HAMILTON, Donald T.
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November 26, 1924 - July 27, 2011
It is with profound sadness that the family of Donald T. Hamilton announces his passing at the age of 86.
Don will be lovingly remembered by his daughters Lynn (Paul Lane) of Edmonton and Janis Welsh (Chris) of San Jose, CA and by his eight grandchildren Margaret, Jack, Tom, Anne, Martha and Paige, Andy and Graham. Don was predeceased in 1995 by his wife of 37 years, Georgene.
Don was born in Havelock, Ontario on November 26, 1924 at the homestead of his grandparents. He grew up in the Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan area during the depression years. Don enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1943, graduating as a Pilot Officer navigator. After the war Don enjoyed life as a bush pilot in Northern Alberta, flying fish, trappers and supplies throughout the North. Eventually Don settled in Edmonton to raise a family and to establish his forest fire suppression company, Air Spray Aviation, based in Red Deer, Alberta. Air Spray is recognized as a leader of aerial forest fire suppression around the world.
Dons passion for aviation continued throughout his life. His achievements in the field of aviation were recognized in May of this year through his induction into Canadas Aviation Hall of Fame, an accomplishment of which he was truly proud. Don was a true aviator and lived for every opportunity to get up in the air. He continued to fly his Cessna 340 right up to the time of his passing.
Don did much to serve his home community of Edmonton. He remained an active Rotarian and served on several charitable Boards. In 1998 Don joined the Edmonton Oilers Investors Group simply to help keep the Oilers hockey team in Edmonton. As a result of his business success Don was able to make a number of significant donations to various charitable organizations and established the Donald Hamilton Family Foundation. In particular, Don was a significant supporter of the Alberta Diabetes Institute at the University of Alberta. With two grandchildren diagnosed with Type I diabetes, it was his dream that a cure for the disease would be found. Don was also an active member of the Edmonton Golf and Country Club and the Edmonton Bridge Centre.
Dons was a life well lived. A celebration of his life will be held on Wednesday, August 3, 2011 at 2:30 p.m. at the Alberta Aviation Museum at the Municipal Airport (11410 Kingsway Avenue). A private family funeral has already taken place.
In lieu of flowers donations to Canadian Diabetes Association - Camp Jean Nelson Summer Camp for Children with Diabetes would be appreciated.
Published in The Edmonton Journal from July 29 to Aug. 2, 2011