HAMILTON, OTTO "BUDDY"

HAMILTON, Otto "Buddy" Franklin, Jr., was born May 3, 1916, in the house his grandfather built at Libby Hill Terrace on Church Hill. His early life is a collection of stories in the best Richmond tradition. Like many Richmonders at the time, his family unit included several generations living together. During the depression, his family moved to 1709 Park Avenue, where they shared the house with his maternal grandparents and great-grandfather. It was while living in this boarding house that Buddy experienced daily meals with the boarders and his family. On many school days, Buddy would skate home from Thomas Jefferson High School and spend afternoons listening to his great-grandfather tell stories about his service with General Robert E. Lee. His great-grandfather was one of the few surviving officers to accompany Lee's army to Appomattox. Around this same time, Buddy began to accompany his father to Hamilton Manufacturing Company located adjacent to Byrd Air field in Sandston. He was fascinated by aviation and was taught to fly when he was 14 by Ivor Massey, a distinguished World War I flyer and the future coal magnate. While he was apprenticed in the paper business in New Jersey, World War II broke out. Buddy was accepted as a pilot with TWA and flew the southern route from New York to Puerto Rico and Brazil and then across the Atlantic Ocean at night to Cairo, Egypt. This was the beginning of his lifelong love of flying the big ships. In the 1940s, he became a commercial airline captain with TWA and flew the U.S. to Europe route. When required by the airline to be headquartered in Rome he chose to stay in Richmond and enter the paper business with his brother. They successfully expanded the business with customers throughout Europe and the United States. Ultimately, he sold his company to The Johns Manville Corporation and started a new paper business which he grew and later sold. He continued to work as a consultant for these businesses into his 80s. In his 50s, Buddy experienced a religious conversion which would set the stage for his 50-year commitment to the principals of Christianity. He established, with his wife Edith, the Buddy Hamilton Sunday School Class at First Baptist Church, which continues to thrive and produce church leaders from its always growing membership (50 at last count). Buddy is survived by his children, Franklin Hamilton (Linda) of Richmond, Virginia and Chris Hamilton (Phyllis) of Harrisonburg, Virginia; his sister, Patty Martin of Pensacola, Florida; his brother, Richmond Hamilton of Richmond, Virginia; and his eight grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife, Edith Legg Hamilton; his daughter, Ellie Donnelly; and his parents, Ellie and Otto Hamilton. Buddy passed away at the age of 103 after a short illness. He will be remembered as an inspiration to many and a leading figure in the community. A funeral service is scheduled for 11 a.m. on Saturday, August 31, at First Baptist Church, with a reception to follow in the fellowship hall of the church. Burial services will be private. In lieu of flowers, please make a contribution to a passion of Buddy's, the Shower Ministry for the homeless at First Baptist Church (specifically the renovation of the showers), 2709 Monument Avenue, Richmond, Virginia 23220, www.fbcrichmond.org/about-us/ministry-organization/compassion. www.vimeo.com/168683602

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