Howard J. Hilton Jr. passed away Sunday, August 25, 2013 at his home in Jacksonville, Ore. He was born in Albuquerque, N.M. March 15, 1919, to Howard, a mining engineer, and Zella. Howard graduated from the Univ. of Washington in 1942. He moved to Washington D.C. where he worked at the War Labor Board and met Mary Nelson, his wife to be. They were wed in Junction City, Ore. in 1943. He served as a diplomat with the Department of State living in Budapest, Hungary, and Bonn, Germany. After leaving the Foreign Service and earning a Ph.D. in Economics from George Washington University he taught at the Capital Campus of Pennsylvania State University.
Beginning in 1967, with a paper that he presented at an international conference in Tokyo, Howard devoted himself to pursuing ways to use computer technology to broadly disseminate information. This was long before Google or even Microsoft and this endeavor was his passion for many years. He was an accomplished photographer and sailor, crossing the Pacific and Atlantic and traveling the canals of France in the Bluebird of Thorne, a 50 foot, twin keeled ketch.
After retiring, he and Mary moved to Venice, Fla., where they lived for over 25 years. After Mary's death in 2009, Howard moved to Jacksonville, and resided at Pioneer Village, where he made friends and enjoyed the scenery of Southern Oregon, from Mt. McLoughlin to the redwoods. He especially appreciated good food, such as fresh Dungeness crab, blue cheese from the Rogue Creamery, fine Rogue Valley wines, tree-ripened peaches, and, of course, pears. His personal favorite was the Paragon pear.
Howard was preceded in death by his brother, Jack. He is survived by his children, Nelson (Holly), Mary Wolf (Terry Wolf), and Richard (Geni); and grandchildren, Theodore, Eleanor, Alice, William, and Thomas.
There will be a remembrance of his long and full life held at 1:00 p.m. Sunday, September 1, 2013 at Pioneer Village, 805 N. 5th St., Jacksonville, Ore. His family will always remember him as an optimist who woke up every morning with the unwavering belief that today would be even better than yesterday.