Thomas Allen Hamilton was welcomed into God's embrace peacefully in his sleep on Friday, July 19, 2013.
He was born Aug. 16, 1941, to Marshall and Elizabeth Hamilton on a small farm in Gallatin, Mo.
He is survived by his wife Mary of 47 years, his two sons Scott and Shawn and their respective families.
Tom had an engineering and inventive mind from day one that was cultured during his childhood days on his family's farm.
He attended the Missouri School of Mines and Metallurgy in Rolla, Mo., and graduated with first honors to a life full of innovation and engineering challenges. He worked for the Department of the Navy for the next 31 years at the Naval Weapons Center in China Lake, Calif. There he raised his boys, built a house, earned a master of science degree in management while attending the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif., and developed into a recognized leader within the air-to-air aerospace missile community.
Tom loved his country and was passionate about defending the ideals and tenets that he held in sacred trust. As part of his distinguished career, he received several awards, including the Department of the Navy Meritorious Civilian Service Award, the Naval Weapons Center's top honor L.T.E. Thompson Award and the Technical Director's Award.
Tom was well respected as one of the rare "complete system engineers" and "go-to-guys" for leading advanced missile propulsion, seeker and airframe technology development programs.
Following service to his country, he watched his sons get married and start families of their own. He then expanded his horizons by becoming a financial analyst in Tucson, Ariz., and finally retired to Keno, Ore., in 2003, returning, in his words, back to his agrarian roots.
In Keno, he built the house of his dreams and built a foundation of faith. He joined the Catholic Church in 2010 and supported the Catholic community by volunteering at the St. Vincent De Paul food bank and helping the church plan for the future.
Tom will be missed as a friend. He will be missed as a loving dad and granddad. He will be missed as a loving husband. He will be held in loving remembrance of a good soul who has taken his last tractor ride down the road.
Funeral services will all be held in St. Pius X Roman Catholic Church. The vigil is scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 24, and the funeral mass will begin at 11 a.m. Thursday, July 25. A luncheon will follow the mass.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorial gifts be made to the St. Vincent De Paul Society of the St. Pius X Roman Catholic Church in Klamath Falls, Ore., (http://www.piusxkf.com/index.html
) or the U.S. Naval Museum of Armament and Technology in China Lake, Calif. (http://www.chinalakemuseum.org/donate.htm
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