John R. Hilton ’62

John R. Hilton, 82, of Newcastle, passed away on June 17, 2023, at home surrounded by his loving family. Born in Damariscotta on Dec. 17, 1940, to John H. Hilton and Irma Chase, John grew up in Newcastle.

He attended Franklin Grammar School and graduated from Wiscasset High School before attending Maine Maritime Academy where he received his B.S. in marine engineering. He traveled the world’s oceans as a ship’s engineer, including working for Exxon and on the passenger liner S.S. Constitution on its run between New York City and Italy. He enjoyed sharing stories from his shipping out days with family and friends and was happy to attend his 60th class reunion at Castine last year.

In 1964 he married Brenda Brown from Nobleboro and then retired from working on ships after his first two children arrived. He was a detailed craftsman and he fixed up the family home on Glidden Street while also operating Cheney Insurance, a local business he took over from his mentor, Mac MacKechnie, in the 1970s. He was an area Realtor who served on the local board and the state association as its treasurer and served for many years as a director, including being president of the board of Damariscotta Bank & Trust. John loved to be outdoors and took many walks in his woods, and he single-handedly constructed homes for his two daughters over the years. As his children progressed through school, he was nicknamed “John Cat” by their friends, a label that always stuck with him.

John was a devoted member of the Lions Club International and served in several leadership roles including as district governor. He enjoyed many conventions and trips to Canada, and his Lions Club friends were among the closest he had. John was devoted to his family and his cat Callie, and he reveled in the presence of his grandchildren, and then later, his great-grandchildren, who adored “Grampa John.” Some of his best times later in life were spent on the water with his son, with whom he cruised the Maine coast and beyond over the last dozen years. Later, they also enjoyed several RV trips around the country when he became semi-famous in social media posts as “Pointy John.” He was also an avid pilot who flew himself, family, and friends around New England and on several trips to Florida.

John was predeceased by his wife, Brenda; his parents; as well as his brother, Walter Hilton.

He is survived by his son, Dennis Hilton, of Nobleboro; daughters, Kelly Flynn and husband, Bill, of Newcastle, and Krista Hatch and husband, Joseph, of Newcastle; grandchildren, Nathan Hilton and wife, Jessica, of Alna, Christopher Hilton and fiance, Hannah Kutschinski, of Damariscotta, Ashley Griffin, of St. Albans, Vt., Sloane Fossett, of Kennebunk, and Lexie Fossett, of Washington; as well as the great-grandchildren he adored, Abigail Hilton and Fiona Hilton, both of Alna, and Wyatt Hilton and Wren Hilton, both of Damariscotta. John is also survived by sisters, Stephanie Ferrell, of Murphy, N.C., Kathy Timberlake, of Woolwich, Mary Sidelinger, of Newcastle; brothers, Clifton Hilton, of Portland and Michael McLoon, of Jefferson; as well as many close family relatives, including his nieces and nephews and their families; and sister-in-law, Dorcelle Brown.

Visiting hours will be held from 4-7 p.m., on Monday, June 26, 2023 at the Strong-Hancock Funeral Home in Damariscotta. A private burial will be held at the Lincoln Cemetery in Newcastle. Cards may be mailed to John Hilton via P.O. Box 25, Newcastle, ME 04553.