Jack Arthur Hamilton, 93, passed away peacefully surrounded by his family Aug. 14, 201,8 at Welcome Home Villa in Omak, Wash.
Born in Modesto, Calif., April 20, 1925, to parents Newton Earl Hamilton and Laura Caroline (Graves) Hamilton, Jack moved with his parents back to Okanogan in 1930. Jack graduated from Okanogan High School, as Valedictorian and with 12 years perfect attendance, in 1943. He attended the University of Washington and UCLA on a Navy ROTC Scholarship graduating from UCLA in 1947 with a BA in Business.
Jack joined his Dad, Earl, at Graves Machine Shop in 1948, and with his accounting background and Earl’s blessing, took over managing the family business. In 1959, Earl, Jack and Jack’s cousin Ralph Parks incorporated the business as Hamilton Farm Equipment Center and gradually evolved from a machine shop to a full line farm equipment dealership. Jack retired in 1991 when he passed on management to his son, Greg.
August 6, 1949, Jack married Laura Jo Beam, a vivacious blonde that had moved to Okanogan while he was away at college. They celebrated 69 years together a week before he passed.
Jack truly believed in serving others in his roles as family member, employer and member of the Okanogan County Community. He was an active Kiwanis Club member since 1956 (and served as President), a deacon of the Okanogan Presbyterian Church, President of Okanogan Chamber of Commerce (1960), Okanogan County Fair Manager (1956 and 1957), member and president of the Okanogan Masonic Lodge and Okanogan County Red Cross Chairman to name a few of his many civic endeavors. Jack has left a legacy of community service; leaving the community better than he found it.
Jack loved the outdoors, growing up fishing and hunting with Earl and uncle George Graves. He passed on his love of the mountains to his family with annual summer horseback trips in the North Cascades and Pasayten Wilderness. He was able to combine his love of horseback riding and hunting with an annual elk hunting trip to Idaho with best friend, Wayne Tangen.
Jack and Jo loved to travel and spent many years traversing the U.S. in their motor home, often times travelling with good friends. They always took the time to look up past friends and business associates that had moved away during their travels.
Jack is survived by his wife, Jo; daughter and son-in-law, Barbara and Dave Guetlin, of Whidbey Island, Wash., and grandsons, Dane and Brooks (Ashley) Guetlin; son and daughter-in-law, Greg and Mary (Nanson) Hamilton, of Okanogan, and grandson, Conor (Lydia) Hamilton, and great-granddaughters, Harper and Asher, of Okanogan. Jack’s youngest sister, Faye (Leo) Rubstello, Woodinville, Wash., step-brother, Jack (Carla) Rosenoff, of Omak; and step- sister, Lois (Bob) Pleas, Bellevue, Wash., also survive Jack.
Jack led by example and the most common remark from family and friends sending condolences has been “I have tried to emulate Jack in my life”.
A memorial service will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 29 2018, in the Okanogan County Agriplex. Following the service, lunch will be served in the Annex. Memorials may be made to the Okanogan Kiwanis Club, the Okanogan Presbyterian Church or to Frontier Home Health and Hospice, Omak.
Precht-Harrison-Nearents Chapel and the Okanogan County Crematory of Okanogan are caring for the arrangements.