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Thomas Lee Hamilton
June 7, 1957 ~ October 7, 2023 (age 66) 66 Years Old
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Thomas Lee "Papa Tom" Hamilton Jr. passed peacefully in his sleep on the morning of October 7, 2023
Tom was born June 7, 1957, in Rocky Ford, CO to Lee and Becky Hamilton; the fourth of five children and the first son. He grew up on the family farm with his older sisters, Linda, Judy, and Nancy, fawning over him and dressing him up while he also built a brotherly rivalry and bond with his little brother, Rusty.
Eventually, Tom went on to become a proud Rocky Ford Meloneer, but it was short-lived and after two years the family sold the farm and moved to Canon City. While in school, Tom played football and ran track, and his favorite sport was wrestling. He also developed an interest in cars and for most of his life, he worked on the side restoring and painting countless cars and trucks with custom paint jobs.
Throughout most of his adult life, Tom worked at one of two places. He spent 20 years mining coal outside of Florence, CO with the Dorchester Mining Company, and later Energy Fuels Mining Company. After deciding to spend the rest of his career on the earth's surface, he began a career with the Department of Corrections, first at CSP and later as a Maintenance Lieutenant at Territorial Correctional Facility. Everywhere Tom worked, he was known as a hard worker, but more importantly, he was remembered as someone who was fun to work with, easy to get along with, and cared about those around him.
Tom became a father in 1980 with the birth of his son, Brandon. Three years later, he had a daughter Kristen, and after marrying the love of his life, Molly in 1990, he adopted Ashley and Josh as his own. Even though Tom had a handful with four children of his own, he never turned down the opportunity to show support as a father figure to many of his children's friends who needed the support of a positive and loving influence in their lives. Because of this, there are many people who claim Papa Tom as their own. He affectionately referred to his house as the "Humane Shelter for People."
If there was one thing Tom enjoyed more than being a father, it was being a Papa. He was christened with the name "Papa Tom" by his grandchildren and was a consistent influence and part of their lives, including them in activities at his house after school and camping in the summers. Styles, Olivia, and DJ Hamilton; Lily, Alex, and Jack Hamilton; and Eryka and Kadence Dickens all loved spending time with Papa Tom and being at his house. His dedication to his grandchildren's lives went even further when he and Molly brought DJ and Olivia into their house to finish high school.
Tom was clearly dedicated to his family and friends and that started and ended with his marriage to Molly. For 33 years, Tom and Molly could always be found side by side. The couple loved road-tripping and camping, especially if Tom “felt the presence” and determined that he would be able to find arrowheads in the area. Over the years, Molly and Tom created a marriage and friendship that withstood all the tests that life could throw at them and were always able to enjoy the company of friends and family on one of their many famous porch gatherings.
Driving all of Tom's caring and dedication to family was his relationship with God. Tom was an important member of the Church of Christ family. He proudly taught Sunday School classes, led the singing, and served as the unofficial maintenance keeper throughout the years. When Tom was faced with a difficult decision or problem he would always look to his faith and seek guidance from his faith that in the end, God would take care of it all. In his role as a father, grandfather, mentor, and friend to so many, he would often encourage those seeking help or advice to do the same.
He is preceded in death by his parents Thomas "Lee” Hamilton and Clara Belle "Becky" Hamilton, son Joshua James Hamilton, and his oldest sister Linda Stephens. He leaves behind his wife Molly Hamilton, children Brandon (Tanya) Hamilton, Ashley (Jarad) Dickens, and Kristen (Tod) Hall as well as eight grandchildren, two sisters and a brother.
A funeral service will be held on October 27, 2023, at the Church of Christ in Canon City, 1718 Franklin Ave., Canon City, CO at 2 PM. All who knew Tom are welcome to attend.