Obituary for Wallace Hamilton
December 8, 1932 – September 21, 2021
COLONEL Wallace John Hamilton passed away in his home, in Nevada City, CA on October 21, 2021. He was 88 years old. He was born on December 8, 1932 in Berkeley, CA, the son of CAPT John Sowden Hamilton (US Army) and Barbara Irene Hamilton. He was predeceased by his son, Michael in 2019, daughter, Melanie in 2010, and one grandchild in 2015. He is survived by his wife of 67 years, Mrs. Sylvia Lee Hamilton, and his remaining two daughters, Michelle and Marianne, seven grandchildren, and nine great grandchildren. He was a devoted and loving husband, father, and grandfather.
After nearly failing his first year of college, he enlisted in the Air Force as an Airman Basic, the lowest possible grade. He quickly showed the extent of his mental fortitude and leadership capabilities, garnering the attention of higher officials. During this time, he also met his wife and became engaged to her. He received his commissioned as Second Lieutenant on the morning of October 27, 1954 and immediately rushed to the church to attend his wedding, whereupon he married Sylvia. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Economics in 1965 and his Master’s degree in Education, in 1969.
He was a highly decorated officer in the United States Air Force, with myriad military accomplishments. He primarily flew KC-135 air refueling tankers, but also flew several other military aircraft, including the B-52 bomber. He served in the Korean War and in Viet Nam, where he developed the first computer program to speed up air refueling from the time of order to the time of delivery, resulting in more frequent and more productive flights, saving our military countless lives and millions of dollars. His attitude was that you don’t refrain from doing something just because it’s never been done.
He retired from the Air Force in 1980, full Colonel and moved with Sylvia to Grass Valley where the two went into real estate for 7 years. They did very well, but had decided long before they would explore when he was 55. So they retired and traveled full time in an RV. They saw the northeastern states in full fall colors, took a ferry to Prince Edward Island, saw the Newfoundland of Anne of Green Gables, and did several hikes and backpacking trips. This led to working with Trailer Life, which took them to places they never would have gone otherwise. After 9 years of the RV life, they returned to Grass Valley in 1996, bought their current home, and re-started their real estate business. They stayed in the business until 2010 when they finally retired permanently.
A celebration of life with military honors, will be held on Thursday, September 30th, at 1:00 P.M. at Hooper and Weaver in Grass Valley. Viewing will be from 10:00 AM to 12:15 PM.
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