John E. Tilton, Sr, age 93, of Minocqua passed away peacefully on Wednesday, March 11, 2020 at Avanti Health & Rehabilitation Center in Woodruff. John was born on Feb. 6, 1927 in Minocqua to his parents Charles and Agnes (Walsh) Tilton. He met and married Patricia Lee Mohr on Jan. 10, 1951 in Wausau. John and Patti honeymooned in California near family. Before marrying Patti, John worked in California, where he canned olives and picked oranges. While he lived in Chicago, he worked on the Chicago Northwestern Railroad. John returned to Minocqua where he then worked as a carpenter. John was a volunteer fireman and a volunteer police officer. He also worked at the DNR alongside Bud Knutson. John worked evenings and weekends for many years, welding for Pitlik and Wick while working for the Town of Minocqua where he was foreman for 30 years. John pursued a lifelong dream of being an over the road truck driver with many memorable trips across the country. After not being able to drive truck anymore, John enrolled in college and earned a baking degree from Gogebic College where he excelled at bread making and pastries. John also worked at Lakeland Airport alongside Noble Lee and some of his flying adventures. John had a love of the family farm in the Ozarks of Houston, Mo. He loved to go camping out west with the family, his love of motorcycles, hunting, fishing and swimming at the lake. Malby Lake will forever be his family legacy. He was known for his gift of gab and will be dearly missed by his family. As John always recited, “Keep your stick on the ice, Freddie.” John is survived by his children, Patti (Tom) Kalaskey of Clearwater, Fla., Susan Potter of St. Germain, Anita (David) Clarke of Charlevoix, Mich., and John (Julianna) Tilton of Madison, Ala.; six grandchildren, Tiffany, Charles, Alex, Patrick, Andrew and Ross; two great-grandchildren, Wrangler and Watson. John is preceded in death by his parents, Charles and Agnes Tilton; wife, Patti, son, David and two brothers, Russell and Charles “Babe” Tilton and his cousin who was his best friend, John “Jack” “Bumpy” LaBonty. The family will be celebrating John’s life privately. A special thanks to the staff at Avanti Health & Rehabilitation Center who loved and cared for John this past year.

The Krueger Family Funeral Home and Cremation Service in Tomahawk is assisting the family with arrangements. www.kruegerfamilyfuneral.com.