Jimmy Hill's last act was gathering food for hospital patients in Ukraine.
The Mahtomedi native, 67, was killed Thursday in the northern Ukraine city of Chernihiv when Russian forces attacked people standing in a bread line. He is among several U.S. citizens to die so far in the war that began when Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24.
Hill met his end during a typically selfless act, said his sister, Cheryl Hill Gordon of Albuquerque, N.M.
Hill's longtime partner, a Ukrainian native, is hospitalized with multiple sclerosis and is too sick to leave her bed. As the Russian attacks intensified, the hospital ran short on food. All of its remaining patients were too sick to leave.
"Every day, the hospital rations were fewer and fewer," Gordon said. "And Jim goes out to find food for everyone in the hospital. He was a wonderful human being. Very compassionate and humanitarian."
Hill, a 1973 graduate of Mahtomedi High School, was a psychologist and lecturer who had been working in Europe for years, mainly in Ukraine but also in Lithuania and other countries.
As the attacks on Chernihiv intensified in recent days, Hill began documenting them in posts on his Facebook page.
"Reliable sources say they have received info that Chernihiv could be heavily bombed tonight," he posted March 9. "I am ordered in bunker. I hope this is false info and rumors. But we may experience a greater hell tonight. The bombing last night was not intense, just the usual stuff. That last statement sounds weird."
On March 11, he posted, "Power out, cold inside, hospital staff doing well. Some food, siege here. Ukraine army heroes in defending city. I can only get connection near windows. It's a living nightmare but we are alive. Bombing throughout day. Helpless feeling."
"We are trapped in Chernihiv," Hill posted Sunday. "They bomb here every night. People discouraged. Food shortages, gas, running water, some electricity. There is a siege here."
Hill was a wonderful big brother, his sister said. Growing up, he took her to Twins games, out fishing on White Bear Lake and taught her how to drive. He remained a devoted baseball fan, she said. Several photos on Hill's Facebook page show him wearing a Twins cap.
The family's concern now is how to get his body home, she said. They've reached out to the State Department and the U.S. Embassy, which have offered little more than form letters, she said.
In recent years, Hill bought land in Idaho near Yellowstone National Park, and they hope to scatter his ashes there.