Thomas Hamilton Jr.

Thomas Hamilton Jr.
Thomas Hamilton Jr.

Thomas Edwin Hamilton, age 77, of Madison, WI died on Tuesday, December 23, 2014 at Agrace Hospice Center in Fitchburg.

He was born on December 13, 1937 in Edgerton, WI, the son of Thomas Edwin and Irma Ann (Zweifel) Hamilton. Tom graduated from Westfield High School in 1956. Tom earned a bachelor’s (1960), master’s (1962) in agricultural economics and a Ph.D. (1965) in agricultural economics with a law minor, all from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Tom married Sally Jean (McDaniel) on July 11, 1964 at the Darlington United Methodist Church in Darlington, WI. Tom’s professional career started in 1964, serving as a marketing economist and research project leader in the Pacific Northwest Forest and Range Experiment Station in Portland, OR until 1972. In November 1972, Tom was reassigned to be an Assistant Director at the Northeastern Forest Experiment Station in Upper Darby, PA. In August 1976, Tom was transferred to Washington, DC. His first assignment there was head of the nationwide forest inventory. He later served as Director of the Resources Program and Assessment Staff in Washington, DC. From 1988-1994 he was Associate Deputy Chief for Forest Service Research. In June 1994, Tom returned to Madison, WI to serve as Director of the Forest Products Laboratory (FPL). After 37 years in the Forest Service, Tom retired in 2001. Tom was a member of Society of American Foresters, Forest Products Society, National Active and Retired Federal Employees, and served on the Boards of Directors for the National Association of Forest Service Retirees as well as the National Museum of Forest Service History. Tom was also a member of Wisconsin Woodland Owners Association, Ducks Unlimited, Alpha Gamma Rho Fraternity, Wisconsin Alumni Association and Wisconsin Agricultural and Life Sciences Alumni Association (WALSAA).

Tom is survived by his wife of 50 years, Sally of Madison, WI, his daughter, Becky (Dan) Christy of Madison, WI and their children Caitlin, Cassidy, Caleigh, and Alex, and his son Tom (Heather) Hamilton of St. Michael, MN and their children Tommy, Erin, and Jackson. He is also survived by his mother Irma Hamilton of Madison, WI, his sister, Jane (Larry) Landry of Kinston, NC, and two brothers-in-law, John (Carol) McDaniel and Bill (Sharon) McDaniel both of Darlington, WI. Tom was preceded in death by his father Thomas E. Hamilton, Sr., father-in-law William K. McDaniel and mother-in-law Winifred R. McDaniel.

Throughout his life, Tom enjoyed the outdoors including fishing, hunting, gardening and farming. He was able to appreciate these passions from coast to coast. Tom was an avid Badger sports fan attending events as a season ticket holder for football, basketball, and hockey. He spent countless hours coaching soccer, softball, baseball, and basketball. Tom was an active and well-loved coach for all of his children’s sporting endeavors and held administrative leadership positions in the local youth sports organizations. After their children were grown, Tom and Sally enjoyed many travel opportunities to destinations including Finland, Russia, Japan, Turkey, Canada, Mexico, and Hawaii and several Badger Bowl games. In high school, Tom was a member of the football, basketball, baseball, and track teams. He continued to enjoy being a part of team sports participating in adult softball, golf, and bowling leagues.

Funeral services will be held at 3:00 PM on Saturday, December 27, 2014 at Asbury United Methodist Church, 6101 University Avenue, Madison, WI with Pastor Harold Zimmick officiating. A visitation will be held from 1:00-2:45 PM on Saturday at the church. A private burial will take place at Union Grove Cemetery in Darlington, WI.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Cancer Society, the National Museum of Forest Service History, or Asbury United Methodist Church.

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