John R. Hamilton, a loving husband, father, and grandfather, died peacefully in his sleep on September 27 at his home in Orange, CA with Marienne, his loving wife of 61 years, by his side. John, who was 87, was born in San Bernardino, CA on September 14, 1934, to Frank and Lillian Hamilton. He graduated from San Bernardino High School, class of '53. It was while he was walking to school, that he met his future wife and love of his life, whose mother offered him a ride to school. During his school age years, John played football, baseball and was a member of DeMolay. He was named Master Councilor of DeMolay San Bernardino, CA, 1951-1952. John went on to proudly attend and graduate from the University of Southern California, School of Architecture, class of '62. While in college, John became a member of the Tau Kappa Epsilon "TKE" fraternity. John continued his involvement with his beloved fraternity, including serving as TKE Alumni President at USC. John & Marienne were married on July 16, 1960, in San Bernardino, CA. They lived in Los Angels, San Bernardino, and Hemet before settling down in Orange in 1967 with their two children, Mark and Dara. As a young architect, John was drawn to the developing Orange County, to contribute his vision. He got his start working for the high profile architecture firm of William Pereira, then Bill Ficker & Assoc. and IPA & Assoc. before starting his own firm, JRH & Associates. John's attention to detail and a keen eye for contemporary design will live on throughout Orange County in the many commercial & residential buildings that he proudly designed over the decades. Of John's many hobbies and talents, he loved building & creating things out of wood. It started with carving his own toys (planes, cars, guns). Then he moved on to making his own furniture and building his own kitchen cabinets. After retirement, he made beautiful wood jewelry boxes, pens, knives, pizza cutters, salad servers, wine stoppers, and ice cream scoops for loved ones. Other things he built over the years was a lightweight 10-speed road bike that he designed and created from scratch. John was a long time member of the Orange County Wheelman in the '70s. As VP, he promoted cycling safety and cycling events for the community. During this time he completed several Century Rides (100 miles). His other hobbies included anything USC, especially Trojan football and basketball. John could be spotted in town wearing something with USC on it and he never missed a Trojan football game with Marienne, cheering with enthusiasm. John also managed & played on several adult softball teams well into his 70's. As a sports fan, he loved keeping up with the grandkids and their sporting events too. John & Marienne were members of a BMW enthusiast club in Orange. They traveled to BMW car shows throughout California with their '71 2800 CS, once winning "Best Car". It was another hobby of John's to refurbish old 2800 CS BMW's to mint condition. And of course, the logo and artwork for the club was created by John. John, Dad, Grandpa, and G Pop will be dearly missed. He is survived by his wife, Marienne, their son Mark of Orange, grandchildren Marcus and Lexi, and their daughter Dara, her husband Trey, grandchildren Cade & Shea of Cardiff by the Sea. He will be lovingly remembered for his sense of humor, integrity, intelligence, artistic talent, vast handyman skills, and true love for his devoted wife and family. A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, Oct. 23, 11 am at his home in Orange. If you'd like more information or to RSVP, please e-mail [email protected]
Published by Orange County Register on Oct. 10, 2021.