Donald Joe "Don" "Bro. Don" "Cy" Hilton of Aurora passed away on March 9, 2024, after a sudden decline in his health. His official date of death is recorded as March 11, 2024, subsequent to the withdrawal from life support measures. He was born Dec. 21,1935, on top of the hill in Crane.
He was a proud Crane Pirate, Class of '53 where he was an outstanding three sport athlete (basketball, baseball, and football). His education and legendary sports career continued at Southwest Baptist in Bolivar, Oklahoma Baptist University in Shawnee, Okla., and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Dallas, Texas. He earned a bachelor’s degree in church music with minors in piano and mathematics.
He served his entire adult professional life wearing the many hats of a Southern Baptist church staffer, including, but not limited to, Minister of Music, Youth Minister, Senior Adults Minister, Ukelele Band Director, Choir Director, Youth Choir Director, Childrens' Choir Director, Head of Security, Substitute Church Secretary, Mimeograph operator, Sound Engineer and was licensed to Preach the Gospel and exercise his gifts in the work of the ministry serving at First Baptist Church of Clever, Marionville, Monett, McGehee where he served for 25 years and was the longest serving Minister of Music in Arkansas at the time of his retirement. A few weeks later he left retirement and resumed his ministry at Southside Baptist, serving there until he passed. He was also the choral and band director at Spokane, Highlandville, Billings, Wheaton, and Exeter High Schools during the mid-1960s to early '70s.
He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Freda (Watkins); his son, Wayne (Vivian) Hilton; his daughter, Gayle (Robert)Mattingly; five grandchildren; his sister, Cheryl Ann Hilton Wilson Farless; one nephew;  one niece; one great-nephew; two great-nieces; as well as many extended family and dear friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents and an infant brother, Jimmy Wayne.


Lawrence County Record

312 S. Hickory St.
Mt. Vernon, MO, 65712


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