The funeral arrangements for Charles “Charlie” Hilton, a local business and political leader, are set.
A visitation will be held Thursday from 5 to 7 p.m. at Wilson Funeral Home. The funeral will be Friday at 3 p.m. at the Wilson Funeral Home Chapel and an interment will follow at Evergreen Memorial Gardens.
Hilton graduated from the University of Florida in 1952 and got his law degree from UF in 1954. He then served as a Judge Advocate in the U.S. Air Force for two years before starting a law practice in 1956 in Panama City.
Hilton started Gulf Asphalt Corporation, now GAC Contractors, in 1958. He was also the man behind Beach Cable which went on to become Knology and is now owned by WOW. He also developed several hotels and was a strong voice for tourism in the area.
Although business accomplishments were substantial Hilton also had great success in the political arena. His supported conservative causes, conservative politicians and was a strong proponent of lower taxes.
Hilton was a founding member of Club for Growth and served as chairman of the James Madison Institute and Florida TaxWatch.