OLDS — Mayor Judy Dahl is saddened by the passing of former town manager Ron Hilton.
Hilton passed away on Nov. 16 in Indian Head, Saskatchewan.
A funeral service for him was held Nov. 22 in Regina.
After training as a professional engineer, Hilton was hired by the Alberta government where he worked in water management.
He then became town manager in Olds before moving to Saskatchewan to become city commissioner in Swift Current, interim city manager in Humboldt and municipal manager for the Rural Municipality of Sherwood, which surrounds Regina.
He also co-founded a private company to advise municipalities.
Shortly before his passing, Hilton spent lots of time with his wife Joyce who was diagnosed with dementia.
Hilton was active in the Anglican Church and helped his wife after she became ordained.
He loved sports and to bake and spend time gardening.
Dahl said Hilton helped create the Imperial Estates industrial area and was very involved in the Mountain View Water Commission.
Dahl remembers first encountering Hilton when she was hired by the Town of Olds in 1990.
“He was a very gentle man. He was very cordial. He was very patient and understanding,” Dahl said during an interview.
“He had the rapport with his staff that if there was an impasse of any kind, ‘we’re just going to sit down and we’re going to talk about it ‘till we figure this out.’
“I remember I was working in payroll and with the council and Ron at that time and I’ll never forget – he came up to me – to my desk and he said, ‘we’d like to start a cost control sheet on this’ (short laugh). Would you like to set something up?
“And I said, ‘sure.’ Now I bet it’s worth millions of dollars. I can't imagine."
“He was a good man. He’ll be sadly missed,” Dahl added. “He was a very good family man too.”
Hilton is survived by his wife, Joyce Hilton (nee Loftus), brother Tom Hilton and sister-in-law Alanna Loftus, three daughters and three sons-in-law as well as several grandchildren, nieces, and nephews.