Tom Hamilton

Obituary
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Tom Hamilton passed away July 13, 2014, in Redding, Calif., after a courageous battle with cancer, while surrounded by his loved ones at age 68. Tom married Sandy when he was 20-years old when he learned he was being drafted into the U.S. Army and stationed in Kaiserslautern, Germany. Tom and Sandy spent two years in Germany, while Tom fulfilled his duty to the United States Military. Once Tom and Sandy returned to the U.S., Tom continued working for the U.S. Forest Service on the Klamath National Forest where he worked for the next 40 years. During Tom's career with the U.S. Forest Service, he was known by all to be very intelligent and be a true leader in every sense of the word. In 1987, he was able to orchestrate the very first Nation's Capital Christmas tree coming from the Klamath National Forest and being placed and lighted at the White House in Washington D.C. That year, Tom was named Grand Marshall for Butte Valley. During Tom's career, he branched out working for a National Team where he worked on an Area Command Team as Logistics Chief. He worked on many wildland incidents over the years and numerous all-risk incidents such as Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Iniky, the World Trade Center Disaster of 9/11 and the Micronesia Tropical Storm Chata'an food distribution in Guam, as well as many other national disasters and forest fires around the world. Tom started the "National Logistics Workshop" back in the 1990's and was the Chair/Cadre member for the National Logistics Workshop, up until this year. He was instrumental in starting the National Logistics e-mail list and Web page of all logisticians to be informed/updated on all the national changes. After Tom's retirement from the U.S. Forest Service in 2004, he continued doing contract work such as train firefighters at the S-420 Command and General Staff Training, training individuals in logistics and even public and state employees on how to handle national disasters in hospitals and public entities all over the world. In addition Tom wrote the first procedure manual and guidelines for "Camp in a Box" a system that has everything you need to set up an incident base camp in 24 hours. "Camp in a Box" is still being implemented in the State of California for fire safety today. He set up the protocol for the State of California for contractors entering the state to fight wildfires to ensure they had the proper equipment and qualifications. Tom was also a contractor for Chester Fire up until this year. When Tom wasn't working, he could be found fishing, deer hunting, duck hunting, squirrel hunting, coyote hunting, or any other type of hunting depending on the season. Many people who know Tom from the refuge will often refer to a mallard as a "Tommy Duck." He was an avid sportsman his whole life and also taught his two daughters to shoot, hunt and fish. You typically wouldn't find Tom alone in the woods without his daughter, Tonya, come deer season. Tom knew the Butte Valley forest like the back of his hand and was always out looking for the "big bucks." Tom also loved to get in his Ranger bass boat and head to Shasta Lake and compete for the biggest fish with his good friend Dick Brimmer. They together also participated in many of the local bass tournaments. Tom also enjoyed getting together with his friends for an occasional game of friendly poker on a Friday night. Tom can be remembered by all as someone that made you laugh with his jokes and could always make you smile; he always knew the right things to say and when to say them. Tom is predeceased by his father, Marshall Milton Hamilton and his mother, Martilla Electa Hamilton. Tom is survived by his loving wife, Sandy, of 48 years of marriage, his daughter, Michele Micka and her husband Joel Micka, and two grandsons, Cody Micka and Jordan Micka; daughter, Tonya Hamilton; sister, Margaret Erickson; and special friend, Jim Cuttler; step-mother, Ann Hamilton; step-sister, Lisa Hall; sister-in-law, Linda Clem; nephews, Jim Clem and family, and John Clem and family and cousins, Mick Copeland and family, James Copeland and family; and special friends, Dick Brimmer and Gary Craddock and many, many, other special friends and family. We were blessed to have Tom in our lives and he will be greatly missed by all. Graveside services will commence at the Picard Cemetery on Saturday, July 26, 2014, at 1 p.m., which will be followed by a potluck at the Dorris Fire Hall. The services will be conducted by Manfred Lutz. Donations can be made to the Butte Valley Rifleman's Association, P.O. Box 16, Dorris, CA, in lieu of flowers. (The Rifleman's Association was Tommy's passion, he wanted nothing more than to see the rifle range get up and running for the Butte Valley community so everyone would have a place to go target shoot, practice and teach youth gun safety.)

Published in Herald And News on July 20, 2014
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