Jasper County Sun March 04, 2020 Ridgeland John Howell Tilton, Jr. John Howell Tilton Jr. was born in Savannah, GA on November 28, 1943 to Howell and Harriett Tilton.
John attended parochial schools in Savannah before attending Benedictine Military School graduating in 1961. He graduated from Southern Technical Institute in Marietta, GA with a degree in building science. In 1964 he packed up his 1954 Ford with his wife, Frances, and his three month old son, Steve. He had answered an ad for a job opening with Robert Graves and Graves Construction. Those were heady days for Hilton Head and with John and Robert Graves building fifty homes at a time.
John started Tilton Construction Company in 1973 and went on to build nearly 700 custom homes on Hilton Head Island.
John was instrumental in the early days of Hilton Head Island helping to develop such programs as Hilton Head Gators Little League football, Hilton Head Home Builders Association, the First Rotary Club on Hilton Head Island, The Lions Club, one of the First Cub Scout Troops, Construction of Holy Family Catholic Church and was an annual participant in the Sea Pines Billfish Tournament once landing a 385 pound blue marlin.
Later in life, John developed such projects as Town House Tennis, Lands Inn, Woodstream, Fox Pond, Bells Landing, Barkentine, Fern Lakes, Heritage Lakes and Ridgeland Lakes. He later joined St. Andrews Catholic Church in Bluffton where he was instrumental in building the social hall there. He went on to help start up St. Gregory Catholic Church.
John moved to Ridgeland, SC in 1998 and joined St. Anthony Catholic Church. He constructed the social hall at his new church.
He was a member of Savannah Volunteer Guards as well as the Fenian Society.
He is survived by his wife, Gwen Cassidy-Tilton of Ridgeland; his sons, Stephen Bryan Tilton of Okatie and Christopher Wayne Tilton (Christine) of Ridgeland; his daughter, Mandy Helen Cochran (Kendal) of Dallas, GA; his brothers, Paul Anthony Tilton of Colbert, GA and David Joseph Tilton (Christina) of Fripp Island; and grandchildren, Bridget Eleanor Tilton, Margaret Frances Tilton, Peter Howell Tilton, John Clark Tilton, Jessica Carol Tilton, Christian Stephen Tilton; Darianne Craig, Dellani Cochran and Dannica Cochran and one great grandson, Luca Hill. He was predeceased by his sister, Ann Tilton Weil.
John will always be remembered as a builder, coach, father, grandfather, loving spouse and a friend.
The family received friends from 5:00 pm until 7:00pm Wednesday, February 26, 2020 at Sauls Funeral Home, 310 W. Adams St., Ridgeland. A time for sharing memories will begin at 6:00 pm. Funeral Mass was held at 10:30 am, Thursday, February 27, 2020 at Saint Gregory the Great Catholic Church, Bluffton.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Hospice of the Lowcountry.
Published in Jasper County Sun on Mar. 4, 2020.