other lung even after chemotherapy and radiation. After participating in a clinical trial at the University of Colorado Cancer Center, Hill had been cancer-free since early 2010. However, in June, he announced that he was battle a recurrence, but that he would begin chemotherapy and additional treatment.

State Republican Party Chair Susan Hutchison said the state suffered an "enormous loss" with Hill's death.

"We will miss his intellect, good humor, his ability to solve complex problems and bring people together across the political aisle," Hutchison wrote in a statement. "He is a model for citizenship and service for all those in public life."

Hutchison wrote Hill was an inspiration for his political career and his courageous battle with cancer.

"Andy was an extraordinary public official and a principled leader in the Legislature," fellow State Senator Joe Fain said Tuesday Hill in a release. Read his full statement:

Friends,

At the request of Senator Hill’s family, it is with deep sorrow that I am writing to inform you that our friend and colleague has passed.

On Monday afternoon surrounded by the love of his family, Andy lost his final battle with lung cancer.

Andy was an extraordinary public official and a principled leader in the Legislature. His passion to serve families of people with developmental disabilities led to the passage of the VIP Act -- granting life-changing services to thousands of individuals in our state. His leadership as the Chairman of the Ways and Means committee in the Senate led to unprecedented increases in funding for schools and historic reductions in tuition at our community colleges and four-year institutions.

Outside the Legislature, he served his community in many ways. Perhaps his favorite way of giving back was as a youth soccer coach in the Lake Washington Youth Soccer League. There he combined his competitive spirit with his skills as a mentor and teacher and nurtured the next generation of young athletes.

Andy graduated from Colgate University in 1986 with a bachelor of science in physics and computer science. After working for a software firm for two years, he enrolled at the Harvard Business School and obtained his Masters in Business Administration in 2000. He joined the Microsoft Corporation upon graduation where he helped spearhead the development of Windows 95. After eleven years with Microsoft, Andy left the company to continue his work in the community and spend more time with his family. He served as president of his local PTSA and of the Lake Washington Youth Soccer Association where he was instrumental in the development of the 60 Acres South soccer fields in Redmond.

In 2008, he was diagnosed with lung cancer, despite never having smoked. Beating all the odds and through the use of a cutting-edge cancer treatment, Andy managed the disease for years living cancer free. With the new perspective of having come so close to death, Andy leaned further into community service. In 2010, running against an incumbent, Andy was elected to the Washington State Senate. After a successful first term, he was re-elected in 2014.

He spoke often about how much he loved the people and communities he represented and how honored he was to serve them. He knew that we are faced with difficult and often partisan challenges, but he was always uplifted by the work of those who crossed party lines to solve problems.

Andy's wife Molly has asked to send the family's gratitude to everyone who knew and was touched by Andy. The only thing he loved more than public service was his wife and children, Katie, Allie, and Charlie -- he was tremendously proud of them.

A memorial service will be held on Friday, November 11, in Redmond. Additional details will be available in the coming days. In lieu of flowers please make a donation in Andy's name to Cancer Pathways, Global Resource for Advancing Cancer Education (GRACE), or Dr. Jed Gorden’s outreach to underserved communities through Swedish Medical Center.

Please also take a moment to share any memories of Andy or messages to the family by emailing RememberAndyHill@gmail.com.

The family asks that you respect their privacy at this difficult time.

Best wishes,

Joe Fain

Copyright 2016 KING


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