Terry Lee Tilton
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Terry Lee Tilton Terry Lee Tilton was born 72 years ago in Orange, CA., and his life was taken from him, his loved ones, and friends on 1 Dec 19 on SR-227 in a head-on vehicular accident, for which he was not at fault. From a family that undervalued education, Terry rose to the challenge and earned a Bachelor's degree in English at Cal Poly, (SLO) followed by a Juris Doctorate - the first such achievement in his family. His heart, however, led him into a craftsman's journey where he toiled as a guitar and furniture builder and then as a finish carpenter. Also in his heart would be an endless love for his college bride, Emily Joyce Perry a registered nurse and Terry's wife of 45 years. Terry and Emily flourished in the community of San Luis Obispo, CA. Terry loved music and played the guitar, which led both him and Emily into several years of SLO Civic Theater where they both gave some award-winning, acting performances. From the time of their marriage until his death Terry and Emily were practitioners in the Catholic faith. Terry's journey took another turn when he worked as a Correction's Sergeant at Soledad Prison and SLO-CMC wherefrom he retired when Emily suffered immobilizing, brain trauma. Terry cared for Emily like a celestial guardian 24/7 for nearly a decade. In his retirement, Emily's care would prove to be his life's greatest challenge and accomplishment from her injury's onset through holding her hand as she passed years later. With the help of his family, loved ones, and community, Terry was fully recovering in his post-tragedy life when an irresponsible, unanticipated act suddenly took him from us -- he will be missed. Terry is preceded in death by his wife, Emily J. Tilton and; his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Voral V. Tilton of Orange, CA. Terry is survived by his older brother Dr. Ralph Tilton and other extended families. There will be a "celebration of life" service at Mission San Luis, 10:00 A.M., on Friday, 13 Dec. 2019, followed by a reception at his home for friends and family. It was Terry's request that everyone wear "Hawaiian Shirts" to the service and reception. Please make any memorial donations to the charity of your choice.

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Published in San Luis Obispo County Tribune on Dec. 10, 2019.
Celebration of Life
10:00 AM
Mission San Luis
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Memories & Condolences
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7 entries
January 3, 2021
Terry, Dick Adams and I hung around together at OHS and he attended many of our 'Remington Gigs'. After graduation, I (and a couple of other friends) all moved to San Luis Obispo and shared a house with Terry.

We were just High School buddies and none of us had started school yet (University) at the time. It did not work out for me so I returned to Orange after receiving my 'Draft' notice for the Army and Vietnam.

I believe we talked one time after I returned but never stayed in contact.

What I remember the most was his laughter and smile. I always felt he had a great heart and a willingness to 'pitch in' whenever needed.

Terry was one of the 'Gifts' to the world.

John Smith -
The picture is a memory for Terry. The Remingtons' at a time when all was well.
John Smith
December 29, 2020
December 12, 2019
Terry, You are my dearest friend. I am so happy to have known you, the past 20 years. You were taken suddenly and violently, all too soon, from us. I pray for Ralph, Carol, Marion, and family to find comfort, knowing how much you were loved and respected.
judith howard
December 11, 2019
I am fairly certain Terry never knew me, although we were English Dept. classmates at Cal Poly. I remember having a class with him and being awestruck by the poetry he wrote. I have thought of him often over the years, always with admiration. I offer my prayers and blessing to the family.
Glen Smeltzer
December 10, 2019
Don Farley
December 10, 2019
I am deeply saddened by the passing of Terry. My friendship with both Terry & Emily began in the 1980's in the local theater community. I'll always remember Terry's wonderful performance in 'The Petrified Forest' at the old hilltop SLO Little Theatre. My heartfelt condolences to his family.
John Pillow
December 10, 2019
My deepest condolences to the Tilton family. I worked with Sergeant Tilton at California Men's Colony for a number of years.

He was very kind and always a pleasure to work with.

May you find peace in your time of sorrow.
Connie Yanez
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