Posted on: January 30, 2024
Dr. Frank Hutchinson Hamilton, Jr. died on January 8, 2024, one month before his 100th birthday, at his home in Charlotte, N.C. with his loving wife of nearly 70 years, Edith Ritter Hamilton, by his side.
His extraordinary life started in Rock Hill, S.C. on February 8, 1924, from humble beginnings, which spanned the Great Depression and worsened after his father’s demise in 1938. After graduating from high school, he enrolled at Clemson University with tuition paid from money saved while working in a newspaper delivery job and at the mill. His education was interrupted by three years of service in WWII. After boot camp and lab training, he was stationed at Birmingham General Army Hospital in Los Angeles, CA, where he remained for his entire army career. While in the Army, he befriended several doctors who encouraged him to pursue medicine.
After an honorable discharge from the Army in 1946, he continued his higher education, now with a clear focus on a medical degree, attending Davidson College until 1947, graduating from the University of North Carolina School of Medicine in 1949 (a two-year medical school at the time), then graduating from the University of Virginia Medical School in 1951 as a medical doctor. He completed his internship/internal medicine residency at Bowman Gray School of Medicine and Vanderbilt Hospital. While chief resident at Charlotte Memorial Hospital, he met the love of his life and future wife, Edith M. Ritter, a nurse, and they were married in May 1954.
In August 1955, Dr. Hamilton opened a solo private practice office in Charlotte, with his wife Edith as his nurse. Through their kindness, dedication, and compassionate care, they were beloved by their patients and members of the Charlotte medical community and often received thank-you garden gifts or other treats. He closed his practice in 1988 after 33 years of diligent care to his patients.
With his intense lifelong pursuit of knowledge and long after retirement, Dr. Hamilton continued to read about, take apart, investigate, and teach his children and others about absolutely everything. Many days he could be found poring over stock market analyses and books on gardening or outside working on engines or household appliances. Other times, he and his wife could be found on their front porch watching life pass by and having many wonderful conversations with neighbors. From humble beginnings, great things can emerge.
Dr. Hamilton is survived by his wife, Edith, sons Frank H. Hamilton III and wife Berta Summerell Hamilton of Wilmington, NC and Brian H. Hamilton, M.D. and wife Kimberly McAlister Hamilton of Charlotte, NC: his five grandchildren, Anna H. Lysack and husband Chris of New York City, William R. Hamilton of Houston, TX, Lila H. Chaffin and husband Ryan of Durham, NC, Olivia M. Hamilton of Charlotte, NC, and McAlister H. Hamilton of Raleigh, NC. Great-grandchildren are Ivy Allen Lysack and Nora Edith Lysack.
He is predeceased by his parents Frank Hutchinson Hamilton, Sr., and Maude Caldwell Hamilton, as well as four siblings.