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Robert Daviess Hamilton Veteran
November 10, 2023


The Life of Robert Daviess Hamilton 1927-2023
Robert Daviess Hamilton passed away peacefully at his home in Ventura, California on November 10, 2023, at the age of 96. He was born in Oakland, California, the second son of Mary Daviess Gaines Hamilton and William Marcus Hamilton. His family moved to Southern California when he was a child. He graduated early from North Hollywood High School in December 1944 so he could join the Merchant Marines and fight in active combat in World War II. He was awarded the Victory Medal and the Philippine Liberation Ribbon for his service manning a cargo ship of demolition supplies on the Charles N. McGroarty, where no convoy would accompany them due to the danger of their mission. After the war ended, he enlisted in the Army Air Corp where he served as a photo lab tech and earned the rank of corporal.

He was honorably discharged in 1949 and continued to pursue his love of photography by attending Art Center School in Pasadena, California, where one of his instructors was Ansel Adams. He started working as a photographer at Lockheed Aircraft Corporation, where he came under the notice of the research engineering department. He was encouraged to join them as an engineer and attended Pierce College at night to expand his knowledge of engineering. He retired after working 32 years as a Senior Research Engineer, then worked an additional 5 years as a consultant at the famous “Skunk Works” with a team led by Kelly Johnson.

His childhood friend, Robert Austin, introduced him to Barbara, the sister of his girlfriend Diane at a YMCA Christmas party. The two men ended up marrying the sisters and remained lifelong friends. Barbara and Robert were married in 1950 and remained married for 57 years until her death in December 2007. As newlyweds they lived in the San Fernando Valley and bought their first home in Canoga Park. Their two daughters were born there, and then in 1966 they moved to Ventura, California, where he resided in the home they purchased until his death.

His love of photography was with him his whole life, and he entered his photos to exhibit in the fair for many, many years, including this last summer. He originally built a darkroom at his home, then after retirement discovered digital photography through a class at Ventura College and learned how to download photos and print them digitally. He loved to work with wood and made toys for his grandchildren and frames for his beautiful photos.

His love of the ocean and passion for fishing included owning a 20-foot Skipjack boat which he took out to the Channel Islands and later to Lake Casitas. He was a past commander of the Ventura Power Squadron where he taught safe boating classes and was an active member for over 50 years. Robert and Barbara enjoyed taking trips with their young family to Huntington Lake every summer. They kept that tradition alive for decades, camping in their 5th Wheel trailer and bringing their grandchildren to enjoy fishing at dawn and sing-a-longs at the camp lodge. He loved to hike and cook fresh caught trout up in the Sierras!

When Robert and Barbara were newlyweds, they were great bowlers and played in a league and won many trophies. Later in life after Barbara passed, he was captain of a Wii bowling team that competed in tournaments for seniors, and he made many close friends through that group.

Robert was a lifelong learner. He enjoyed taking classes in guitar and learning how to play games on the computer. When he was injured later in life, he was known at the rehab center for his determination and perseverance, always wanting to push himself to improve. He and Barbara were members at Community Presbyterian Church for many years when they enjoyed close friendships and participated in senior activities and Sunday school classes.

Robert is survived by his daughters, Terri Crandell and Lori Hamilton Redding (John), grandchildren Kris Hamilton and Paul Crandell (Lindsey) and five great-grandchildren. He will be very much missed, but we are at peace knowing he is now reunited with those he loved. As per his wishes, his ashes will be scattered at sea in a private ceremony and his life will be celebrated by family and friends.

Arrangements are under the direction of the JOSEPH P. REARDON FUNERAL HOME & CREMATION SERVICE, Ventura.

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Joseph P. Reardon Funeral Home & Cremation Service
757 East Main Street
Ventura, CA 93001