Harry was born in Matador, Texas on June 17, 1941, to John Augustus Hamilton and Mary Josephine Moore Hamilton. He spent his early years in Melbourne, Florida where his father was stationed during World War II. In Florida, he and his older brothers played on the beach and doted on their newborn sister, Jane. When the war ended, the family moved home to Matador where Harry spent his formative years, as many West Texas boys do, getting into trouble and then learning how to get out of it.
After high school, Harry enrolled in Texas Technological College with a Business major. While there, he developed his sense of civic involvement, becoming active in the movement to prevent the changing of the school’s name to Texas Tech University (preferring instead Texas State University). Although not on the winning side of that debate, the experience piqued his interest in community engagement and advocacy. He was an active member of the business fraternity, Delta Sigma Pi, and organized a long overdue reunion several years ago.
After college graduation, his first position was as a sales representative for Vick Chemical Company selling Vicks’ cold and cough remedy products to pharmacies across a vast sales region including Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. Harry was a great salesman and transitioned to selling financial products at Investors Diversified Services before finding his true passion in farm and ranch real-estate. His experience as a licensed Realtor served him well. He and his brothers established the Hamilton Brothers Farm and Ranch in 1976, continuing to operate and expand for the next 40 + years. With his brothers, their children, and grandchildren, he spent many long hours repairing broken machinery, farming, and dealing with ornery cattle (and sometimes ornery kids). Harry owned and managed various rental properties in Lubbock, and he felt strongly about contributing meaningfully to his community. Harry served as a founding board member of The Texas Girls and Boys Ranch and was President of the Texas Rural Land Institute. He held positions in various local and national real estate organizations. His favorite hobby was creating art with wood, and he was an active member of the South Plains Woodturners.
Harry was a character! Throughout his life he was tough as nails, facing every obstacle with strength, persistence, and humor. Harry was always ready to drop what he was doing when someone was in a bind and needed a helping hand. Whether stopping to assist stranded motorists, helping his neighbor save her house from foreclosure, or digging up a friend’s leaky gas line in the middle of winter, once Harry saw a problem, he focused on a resolution. His unwavering commitment to helping others made a profound impact on the lives of all who knew him. Harry was a mentor to many, and believed in other people’s potential, even when they couldn’t see the potential in themselves. He instilled honesty, perseverance, and self-sufficiency in his own children and others. He will be deeply missed, but fondly remembered as a man of integrity, compassion, and damn hard work.
Harry died at home on December 2, 2023, age 82, after a 3-year fight with cardiac cancer.
Harry was predeceased by his parents, brother, Tom Hamilton, and sister, Jane Hamilton Carter.
Harry is survived by his wife Ann Hamilton of 26 years; children Charlie (Kate) Hamilton and Keri (Juan) Mendoza; step-children George (Rebecca) Schweizer, William (Jennifer) Schweizer, Elizabeth (James) White, John (Lucy) Schweizer; grandchildren Conrad Hamilton, Carson Hamilton, Antonio Mendoza, and Lila Mendoza; step-grandchildren Oliver White, Samuel White, Kate Schweizer, Luke Schweizer, and Yvonne Schweizer; his brother Dick; his first wife Adrianne; and many beloved nephews and nieces.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to: East Mound Cemetery, PO Box 370, Matador, TX 79244, or Texas Girls and Boys Ranch, https://txgbr.org/leave-a-legacy