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Importance of love and family were Eric Hill's last thoughts on 'The Bachelorette,' ABC airs tribute

Published: Monday, July 6 2015 7:57 a.m. MDT

Eric Hill, a 31-year-old Salt Lake City resident, died April 23. He was a contestant on Eric Hill, a 31-year-old Salt Lake City resident, died April 23. He was a contestant on "The Bachelorette." (Rick Rowell, AP)

Eric Hill's time on the previously recorded reality TV show "The Bachelorette" came to an end Monday night, but producers decided to forgo the regular departure ritual and instead pay tribute to Hill.

Hill was a 31-year-old Salt Lake City resident and BYU graduate. On April 23, 2014, Hill died as a result of injuries sustained in a paragliding accident in Utah.

Before the accident, Hill had created a project titled "GO with Eric, The Global Odyssey," in which he hoped to share the goodness that can be found in countries around the world. Hill's family has since created the Live Like Eric Foundation to promote philanthropy opportunities around the world.

Hill participated on ABC's "The Bachelorette" just months before his accident and has been seen on the TV show since the premiere on May 19, in which the show paid tribute to the former contestant.

Eric Hill, a 32-year-old Salt Lake City resident, died Wednesday, April 23. He was a contestant on the upcoming season of Eric Hill, a 32-year-old Salt Lake City resident, died Wednesday, April 23. He was a contestant on the upcoming season of "The Bachelorette." (Go with Eric, The Global Odyssey Facebook page)

Monday night, Hill was once again honored after that evening's episode showed him leaving the production following a heated confrontation with bachelorette Andi Dorfman. Rather than showing the traditional rose ceremony, where Dorfman selects contestants who will remain on the show, producers chose to honor Hill.

"Normally, right now, we’d all be watching the rose ceremony. But that just didn’t seem right tonight. It just didn’t seem important who did or didn’t get a rose,” host Chris Harrison said. "What does seem right is to talk about Eric. And so that’s what we’re going to do."

During Hill's last moments on the show, he evaluated what he had learned and how it had changed him.

"Love is the most important thing in my entire life," Hill said.

Eric Hill, a 31-year-old Salt Lake City resident, died Wednesday, April 23. He was a contestant on Eric Hill, a 31-year-old Salt Lake City resident, died Wednesday, April 23. He was a contestant on "The Bachelorette." (Go with Eric, The Global Odyssey Facebook page)

"It is the reason to live. Love leads to family, and those two together are what life is all about. ... I feel more ready than I've ever felt before."

Fans reacted throughout the episode on social media, expressing condolences to Hill's family and friends.

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