OBITUARY

Marlin Densil Hilton

July 22, 1945April 21, 2021

On Wednesday, April 21, 2021, Marlin D. Hilton "Dennis/Denny", loving husband and father, passed away at the age of 75 from ALS/Lou Gehrig's Disease. Denny was born in 1945 in St. Louis, Missouri to Maurice and Pauline Hilton. He graduated from East Prairie High School in East Prairie, MO in 1963. He received his B.A. in Business Administration from Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas in 1967. In 1968, Denny joined the Marine Corps and spent the next 30 years as a Logistics Officer, retiring as a Colonel in May 1998. During his time in the Marines, he served in the Vietnam War and Desert Storm. Denny found a second career in the trucking industry while employed at CalArk International where he spent almost 20 years. In 1965 he married his wife Karen and they raised two daughters, Holly and Heather. Denny had a passion for the St. Louis Cardinals, safety in the trucking industry, and his beloved Marine Corps. He loved spending time with his family, walking along the James River, reading historical books and catching up with old friends. He was known for his kindness, compassion and love for God, Country and Corps. He was a member of the West End Church of Christ and missed going to church each Sunday this past year. Denny was preceded in death by his father Maurice and his mother Pauline, and his sister Ramona. He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Karen, his daughters Holly Hilton and Heather Ledford (Joey), his sister Margie, his brother Richard, his sister-in-law Madge, and lots of cousins, nieces and nephews. Funeral services are to be held in the fall. In lieu of flowers, the family asks for donations to be made to Project ALS in his name.

Services

No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.

Memories

Marlin Densil Hilton

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Tinaye Burton

April 29, 2021

I didn't know Mr. Hilton long but I can truly say it was an honor meeting him. He was always so polite and welcomed me with open arms. I remember meeting him for the first time, I walked in introduced myself and he greeted me with the biggest smile. I looked forward to seeing his smile every single day. I would ask him how his day was and he would always tell me that it was a good day, especially when he got a chance to enjoy the beautiful weather. We would listen to his podcast and watch movies together, and it always put a smile on my face. I will miss seeing your smile everyday and miss your stories. Thank you for being in my life even if it was for a short period of time. I will cherish all of our moments. You are truly missed.

Henry Gardner

April 29, 2021

Col. Hilton was the most American man that I ever met. And one of kindest as well. When he said, "How are you?" it wasn't just a standard greeting - he really did want to know how you were. Such kindness and concern is rare today.

He was a warrior, but he had such a humble demeanor. For a man with his many accomplishments, he didn't boast or brag. He was, after all, a gentleman.

Though we were a full generation apart, we had a rapport - Col. Hilton had an ability to listen without prejudice. Another rarity.

A great regret of my life will be that I never had a chance to shake his hand before he passed.

My love and best wishes to Mrs. Hilton, and to Holly and Heather.

RIP Col. Hilton.

John Cullen

April 29, 2021

To Karen,Holly,Heather

You all have our deepest sympathies from our family. Denny was a great man of his time and very proud of you all and his career. He had a great life as a career man, father and husband. He will be missed by all. Over the years I did not have a lot of contact but I do appreciate what he did in his path of life. Life is short and you just never know.

Our sincere sympathies as well from Gene and Margie Cullen and Deborah Robbins

John Eric and Sheila Cullen

Colonel Richard E Lochner, USMC (Ret.)

April 29, 2021

A wealthy man does not possess gold, a wealthy man is one who has learned how to love God, family, and his fellow man. Denny was the richest man I ever met. I have been blessed to know him for more than 40 years and learned from him every day. He was a leader! He was a Marine! He was a lover of mankind, and he loved Jesus! His example brought many souls to his way of thinking. As a friend, there was none truer. Although time and distance separated our friendship, Denny would call me 2-3 times a week just to check on my well-being. Just like a Marine, he put others’ interests ahead of his own. That is LOVE! Turns out, I’m the wealthiest man in the world because I knew him, learned from him, and could count him as a friend for eternity. See you again one day, my Brother!

Semper Fidelis,

Dick Lochner
Colonel, USMC (Ret.)

Richard Hilton

April 29, 2021

Growing up with my big brother brought many excitable moments. We fought like cats and dogs, and he whipped me every time. Amazing what a 3 year advantage gives you, but I did not know the difference at that time. We played a lot of baseball together and a very special game called lemon ball. He was a super son, brother, husband, father, and a great person to be around. He was Christian and applied his Christianity everywhere he went. Our Mom taught us well. Karen, Holly and Heather, I wish you well. I am sorry his loss happened this way. His memories are with you. Big Brother I will miss you. Say “hi” to Mom and Dad for me.

Jonathan Hopper

April 29, 2021

Brother Hilton helped me practice driving when I was getting ready to graduate and go live away from home in college. It really meant a lot to me. I'm grateful I got to know him while I did. His works will be remembered and his kindness will be missed. Rest easy, sir.

WILLIE Reed

April 28, 2021

Col Hilton, Robin & I know that your Journey to Eternal Life is a pleasant one. You will be missed by many whom you established Friendship. I, Willie will continue to cherish the many memories of our Friendship. Lot of laughs and serious moments. I'll never forget you Col Hilton.

Willie Reed SgtMaj USMC (ret)

Martha Cunningham

April 28, 2021

I will miss Denny's phone calls and family updates. He was a wonderful person! My thoughts and prayers are with Karen and his girls that Denny was so proud of!

Holly Hilton

April 28, 2021

I have looked up to you my whole life. Everything that is good in me comes from you. You taught me many valuable lessons.....Life's not fair......Love God with all your heart.....Gasoline is very VERY flammable.....Many times you told me you were sorry you weren't around as much as you would have liked to while Heather and I were growing up. Funny the thing you loved and were proud of until the day you died (being a Marine) probably contributed to your early death (ALS). I will not be bitter. I will not let this last month overshadow the amazing father and husband you have been to me, Mommy and Heather for the last half century. It was a privilege being your daughter. And I will make you proud. Simper Fidelis.

Jerry Martin

April 24, 2021

There are but few people in the world who when you first meet them you know you will be friends.
Dennis was one of those few people. Always positive and never with a cross word, he was a loving husband and father. He made you realize there are good people who make those around them better.
Denny you are missed, but your smile, laughter, and strength of character remain with us.
There is no doubt you watch over us now with oher Marines who guard the gates to heaven.
Thank You for your friendship. Your life did make a difference.
Semper Fidelis

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY