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October 29, 1932 – August 29, 2020
Gilton obit pic
Eugene Gilton, 87, was under the care of hospice, surrounded by family, when he went to be with the Lord on August 29, 2020, while at the home of Tedford and Cheryl Gilton, in Oakdale, CA.
Eugene was born to Tedford and Maggie Gilton in Hominy, Osage County, Oklahoma. Eugene was the youngest of their 10 children. His siblings Pauline Owens, Jerraldine Potter, Hershel Gilton, Leonard Gilton, Milford Gilton, Sterling Gilton, Darlene Adams, Baxter Gilton, preceded him in death and Eugene is survived by his brother and lifelong business partner, Leroy Gilton.
When Eugene was 5 years old he moved with his family in 1938 from Oklahoma to Mesa, Arizona. In 1940, Eugene then moved with the family to a place near Corcoran, CA. Then in 1941 the family moved to Stanislaus County eventually settling in the Airport district of Modesto, CA. Some of the Gilton family that moved to Modesto worked for various farmers and ranchers in the area. Eugene’s parents, Tedford and Maggie started the Airport Garbage Company in 1947. Over the next several years, members of the Gilton family worked with their parents in the garbage business. In 1962 Tedford and Maggie retired and two of the Gilton brothers, Eugene and his older brother Leroy took over the business. During their ownership, the Airport garbage company grew into a regional waste management business and in 1980 incorporated as Gilton Solid Waste Management. The Gilton brothers also developed recycling operations for paper, cardboard and various other products.
They started the Oakdale landfill and began hauling fresh cannery waste from many large vegetable and fruit canneries operating in Stanislaus County. In July 1996 Eugene and Leroy both retired and passed the Gilton Solid Waste business to Eugene’s two sons Richard and Tedford and Leroy’s two daughters, Donna and Karen, where it continues to this day. Eugene had been active in the Masons, the Riverbank Assembly of God Church and more recently the Church of the Nazarene in Oakdale, CA.
Eugene is survived by his companion of 30 years, Marilyn Fothergill. He is survived by the mother of his three children Belva Gilton. Survived by his three children, Paralee Gilton Wright (Gary), Richard Gilton (Debby) and Tedford Gilton (Cheryl), his 10 grandchildren, Cindy Gilton Mattos, Adriene Wright (Mark) Lepp, Larin Wright (Cody) Copier, Alisha Gilton (Adolph) Gregorio, Eugene Gilton (Holly), Mallory Wright (John) Hudson, Tessa Gilton, Garrett Wright (Jessica), Syvanna Gilton (Jason) Diestel and Tedford Gilton. He is also survived by 21 great grandchildren. Eugene is also survived by Marilyn Fothergill’s two daughters, Kari Gephart and Kami Smith and Marilyn’s four grandsons, Colby Guerra, Gavin Johnson, Ryan Thompson and Blake Thompson who called Eugene “Grandpa”.
A celebration of life service will be held on Saturday, September 12, 2020 at 10 a.m. at the outdoor amphitheater of River Oaks Grace Church in Oakdale, CA. Interment will follow the service at Lakewood Memorial Park in Hughson, CA. Oakdale Memorial Chapel is handling the arrangements.

The Oakdale (Calif.) Leader
The Riverbank (Calif.) News
Sept. 9, 2020