Back to Last Roll Call Home Page   

Franklin T. Tilton


Company I-1

4 May 1939 - 20 Oct 2023
Place of Death: Laconia, NH
Interment: New Hampshire Veterans Cemetery

It is with great regret and sorrow that I must notify you of the death of our classmate, Frank Tilton, on October 20, 2023, in Laconia, NH. 

Frank is survived by his wife, Elizabeth (Liz); their children, Paul and his wife Jennifer, Melinda (USMA 1992) and her husband Matthew Morgan, Jay and his partner Katherine Daily, Michael (USMA 2000) and his wife Sarah, Susan and her husband Daniel Ruecking (USMA 1997); their grandchildren, Kira, Brady, and Landon Tilton, William, Ryan, and Andrew Ruecking, Madeline and Claire Tilton, and Joshua and Maxwell Morgan; his sister, MaryLee Ayre; and his sister-in-law, Joan Tilton. 

Visitation will be at 4 PM on November 12, 2023 at Wilkinson-Beane Funeral Home, 164 Pleasant Street, Laconia, NH  03246. 

A Funeral Mass will be held at 9 AM on November 13, 2023 at St. Andre Bessette Parish, 291 Union Ave, Laconia, NH  03246. 

Burial will follow at 11 AM at the New Hampshire Veterans Cemetery, 110 Daniel Webster Highway, Boscawen, NH  03303. 

Condolences may be sent to Liz at 56 Orchard Street, Laconia, NH 03246-3027. 

In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that donations in Frank’s memory be sent to New Hampshire Catholic Charities at 100 William Loeb Drive, Unit 3, Manchester, NH 03109, or

Well done, Frank.  Be thou at peace.


Class Memorial Pages\I-1 Frank Tilton.pdf

Frank was the best of the best. I just finished a letter to his widow, Liz telling her how much we all admired him. 

I summed up Frank with three adjectives: SMART, BRAVE and KIND. 

Frank was really smart. Nothing at West Point truly challenged his intellect. 

Frank was brave. He hurt his back early on. We in I-1 remember Frank in the South Area sinks, lying on a bench doing sit-ups night after night to try to strengthen his back. It was not easy. You could see the pain in his face and the sweat running off his body as he worked to counter his serious problem. 

Frank was kind. There are several West Pointers who never would have graduated were it not for Frank’s tireless efforts to coach the well-neigh uncoachable most every evening in the sinks. 

Frank was a truly great guy. We can never forget him. 

Regards to all - Alan Armstrong ’61 @ Company I-l


Franklin Thomas "Frank" Tilton

LACONIA ---- Colonel Franklin "Frank" Thomas Tilton, U.S. Army (retired), 84, died on Friday, October 20, 2023, at St. Francis Nursing Home in Laconia, NH.

A lifelong public servant, Frank was born and raised in Laconia, NH. When his father served at the Pentagon, Frank finished his last two years of high school in Washington, D.C. and then attended the United States Military Academy at West Point finishing in the top of his class. As a cadet, he marched in the inauguration parade for President John F. Kennedy in 1961. Upon graduation, he was commissioned into the U.S. Army and completed Parachute and Ranger training. He later obtained a Master's in Operations Research from Stanford University. In his 32-year Army career, Frank served as a combat engineer for two tours in the Republic of Vietnam (1967-68, 1970-71), two assignments in West Germany, and multiple assignments throughout the US, moving 20 times across 14 states.

Frank and Liz were married in late December back in '63 and raised five children who all went on to serve in the military and continue the example of public service set by their parents.

Frank traded military service for civil service when he returned to his native Laconia to serve as the Director of Public Works from 1993 to 2003. Following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather, Frank served on the Belknap County Executive Committee and in the NH House of Representatives as a Republican from 2004 to 2008 and 2010 to 2020, serving on the Public Works and Highways Committee.

An athlete and coach his entire life, in 1957 Frank broke the D.C. High School basketball single game free throw record previously held by NBA Hall of Famer Elgin Baylor. At West Point he played baseball, ran track, and finished near the top of his class in physical fitness and mathematics. As a father, Frank enjoyed coaching sports and got involved in academic pursuits such as West Point admissions and MathCounts which he helped grow from the early stages in New Hampshire. As a grandfather he loved attending his grandchildren's sporting, scouting, and theater events and keeping up with their interests and academics.

Frank's involvement in family, community, and public service impacted and inspired lives across the communities wherever he lived and worked.

He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Elizabeth "Liz"; sons, Paul Tilton and his wife Jennifer, James Tilton and his partner Katherine Daily, Michael Tilton and his wife Sarah; daughters, Melinda Tilton and her husband Matthew Morgan, Susan Ruecking and her husband Daniel; 10 grandchildren, Kira, Brady, and Landon Tilton; William, Ryan, and Andrew Ruecking; Madeline and Claire Tilton; and Joshua and Maxwell Morgan; sister, MaryLee Ayre, of Agawam, MA; and sister-in-law, Joan Tilton, of Concord, MA.

Well done, Frank. Be thou at peace.

Calling Hours will be held on Sunday, November 12, 2023 from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at Wilkinson-Beane-Simoneau-Paquette Funeral Home in the Carriage House, 164 Pleasant Street, Laconia, NH.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Monday, November 13, 2023 at 9:00 a.m. at St. Andre Bessette Parish-Sacred Heart, 291 Union Avenue, Laconia, NH.

Burial with military honors will follow at New Hampshire State Veterans Cemetery, 110 Daniel Webster Highway, Boscawen, NH.

In lieu of flowers, the family has suggested that donations be made in Frank's memory to New Hampshire Catholic Charities, 100 William Loeb Drive, Unit 3, Manchester, NH 03109.

Wilkinson-Beane-Simoneau-Paquette Funeral Home & Cremation Services/, Laconia, NH, is assisting the family with arrangements. For more information and to view an online memorial, please visit