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Ray Hamilton - February 02, 2011


Ray Otis Hamilton, longtime Wauneta resident and businessman, was born, Jan. 28, 1933, at the family home in Hayes County, Nebraska, to Orval “Shorty” and Mary (Butler) Hamilton.
Being the eldest of five sons he grew up in a very active home with his four brothers, Robert, Rodney, Marvin and Richard.
He attended Sunday school at the United Methodist Church and also attended grade school and high school in Wauneta, graduating with the Class of 1952. Growing up Ray would spend his spare time with his dad helping out around the garage.
After graduating Ray began his career working with his father at the family owned business, Hamilton’s Garage. The Hamiltons were the first Plymouth, Dodge and Chrysler dealers in the area.
During his 50 years at the business, Ray worked in all areas: service work, parts man and earning his license to sell new and used cars. Ray took over the bookkeeping in 1958. In 1988 they gave up the dealership of selling new cars but continued selling used cars. When Orval wanted to retire, Ray and his brothers formed a partnership and continued to stay in business until July 2005 when Ray’s nephew, David, and wife, Kerry, started operating their business, Frenchman Auto, from the Hamilton’s Garage location.
On Sept. 4, 1972, Ray was united in marriage to Lela Marie Kennedy at the United Methodist Church in Wauneta. Both being Wauneta residents they made their home in Wauneta.
Ray and Lela could always be seen together. They were known to buy old properties and enjoyed renovating them together. They stayed busy with their own jobs, with volunteer work, travelling and enjoyed time spent working in the garden.
Ray’s hobbies included anything to do with automobiles. Up until his health kept him away Ray could be seen down with the boys at Frenchman Auto in the coffee room talking about cars and the automobile business.
Ray passed away after a courageous battle with cancer on Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2011, at the Heritage of Wauneta. He was 78 years of age.
Ray was preceded in death by his parents, Orval “Shorty” and Mary Hamilton; one brother, Rodney Dean; and great niece, April Redfield.
Ray leaves to mourn his passing, wife, Lela Marie, of Wauneta; brothers: Robert and wife, Clara, Marvin Hamilton and Richard and wife, Cheryl, all of Wauneta; sister-in-law, Arlene and brother-in-law, Marvin Large of Imperial; daughters, Cynthia St. Clair and son, Christian, of Irvine, Calif., and Michelle Clifford and son, Jordon, of Prinville, Ore.; numerous nephews and nieces, great nephews and nieces; great, great nephews and nieces and a host of friends.
Funeral services were held Monday, Feb. 7, 2011, at 10:30 a.m. at the United Methodist Church in Wauneta with Pastor Bonnie McCord officiating.
Organist was Mrs. Myra Large and piano and singers were Leanne Hunt and Melisa Hunt.
Casketbearers were Doug Hamilton, Dave Hamilton, Rodger Hamilton, Lynn Hamilton, Marty Hamilton, Mark Hamilton and Jared Hamilton.
Honorary casketbearers were all the great nieces and nephews.
Interment was at the Riverside Cemetery, Wauneta.
Liewer Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.