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Ralph Dean

December 15, 1940 – September 28, 2018

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Ralph Hilton
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"We are honored to provide this Book of Memories to the family."
— Martin-Becker-Carlson Funeral Home

Obituary for Ralph Dean Hilton

Ralph Dean Hilton, husband of Judy Kessinger Hilton, passed away September 28, 2018 in Salina, KS. He was born Dec. 15, 1940 in Wichita, KS, to George F Hilton and Corinne Carlton. He is survived by his wife, Judy, sons Sean David Hilton (Kristine Meyer) of Abilene; Robin Dean Hilton (Stephanie Oura) of Arlington, VA; and daughter Shannon Leigh Kelman (David) of Westwood, KS. Grandchildren are Ashton, Laila, George and Clementine. He is also survived by brothers David Hilton and June of Olathe; George F. Hilton, Jr. (J.R.) of Long Beach, CA.
At his request, there will be no funeral service. Family visitation will take place Friday October 5, 5 – 7 PM at First United Methodist Church in Abilene.
Ralph graduated in 1959 from Wichita North High School and met Judy Kessinger when they were students at Wichita University. They were married August 1, 1964 in Junction City.
In 1971, Ralph and Judy moved to Abilene and purchased Abilene Printing Company. Ralph chose Abilene because it was a community in which he wanted to raise their family. In addition to being part of the business community, Ralph served on the city commission and as mayor. He was also active in First United Methodist Church.
In addition to his three children, Ralph expressed his love for all children, often in anonymous gifts and opportunities he would provide. He never wanted attention or credit; he was a silent helper to children. He was an avid book reader, a pilot, a woodworking craftsman, building furniture and accessories for friends and family and he recently took up sewing. Ralph loved sailing and was a charter member of the Southwind Yacht Club at Milford Lake. Many family memories were made sailing throughout the summer at the lake.
When the weather turned cold, Ralph enjoyed snow skiing with friends and family. On family trips, Ralph would patiently lead the novice family skiers down the mountain in a slow, arcing path, always making sure success was there for each person.
He loved classical music and John Denver while his radio was always tuned to NPR. Ralph loved Ashton’s chocolate chip cookies and when those weren’t available, he enjoyed chocolate covered long Johns. Granddaughter Laila said, “He liked sleeping in his own bed”. He always looked forward to FaceTiming with George and Clementine.

Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by healthy child, a garden patch, or with redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded." Emerson described the life of Ralph Hilton.
There are no memorial, however, the family requests you honor Ralph by paying it forward and to express kindness and generosity to all.
Ralph once said that he would like his epitaph to read, “He worked hard and took care of his family.” Well done, good and faithful servant.

To send flowers to the family of Ralph Dean Hilton, please visit our Heartfelt Sympathies Store.


When Friday, October 5th, 2018 5:00pm - 7:00pm
First United Methodist Church
601 N. Cedar St
Abilene, KS 67410
Book of Memories

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785-263-1414 414 NW Third Street | Abilene, KS 67410 | Fax: | Email: