Harry Donald Hamilton, age 79, passed away on June 11, 2020 in San Antonio, Texas. Harry was born on January 3, 1941 in Kansas City, Kansas, to Virgil Hamilton and Claudina Holmes. As a child, Harry enjoyed a novel titled Coast Guard Cadets, but didn't think it a likely aspiration for a kid in Missouri. Then a USCG recruiter turned up at career day during his senior year, and Harry decided to enlist. Six years later, in 1965, having completed Officer Candidate School, Harry was discharged from enlisted service and commissioned as an USCG officer.
Over his 28-year military career Harry held a variety of commands, rising to the rank of Commander before his retirement in 1987. Harry received numerous commendations, many being awarded for valor in combat, most notably both the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart medals — both with the V device.
A lifelong scholar and an intuitive instructor, during the second half of his life Harry used his particular blend of empathy, good humor, and analytical skills to enrich not only any workplace he joined, but the lives of all who knew him. A man of grace, and with no small nod to both military precision and romantic poetry, Harry left this world 16 years to the day after his wife, Lynda.
He was also preceded in death by his parents Virgil and Claudina; father in-law, Col James W Polkinghorn, and mother-in-law, Katy Polkinghorn; brother, Jamie Soetaert; son, James Christopher Hamilton. Harry is survived by his sons, Christopher Duane Hamilton (Maribeth), James Sean Hamilton (Barbara Walsh), daughters, Kelly Jill Voigt (Bruce), Sarah Lynn Parson (Simon), Christina Marie Purcell (Scott); daughter-in-law, April Kate Hamilton; 12 grandchildren; and 5 great-grandchildren.
Interment (with Full Military Honors) will be held June 11, 2021 in Arlington National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Gary Sinise Foundation, or the Wounded Warrior Project.
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