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Robert Hamlett

1943 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
Robert Hamlett Obituary
Robert Hamlett

Nashville - Robert Louis Hamlett, 74, passed away on April 23, 2018 at NHC Place at the Trace in Nashville, TN. Bob was preceded in death by his parents, Thomas and Sarah Hamlett. He is survived by his wife of 35 years, Mary Margaret Kendrick Hamlett; his two daughters, Melanie Anne Hamlett and Shannon Hamlett Leontiades (Leo); and two granddaughters, Zoe and Eva Leontiades. He is also survived by his brothers, Thomas Hamlett (Shara) and David Hamlett; and sister, Sandra Rose; along with his niece Ashley (Michael) and nephew, Alex (Erin).

Bob was a firecracker with a big heart and a rebellious spirit. He was an unabashed nonconformist whose wardrobe was full of "Freethinker" and "Veterans for Peace" sweatshirts, t-shirts, and hats. He wore them proudly in hopes of inspiring others to think for themselves.

Bob was a 1961 graduate of Nashville Central High School, where he was awarded the Civitan award for Good Citizenship, a fact that he specifically wanted remembered in his obituary. He graduated with honors from the University of Tennessee (Knoxville) in 1965 with a major in accounting. Not wanting to serve in combat on the front lines of the Vietnam War, but unwilling to dodge the draft, Bob joined the Navy right out of college and went to Officer's Candidate School. He first served as a naval officer on a ship stationed in California and Hawaii and later was in charge of a supply warehouse in Da Nang, South Vietnam at the height of the Vietnam War. Because of this personal sacrifice and at his request, he will be buried with full military honors later this week at Middle Tennessee Veterans Cemetery.

Following his naval service, Bob worked for 34 years an accountant for the State of Tennessee. While working for the State, he obtained a law degree from the Nashville School of Law (then known as the YMCA Night Law School), passed the Tennessee Bar Exam, but never practiced law. Although Bob saw his career as fairly mundane, he encouraged his daughters to go to college, follow their dreams and find fulfilling careers. After retiring in 2004, he was finally able to do what he truly loved: write. As an author and frequent contributor of Letters to the Editor, he ruffled many feathers being a liberal progressive in the Deep South.

Bob was a staunch defender of the First Amendment and an advocate for world peace and tolerance. After retiring, he threw his time and energy into fighting racism and bigotry as a proud and active member of the ACLU and Veterans for Peace.

As an advocate for Deism, he held a strong belief in the goodness and mercy of God. Even though not a believer in organized religion, he tried to live always by the Golden Rule.

He loved football, white wine, travel and giving his daughters unsolicited and incredibly depressing dating advice. Most know him for his sharp tongue and brutally honest sense of humor, but those closest saw a more tender side. He made fun of their cat, Lucy, and complained about her constantly, yet spent two years nursing her with an IV and two bags of fluid every day. His soft side emerged even more during his battle with Alzheimer's. The words he spoke most frequently while visiting with his family were, "I love you." He was one of the most interesting, yet beloved, residents at Waypoint Memory Care, where he was cared for in the kindest, most loving manner by the nurses, aides, and his favorite activities director, Derek Jones.

While his biggest sources of pride were his wife, Mary Margaret, his daughters and granddaughters, his most profound contributions to the world were his ability to tell bizarre stories (all true!), to be brutally honest (sometimes to a fault), to laugh at the absurd and to find humor in everything, even tragedy. In this spirit, his family will laugh their way through the many tears.

Friends can share their favorite Bob stories with the family at a visitation from 5:00 to 7:00 pm on Thursday, April 26th at the Section X Clubhouse at River Plantation in Bellevue. The address is 8530 Sawyer Brown Road, Nashville, TN. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the ACLU, Veterans For Peace, the , or . An online guestbook is available at (615)377-0775
Published in Tennessean on Apr. 26, 2018
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