John Forrest Hamilton, Jr., of Oklahoma City, OK, passed away on March 14, 2019. A father, grandfather, and Air Force veteran, John will be remembered for his service to his country, good humor and boisterous laugh, and devotion to his family and community.
John was born on March 8, 1951, in Albuquerque, NM to John Forrest Hamilton and Margaret Hamilton (née Stiles). He grew up in Lakewood, CO, and earned a bachelor's degree in environmental biology from the University of Colorado in 1974, where he participated in the ROTC program and competed in football and track & field. In July 1976, John was commissioned into the US Air Force and embarked on an 18-year career as a military officer, with duty stations including Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma (1979-1984 and 1991-1994); Kadena Air Force Base in Okinawa (1984-1986); MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, FL (1986-1989); and Clark Air Force Base in the Philippines (1989-1991), during which time he served critical roles in support of Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm. He was a decorated air weapons controller and logged over 5,000 hours on the E-3 Sentry as a member of the 552nd AWACS (Airborne Warning and Control System). During his service, he received numerous awards and commendations, including the Meritorious Service Medal, the Air Force Commendation Medal (First and Second Oak Leaf Cluster), and the Joint Service Commendation Medal. He retired as a Lieutenant Colonel in August 1994.
In 1981, John married Linda Carol Turnbull, of Midwest City, OK. Together, they raised a daughter, Amy ("Peaches"), and a son, John III ("Johnny"), until Linda passed away in 1996. John had an adventurous spirit and a passion for travel. He enjoyed water sports, amusement parks, and loved to take his son's money in a game of Texas hold'em. John also loved to play video games and had a lifelong interest in collecting coins and stamps. He enjoyed dancing with his longtime "best girlfriend" Patricia Lowry, of Oklahoma City, OK. John would often say that "his happy place was up in the air flying through the clouds."
John was preceded in death by his wife, Linda; his brother, Donald; two sisters; and his parents, John and Margaret. He is survived by his children, Amy Spears (William Ersing and Fiona), of Princeton, NJ; and John Hamilton III (Jill Hoover), of Tallahassee, FL; his longtime girlfriend, Pat Lowry, of Oklahoma City, OK; and his grandchildren, affectionately known as Scooter, Boomer, BooBoo, Cutie Pie, and Miss Kitty, of Oklahoma City, OK and Wichita, KS.
A celebration of John's life will be held on Saturday, June 15, from 12:30-2:30 p.m. at the Elks Lodge, 8635 S.E. 15th St., Midwest City, OK. Donations in his honor may be made to the , the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma.
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