William C. Hamilton, 89

February 01, 2011
  • William Cabrillo Hamilton
Submitted photo

SEPT. 5, 1921-JAN. 25, 2011

William Cabrillo Hamilton, 89, of 13404 Arbor Drive, Hagerstown, Md., passed away Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2011, at The Villages Regional Medical Center, Orlando, Fla.

Born Sept. 5, 1921, in Hagerstown, he was the son of the late Richard Jenness Hamilton and the late Alice Davis Hamilton.

He was preceded in death by his wife of 54 years, Sheridan S. Hamilton, in 2000.

Mr. Hamilton was the grandson of William T. Hamilton, governor of Maryland from 1881-1884. He graduated from Hagerstown High School in 1939 and from Washington and Lee University in 1943.

Bill enlisted in the Army and was sent to the University of Missouri for German language training. Bill used that training for guarding German prisoners at Camp Rukers in rural Alabama for the remainder of war. He was discharged with the rank of staff sergeant in 1946. Bill then returned to Washington and Lee University and received his law degree in 1949.

Bill began his career as a lawyer, going into practice with Samuel Strite. In 1956, he bought into the Antietam Motors automobile dealership, and, in 1961, he bought the Pontiac dealership and later the Cadillac franchise in 1963, and finally the Nissan franchise in 1970.

Bill was a member of St. John’s Episcopal Church, where he served on the building committee in 1960 and on the vestry from 1970 to 1974. He helped to form the Antietam Bank, where he served on the board of directors until its merger with Suburban Bank, where he also served as a director.

He was a member of the Hagerstown Rotary Club, where he had served on the board of directors, and also on the Rotary Foundation from 1979 to 1983, Washington County Bar Association, Fountain Head Country Club board of directors from 1970 to 1974. Morris Frock American Legion Post 42, member and past president of the Cumberland Valley Chapter of the Alumni Association of Washington & Lee University, Citizens Advisory Committee of Hagerstown, former fund-drive chairman of the Washington County Red Cross, former chairman of the initial gifts of the United Fund, long-term member of The Maryland Theatre board of directors, Washington County Hospital building fund drive and the YMCA building fund drive.

He is survived by three sons, Richard J. Hamilton II and wife, Nancy, of Boonsboro, Md., Teague O. Hamilton of Key Largo, Fla., and Derek H. Hamilton and wife, Kim, of Hagerstown;  six grandchildren, Richard J. Hamilton III and wife, Julie, of Washington, D.C., James T. Hamilton and wife, Carolyn, of Columbia, Mo., Peter H. Hamilton of Maui, Hawaii, William T. Hamilton of McMinnville, Ore., Devon Hamilton of Culpeper, Va., and Charles D. Hamilton of Hagerstown; five great-grandchildren; and special friend, Valinda DeTamble of Hagerstown.

Memorial services will be held Saturday, Feb. 5, 2011, at 11 a.m. at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 101 S. Prospect St., Hagerstown, with the Rev. Charles Holder officiating.

Family will receive friends at Douglas A. Fiery Funeral Home, 1331 Eastern Blvd. North, Hagerstown, MD from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 4.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to either the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts, P.O. Box 423, Hagerstown, MD 21741; or The Maryland Theatre, 21 S. Potomac St., Hagerstown, MD 21740.

Online condolences may be expressed at

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