Claude E. Hilton

WESTBROOK – Claude E. Hilton “Sonny”, 85, formerly of Gorham, passed away peacefully with family by his side, on Dec. 24, 2020 at Seal Rock Healthcare Facility. Claude was born in Portland on July 18, 1935, to Claude L. Hilton and Geraldine A. (Bartlett) Hilton.

Claude attended local schools, graduating from Deering High School in 1953 where he ran track and played football during his high school years. He was proud of attending Deering and was so excited to have had three generations graduate from there.

After graduating he went on to work at Bancroft and Martin as a sheet metal worker, Milliken Tomlinson/IGA Food Distribution, Wettereau Food Inc. and Associated Grocers of Maine where he retired in 2000.

Claude had many enjoyable hobbies, one for every season, all of which were favorites and fulfilling. Golfing with his brother, son-in-law, and friends at many different courses locally or out of state. Hunting for deer or moose, of which he had annual trips with the same group of friends for over 25 years in Jackman and various parts of Maine. He seldom came home from hunting empty handed! Fishing was enjoyed at the ocean, lakes and streams with bait, lures, or flies. Making his own fly-fishing flies was one of his favorite pastimes, he could tell you what type of fish each one would catch and why! He even made one he called The Hilton! He had many fishing trips with his grandson where Camp Ellis was a favorite.

He enjoyed sharing coffee, sushi, the love of plants, watching Criminal Mind’s, or The Curse of Oak Island with his daughter. Finish carpentry was self taught, his daughter enjoyed working and learning alongside him. He was so successful and such a perfectionist at it that many of the family rooms in the Ludlow Street and Birchwood Drive area of Portland were built by him. He enjoyed gardening and sharing the fruits of his labor with family and friends. He loved to cook, especially steak or burgers on the grill. He always had his own personal carving set ready for carving the turkey on Thanksgiving, the ham on Easter, or the prime rib on Christmas. He so enjoyed family gatherings, going out to eat, rides in the car singing or whistling to country or ’50s tunes. Dad had a click in his knees when he walked, we use to laugh and say he could never sneak up on us! We surely will miss hearing him walk with us!

Claude was a 32nd Degree Mason of The Portland Valley Scottish Rite and was a 41-year member of the Saccarappa Lodge #86 of Westbrook. He was also a Lifetime Member of the Order of The Eastern Star, Corner Stone Chapter No. 193 of Portland.

Claude is predeceased by his parents; sister Barbara Brelsford, sister Peggy Shane; and his beloved dog Shadow.

He is survived by his daughters Kim (Ron) Vincent of Cape Elizabeth and Florida, Kathy (Mike) Taylor of Westbrook, Kristina Hilton of Portland; two grandsons, David Johnson of Westbrook, and Chad Taylor of Portland; his brother Richard Hilton of Saco; his first wife, mother of their three girls and dear friend, Connie (Mark) Stimson; along with many cousins, nieces and nephews.

Claude had many lifelong friends for well over 65 years. He treasured his friends and was proud of the longevity of those friendships. Thank you all for being there for him and for reaching out to us during this most tender of times.

We would also like to express our gratitude to Dr. Berman and the wonderful staff at Seal Rock Healthcare for their compassionate care and comfort you provided to our dad.

Arrangements are under the direction of Hobbs Funeral Home, South Portland. To share a memory or to leave a message of condolence, please visit Claude’s memorial page at

Due to the Pandemic, a celebration of Claude’s life will be announced and held at a later date in the summer.

In lieu of flowers, those planning on expressions of sympathy are asked to consider sending a memorial contribution to the

Westbrook Animal

Refuge League

217 Landing Rd.

Westbrook, ME 04092

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