Berl Hamilton passed away at 96 years of age on Jan. 24, 2014, with his two daughters by his side. He was eight days short of his 97th birthday. He was residing at the Gallatin County Rest Home and the family would like to thank the staff for the wonderful care they provided.
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He was born Feb. 1, 1917, to Irl and Anna (Medford) Hamilton in Deer Creek, Mont. He started school in Glendive, but the family moved to a farm where he attended country school completing the 8th grade. Berl's father worked for the Northern Pacific Railroad so much of the farming responsibility fell to Berl. His father was killed in a train accident in 1937.
Berl married Kathlyn Kniss on May 23, 1929, in Glendive, Mont. They moved to Lorane, Ore., where he worked in the logging industry for six years. They moved to Bozeman in 1946 and lived there ever since. Berl worked for the Idaho Pole Company for 35 years, retiring in 1981.
He loved nothing better than a good game of cards and continued playing Bingo and pinochle to the end. His real love was farming, and he and Kay had a farm on Bridger Drive. Berl was one of the old-timers of Bozeman and the Gallatin Valley. He farmed when Bridger Drive was a dirt road and you knew everyone that lived up the canyon.
Even though Berl had limited education, he was sharp as a tack and not many "pulled the wool" over Berl's eyes. He worked hard from a very young age and overcame many hardships – both financially and physically. Berl had an incredible will to live and often had the doctors shaking their heads.
Berl is survived by his two daughters, Sharon (Jim) Black, and Jo (John) Semingson, both of Helena; his daughter-in-law, Sandi Hamilton of Boise; and his brother, Milo of Eugene, Ore.; as well as five grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife, Kay, in July 2013, his son, Roger, in July 2012, and his sister, Loma Larimer on Nov. 28, 2005.
At his request, there will be a private family service. Memorials may be made in his name to the Gallatin County Rest Home, 1221 Durston Rd., Bozeman, MT 59715 or the Bozeman Senior Center, 807 N. Tracy Ave., Bozeman, MT 59715.
Arrangements are in the care of Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service, www.dokkennelson.com.
Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service
113 South Willson Avenue
Bozeman, MT 59715
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle from Jan. 29 to Jan. 30, 2014