Fred B. Hilton Jr, age 82, formerly of Ponca City, Oklahoma died March 3, 2020 at his home in Tahlequah, Oklahoma surrounded by his family.
Dad was born on May 13, 1937 in Pine Bluff, Arkansas to Frederick Beauclerc Hilton Sr and Alice Velma Green Hilton. His siblings are Betty A Gidden of Arkansas and John Richard “Ricky” Hilton of Mississippi. He graduated high school in Louisiana and received his Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from Arkansas State College in Jonesboro, Arkansas. Dad went back to school in his 70s to earn his Masters in Psychology from Northwestern Oklahoma State University in Alva, Oklahoma.
After graduating from college, Dad moved to Ponca City, Oklahoma in 1962 to be sports editor for the Ponca City News. Going with Dad when he covered sporting events and on road trips to cover out of town games are some of the fondest memories of our childhood. Dad was always the most excited when it was time to cover his son; Rocky Hilton’s winning Wildcats football games. Dad was inducted into the Ponca City Wrestling Hall of Fame and into the Ponca City Football Hall of Fame both in 1993. He was proud to receive the Wildcats letter jacket from the Po-Hi Golf team. One of Dad’s fondest memories was when he was invited to join the Po-Hi Wrestling team for a tournament in Las Vegas, Nevada. Dad was honored to become a member of the Quarter Century Club for more than 25 years of service in the Oklahoma Newspaper Industry by the Oklahoma Press Association in 2002. Due to his health, Dad retired after 49 years from the Ponca City News in 2011.
He married Darlene V. Allen in 1965 and they were happily married for 35 years until her passing in 2000. He had two children, Rocky Hilton who with his wife Michelle now resides in Tahlequah, and Rose Shultz now residing in Chicago with her husband Beau. Dad was so proud of his forever home he purchased in 1984. He enjoyed gardening and beautifying his yard with amazing colorful rose bushes and various ornate flowers. Dad was an avid reader and loved to watch crime shows and Star Trek on television. Dad was not a man of many words, but his actions always spoke to how much he loved us.
Dad has five grandchildren, Beau Shultz II of Chicago, IL, Erica O’Gorman and husband Phil of Chicago, IL, Kandis Wardlow and husband Tyson of Chicago, IL, Mindy Hewitt and husband Telly of Inverness, FL, and Rocky Hilton II of Tahlequah, OK. He has thirteen great-grandchildren, Beau III, Brady, Nico, Maeve, Aiden, Liam, Greenlee, Kaydynce, Eli, Clydel, Bryce, Fallon, and Payton. It always put a big smile on Dad’s face hearing stories about all of his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife, Darlene, and his parents Fred and Alice.
A private graveside service is scheduled for Tuesday, March 10th at Hope Chapel in Odd Fellows Cemetery in Ponca City. Casket bearers will be Beau Shultz II, Phil O’Gorman, Tyson Wardlow, Rocky Hilton II, Ken Sober and Mike Hilbert. For those wishing to leave condolences to the family, you may do so at www.gracememorialchapel.net or by mail in care of Rocky Hilton, 14678 W 806 Rd, Tahlequah, OK 74464.