Frank W. Hamilton Jr.

Frank W. Hamilton, Jr.

AGE: 95 • Old Lyme, CT

Frank Hamilton of Old Lyme, CT and Harbour Island, Bahamas, passed away in his 95th year on Monday, April 15, 2013. He died peacefully, surrounded by his family. Frank Watrous Hamilton, Jr. was born on January 27, 1918 in New London, CT to Major Frank W. Hamilton, Sr. and Evelyn Hislop Hamilton. After Frank Sr. returned from World War I, he moved the family to Dover, NJ, where he began work at the Ulster Iron Company. In a few years, Frank Sr. became President of the Company and majority owner. Frank Jr. went to Dover's South Side School. Frank Sr. became head of the Board of Education for the Dover Schools. Hamilton Field in Dover is named for him. Frank Jr. graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy in 1936. He went on to Yale, graduating with a BS in Engineering in 1940. Immediately after graduating from Yale, he was commissioned as an officer in the Navy. Frank served on the USS ST. Louis, a light cruiser. He was Officer of the Deck when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. He sounded the alarm and helped get the ship out of the Harbor while under attack. The St. Louis was the only ship to get out of Pearl Harbor during the attack. He became a Gunnery Officer on the St. Louis, which fought in every major naval battle in the Pacific during World War II. He was awarded the Bronze Star for his bravery under fire during the battle of the Philippine Islands in 1944. Frank eventually was promoted to the rank of Captain. In 1945, Frank married Grace Elizabeth Thorndycraft in San Francisco, when he was on leave. Grace was a childhood friend from Dover, NJ. They were married for 67 years until Grace passed away last year. After the War, they moved to Washington, DC, where Frank worked in Naval Intelligence. In 1948, they moved back to Dover, NJ, so Frank could take over the Ulster Iron Company from his ailing father. After the death of his father, Frank became the President and majority owner of the Company. He eventually had to sell off divisions and liquidate others, because iron was largely replaced by steel. He joined McKiernan-Terry Corporation in 1953, where he later became President. Twelve years later, he and a partner acquired Smokador Manufacturing Company. He served as Chairman until 1973, when he and his partner sold the Company.

Frank retired from business, moved to Hadlyme, CT and sailed with Grace on their boat up and down the Atlantic Coast from Nova Scotia to the Caribbean for many years. While sailing he wrote and published several articles and short stories about life at sea. When he and Grace were too old to sail, they retired to Old Lyme, CT and Harbour Island, Bahamas. They helped found High Hopes Therapeutic Riding in Old Lyme. They also became active in volunteering at the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme. Frank also volunteered at the Soup Kitchen at First Congregational Church of Old Lyme. He also continued to write, completing two novels. Frank Hamilton Jr. was a kind and gentle man, and he always maintained a sharp sense of humor. He fought off old age with exercise and a positive attitude. Above all, Frank was a true gentleman, and as a result, he was an inspiration to all who knew him. He will be greatly missed by his family and friends.

Frank is survived by his daughters, Stephanie Moore of New Canaan, CT, Amy Rice of Wilton, CT; his son, Frank W. Hamilton, III of New York, NY and Old Lyme, CT, and seven grandchildren and three great grandchildren.

A Memorial Service will be held at 11:00 AM on Monday, April 29th, at the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to High Hopes Therapeutic Riding Inc, 36 Town Woods Road, Old Lyme, CT 06371, or to the Florence Griswold Museum, 96 Lyme Street, Old Lyme, CT 06371. To share a memory of Frank or to leave a condolence for his family please visit Arrangements by Robinson, Wright & Weymer Funeral Home in Centerbrook, CT.


Published in Daily Record on Apr. 25, 2013