George Hamilton, 88, died at the N.H. Veterans Home in Tilton New Hampshire January 26, 2012. He was born in Philadelphia June 13, 1924, the son of Frank and Katherine (Twombly) Hamilton. As a child he lived and attended elementary school in Marblehead, Mass. He is a graduate of Tilton School in Tilton, class of 1942. After graduation, he enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps and was in the Fourth Air Force and the Far Eastern Air Forces. Following WWII, he attended Springfield College where he earned both a B.S. and an M.Ed. With a broad background, he enjoyed a long career in private, public and non-profit sectors of New Hampshire.
In 1946 his best friend OH Richard Trefry introduced him to Joe Dodge who gave him a job at Pinkham, followed by crewing at Tucks, Madison, Lakes and Greenleaf. He later became Manager of Dolly Copp Park. With this initial experience in the White Mountains, hiking and mountain climbing became one of the big joys of his life. Early in his professional career George became a Conservation Officer for the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department and served in Coos County. In 1955, he became Joe Dodge’s assistant, taking over as Huts Manager in 1959 following Joe’s retirement. During his seven years managing the huts, business grew 75% after an article about the huts was published in the August 1961 issue of the National Geographic Magazine. He also oversaw the maintenance and upgrading of all the huts and the building of Mizpah Springs hut.
Following his work for the AMC, he served as assistant planning director for resources and outdoor recreation in the New Hampshire Office of State Planning and as a special assistant for planning in the office of Governor. In 1972 he was appointed to serve as Director of New Hampshire State Parks. George was Regional President of BankEast in Concord and before retirement was President of the Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce.
George was affiliated with a number of organizations including the New Hampshire Historical Society, The Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests, Camp Belknap as a camper and member of Board of Directors, and Military Order of the Carabao. He has served as President of the Bow Rotary Club, was Chair of the Land Conservation Investment Program, a member and past Chair of the AAA-NH. He served on the Professional Conduct Committee for the New Hampshire Supreme Court, Chair of the General Campaign of the United Way of Merrimack County, Vice Chair of Appalachian National Scenic Trail Council, North Atlantic Region of the National Park Service as well as on many other public service boards and committees. George was the author of several articles for Appalachia and other publications. He has been a director of the New Hampshire Gathering of the Scottish Clans and was a founder of the St. Andrews Society of New Hampshire. He was a member of the American Alpine Club and the AMC, the Old Hutmans Association, charter member of the Mount Madison Volunteer Ski Patrol, a Paul Harris Fellow of Rotary International, and a member of the First Congregational Church in Concord. George was designated Conservationist of the Year by the Forest Society in 1988, awarded the George L. Plimpton Award for distinguished community service by Tilton School in 1992, and received the Granite State Award for outstanding public service from the University of New Hampshire in 1992. He became an Honorary Member of the Old Hutmans Association in 1999. George and his wife Helen received the Distinguished Citizen of the Year recognition from the Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce in 2004.
George is survived by his wife, Helen Strong Hamilton; two sons, Robert Hamilton and his wife Heidi and their children Annika, Lars and Tristan of Greenland, and Christopher Hamilton and his wife Jennifer and son Keegan of Sandown; two sisters, Susan MacCachran and Mary Louise McClelland, both of Kennebunkport, Maine; two half-sisters Ruth Daigneault and Berenice Brooks, both of Townshend, Vt.; niece, Carrie (MacCachran) LePordo and nephews Bradford and Andrew MacCachran; and many cousins.
A Memorial Service will be held Saturday, February 18, 2012 at 11 a.m. at the First Congregational Church, 177 North Main Street, Concord. In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made to the NH Veterans Home Benefit Fund, 139 Winter St, Tilton, NH 03276; Society for the Protection of NH Forests Portsmouth St., Concord, NH 03301; AMC Huts & Trails, 5 Joy St, Boston MA 02018 or the organization of one’s choice.
General Richard Trefry in his tribute to George mentioned that Joe Dodge was the “last of the beginning” of hut managers while George was the “first of the latest”. Jim Hamilton