JOHN J. HAMILTON JR. HINESBURG - John "JJ" Hamilton, 74, of Hinesburg passed away on Aug. 31, 2014, as a result of a fall and suffered severe head trauma and complications following surgery. He was born in Elizabethtown, N.Y., the son of John and Kathleen Hamilton. JJ was a graduate of Ticonderoga High School, class of 1957. He then attended St. Michael's College in Winooski, graduating with a BA in English Literature. In 1961, John was married in St. Anthony's Church, Burlington, to Janette (Hurteau) Hamilton. John's military career as both a Navy and Air Force pilot began in 1961, spanning twenty eight years. He was honored to wear his Navy Wings of Gold. He completed two combat tours in the Vietnam War, and another tour on the aircraft carrier Saratoga, CVA 60. Two of his most treasured times were flying on and off the aircraft carrier and being the 134th fighter squadron commander in the VT Air National Guard. He held the rank of LT CMDR in the Navy and LT COL in the Air Force. After his retirement from military life, he became the Director of Operations at the Burlington International Airport, and within five years was appointed in 1989 to the position of Director of Aviation, a post he held until his retirement in September of 2005. The Airport saw phenomenal growth and improvement during his years of leadership, a time which he said had no equal for challenge and reward. Besides his wife, Janette; he is survived by his daughter, Deborah Rackliff and her husband, Henry, of Jericho; his son, John P. Hamilton of Schuylkill, Pa.; and his son, John Nathan of Plattsburgh, N.Y. Other survivors include his loving sisters- and brothers-in-law, nieces, nephews and a host of longtime friends and business associates. He was predeceased by his older sister, Georgiana (Hamilton) Wehmeyer. In his retirement years, he joked that it was a career field unto itself. He devoted much of his time to volunteering. Among them as a board member for The Howard Center and most notably his involvement with the United Way RSVP School Buddies program, providing one on one involvement in literacy with 4th and 5th graders. He wanted to do whatever was possible to improve community and young children's lives. He was also proud of maintaining a single digit golf handicap and a close relationship with the Vermont Senior Golfers Association. He would like to be remembered for three things in his life. First, the absolute love that he received from his beautiful and adorable wife, Janette. Second, the two greatest children parents could have in the world, Debbie and John. And third, Rachel and Nathan, the coolest grandchildren a grandparent could have. A brief Memorial Service will be held on Friday, Sept. 5, 2014, at 1 p.m. at Vermont Veterans Memorial Cemetery Chapel, Randolph Center, Vt., with interment to follow. To send online condolences to the family please visit www. cremationsocietycc.com. Memorial contributions may be sent to United Way, RSVP School Buddies Program of Chittenden County, 412 Farrell St., Suite 200, South Burlington, VT 05403.
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Published in The Burlington Free Press on Aug. 2, 2014