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Tilton being inducted into Manteca Hall of Fame
Manteca City Clerk Joann Tilton, foreground, with the administrative services staff consisting of, from left, Sue Ornelas, Jose Jasso, and Lisa Oliva. - photo by DENNIS WYATT

Joan Tilton - Manteca’s City Clerk for the past 28 years - is being inducted into the Manteca Hall of Fame.

The dinner and induction ceremonies for the Hall of Fame take place Saturday, May 12, at the Manteca Senior Center, 295 Cherry Lane. Tickets are $45 apiece and available at the Manteca Boys & Girls Club, 545 Alameda St., or by calling 239-KIDS.

Other members of the Class of 2011 are Carol Davis, at-large; Vern Gebhardt, athletics; John Cambra, art; Mike Dillman, special recognition; Mike Davis, health care; Dave Soeth, education; Les Thomas, community service; Frank Guinta, business; and Marty Harris, agriculture.

Tilton is being inducted in the field of government.

Tilton’s marathon run as city clerk is matched by her decades long pursuit as a fitness instructor that led her to marathon running as well.

She initially was hired in April of 1981 as a secretary in the city’s planning department back when Manteca had 25,000 residents. Three years later when City Clerk Karen Matthews was hired to run the Stanislaus County elections office then-City Manager David Jinkens tapped her to fill in as council secretary. It was only after she was appointed that she was told she’d have to run for election as city clerk in several months.

Tilton ran unopposed. The position remained elective until 2000 when voters authorized the council to fill the position which is usually handled by the secretary to the council. She’s attended more than 1,000 public meetings with some lasting as long as several minutes to others that have dragged on for eight hours plus while dutifully recording every action while uttering few words.

The 1979 Manteca High graduate played softball and was a gymnast for the Buffs as well as part of the Buffalo Gals drill team. She is also a graduate of Golden West School.

She took a job a year out of high school at age 19 at Venus DeMillo - the Curves of its day - that was located where Rocko’s once stood on North Main Street.

It was there she was able to talk the owner into letting her start an aerobics class.

Tilton is a certified aerobics instructor and personal trainer. She has taught aerobics for more than 25 years. Tilton has completed nine marathons and has even more half-marathons under her belt.

Tilton has earned the title of Master Municipal Clerk from the professional organization of city clerks. She is past president and professional development director for the City Clerks Association of California.

She is also active in the community. Tilton has been a member of the Manteca Noon Kiwanis Club including a stint as president in 2001. She served several years as a judge for the Manteca Youth Focus Scholarship Program. Currently, Tilton is a board member for the Boys and Girls Club of Manteca/Lathrop.

Tilton and her husband Ron have two sons: Ron Jr., 29, and Spenser, 24. Her parents are Dave and Dorothy Fells.