Riki Michael Hilton

Riki Michael Hilton Riki, not an ordinary spelling befitting not an ordinary man, was born on November 24, 1958 in San Diego, California, to Jeane and Earl Hilton. He graduated from Klamath Union High School in 1977 and married Lisa Malme that same year. They had two children, a beautiful daughter Jill and near mini-me to Riki, Nicholas. Though their long marriage ended in divorce, they enjoyed many years together as a family, camping, going to concerts and traveling extensively as Riki's job required. As for that job. Riki enlisted in the US Navy on March 10, 1980 in Portland, Oregon and no one, including Riki, could have predicted the illustrious 29 year career he would have as a Navy cryptologist. When asked exactly what he did as a cryptologist, he always answered something like, "Super secret stuff," which was true! Riki worked with our governments three letter agencies, traveled around the world including to remote "super secret" places and earned recognition as Sailor of the Year (many times), the Meritorious Service Award for his service from November 1982 to August 2008 by the Naval Network Warfare Command and too many other recognitions, medals and ribbons to list. Riki retired August 1, 2008, and eventually made his home on The Wenas in Selah, WA. It should be noted that his passion and patriotism for the United States of America never faded. Riki returned to Klamath Falls in January of 2018 after getting reacquainted with Julie Whitlatch and they became inseparable from that blessed moment on. They had known each other since 7th grade, and though they hadn't been in contact since high school, somehow their connection was instantly strong and they crammed a lifetime of love and joy into the four years they were together. Riki and Julie traveled, enjoyed doing home projects together, attended many concerts and were both supportive participants in the local Ross Ragland Theater. At 60 years old Riki went back to college and remotely attended the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA. He was by far the oldest in his classes, yet always the most enthusiastic and completed every term with straight A's. You see, Riki was a forever student, teacher and mentor, all at the same time. Though he didn't have much time to use it, he also recently received his Ham Radio Technicians License from the FCC. All of the following overfill the capsule of Riki's life as he was a: patriot, cowboy, dog lover, chicken wrangler, fisherman, hunter, rock-n-roller, song and poetry writer, musician, artist, UFC enthusiast, man of God, gentleman, comedian and story teller, sometimes a bit naughty, AND a son, brother, father, pops, granddad, cousin, uncle, friend and Julie's forever fiancé since nearly the first day they were reacquainted. Sadly but peacefully, on Thursday, December 28th, 2021, Riki took his final breath at Sky Lakes Medical Center holding Julie's hand after a brilliant and heartfelt conversation together. They had just enjoyed a week long vacation in Las Vegas, seeing concerts, taking in the last UFC fight of 2021 and fully embracing their favorite get-a-way location. Fifteen days later after they returned home, Riki passed away from complications of COVID pneumonia. It should be known that nothing and no one could have saved him; after that brief but extremely hard battle of his lifetime, Riki graciously and deliberately decided his battle for breath needed to end that day. Jean Hilton, Julie Whitlatch and Riki's entire family thank the kind, competent and compassionate care he received by his nurses, his respiratory therapist "Dave" and especially Dr. China Rae Newman. Riki was preceded in death by his dad Earl Hilton, his brother Tim Hilton, his infant brother Terry and others. Left behind is his mother, Jeane Hilton, daughter and son-in-law, Jill and Jack Angle, son, Nicholas Hilton, grandchildren, Jaxson and Riki Angle and Zoe Sage Hilton, cousins, Monte Nevills, Jill Rawlins, Kandy and Ron Oliver, nephew Josh Hilton and Krystle, numerous other family and dear friends as well as his forever fiancé Julie Whitlatch. Please join as we celebrate Riki's life on Saturday, January 22, 2022 at 2 pm at the Klamath County Fair Grounds, Blue Exhibit Building, 3531 S. Sixth St., Klamath Falls, Oregon. In lieu of flowers please consider donating to the Wounded Warrior Project. If you like, cards may be mailed to Julie Whitlatch, PO Box 505, Merrill, OR 97633 and if intended for Jeane, Lisa, Nick or Jill, please put their name on the back of the envelope and it will be forward to them.

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