Colonel Albert Thomas (Tom) Hamilton, USAF Retired, devoted husband, beloved father and grandfather, went to be with the Lord November 24, 2023.
Tom was born December 14, 1941 in Mossy Bottom, KY, one of nine children to Lola Clark Hamilton and Oscar Conley Hamilton, and raised in Kopperston, WV. After graduating from Oceana High School in Oceana, WV in 1960, Tom entered the US Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, CO. Upon graduating in 1965, he embarked on a heroic military career as an F-4C Phantom fighter pilot, earning Silver Star, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross and flying 138 combat missions in Vietnam. His distinguished combat service is recognized in the Plaza of Heroes at the USAF Academy SE Asia Memorial. Tom retired from the US Air Force with the rank of Colonel in 1991 after more than 26 years of service.
Though his military achievements were both worthy and numerous, his family brought him immense joy and filled him with pride. He married Linda Cook in Oceana, WV on August 21, 1965, a union marked by faith and love for the next 58 years. Tom and Linda raised two wonderful daughters, Kerry (Charles) Smith and Andrea (Paul) Petera, who provided him with two grandchildren that he adored, Parker and Abby. Even when he lived far away, he was frequently seen at their sporting events cheering them on.
An avid outdoorsman, Tom spent many mornings and afternoons alone or with family and friends hunting and fishing. His decades of adventures include trips in Alaska, the Boundary Waters of Minnesota, West Virginia, and Tennessee building more than a lifetime of memories and stories to tell.
Tom was a man of high integrity and work ethic, with a kindness towards others bolstered by his strong faith. He was active in his church, most recently First Methodist Church in Bryan, Texas, and volunteered his time to numerous charitable causes over the years. Tom’s love for Linda and for his family was always evident, and the positive impact he had on so many who knew and loved him is a legacy in itself.