James E. Hamilton of Erie died on Saturday January 12, 2013 at St. Vincent Health Center. He was born in Albion on January 29, a son of the late Oran and June Hochadel Hamilton. He proudly served his country in the United States Army Air-Corp during WW II, where he was a mechanic for a fighter squadron. Upon his return home he studied in Massachusetts and Ohio and became a certified welder, specializing in pressurized systems. He was a fireman for the Railroad and later used the skills he learned to become a pipe-fitter. He retired from National Forge after 40 years of service. James was a member of the Siebenbuerger Club and Albion American Legion. He was a past member of both the Zukor and Maennerchor Clubs. He loved trains and the outdoors, especially hunting, fishing, gardening and playing golf. In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by his first wife Thelma E. Hamilton in 1972 and his niece Ann "Buffer" Billak. He is survived by his wife of 37 years, Frances Forfia Hamilton, one daughter Peggy Ann Loesch and her husband Jerry of Oldsmar, Fla. , one son Bob Hamilton and his wife Sue of Erie, five grandchildren; Christie Loesch, Melissa Loesch, Gerald Loesch Jr. and his wife Kim, Eric Loesch and Justin Loesch, one great-granddaughter Lyla Jessica Loesch, two sisters; Virginia Fratalia of Albion and Gladys Folk of Cleveland, one brother Dorson Hamilton of Millcreek and numerous nieces. Memorial contributions may be made to either the VNA (Visiting Nurse Association) 2253 W. Grandview Blvd. Erie, PA 16505 or the Dr. Gertrude A. Barber Foundation, 100 Barber Place, Erie, PA 16507. Friends may call at the Russell C. Schmidt & Son Funeral Home Inc. 5000 Wattsburg Rd. Erie, 16504 on Tuesday from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m., and are invited to a prayer service there on Wednesday morning at 9:15 a.m. followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 10:00 a.m. at St. George Roman Catholic Church. Interment with full military honors will follow in Gate of Heaven Cemetery. Please visit www.SchmidtFuneralHomeErie.com
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