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Reverend Robert E. Hamilton



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The Reverend Robert Edwin (“Bob“) Hamilton passed away in his sleep on February 6, 2024. He lived a long and varied life of service and had a very large network of friends and family.

Bob was born in Worcester, Mass., to Harold and Helen (Cowles) Hamilton. He grew up in the First New Britain Congregational Church and attended Mount Herman School for boys. Upon high school graduation he attended Connecticut State Teachers College and Wesleyan University. Bob’s first teaching position was at The Morgan School in Clinton, and it was there he met and married his first wife Shirley (Niles). Into his late nineties, Bob could still recite the names of all the pupils in his 1949 history class.

Shortly after beginning his teaching career in Clinton, Bob entered the US Army and served in the Korean War. In addition to working on telephone poles, Bob was assigned to teach the GED equivalent class to GIs. One day during class, he was observed by General Douglas MacArthur, and like many of his contemporaries, attended USO events featuring Bob Hope and Marilyn Monroe.

Upon return to Connecticut, Bob and Shirley had a daughter Lynne, and then later moved to Newtown. There, Bob was an active member of Newtown Congregational Church and the History Department Chair at Newtown High School. Bob attended lay minister training at Yale Divinity School and served his church community in a lay capacity.

Upon retirement from teaching in 1984, Bob enrolled at Yale Divinity School and obtained a Master’s degree in Divinity. He then became an ordained minister in the Congregational Church (United Church of Christ), first serving as an associate minister in Tolland.

Bob married Jean (Andrew) Hamilton in 1989 and together they served UCC churches in East Hartford and Stafford Springs. After retirement from full-time preaching, Bob served as Pulpit Supply for the Connecticut Conference of the UCC and preached at over 100 churches in Connecticut. In his second retirement, Bob continued to serve the Connecticut Conference of the UCC, Star Island Corporation, Star Island-UCC Corporation, and Covenant Village Retirement Home and Rocky Hill UCC church in leadership, financial, and supporting roles.

Bob enjoyed crossword puzzles, reading The Hartford Courant, watching UConn women’s basketball, and Boston Red Sox games.

Bob was preceded in death by his brother William Hamilton, first wife Shirley Hamilton, daughter Lynne (Hamilton) Brown, and granddaughter Michelle (Brown) Hanson.

He is survived by his wife Jean (Andrew) Hamilton, stepson and stepdaughter, niece and nephew, eight grandchildren, and their spouses, 13 great grandchildren, and a large network of friends from church, teaching, and volunteer opportunities.

The family would like to offer their deepest appreciation and thanks to the dedicated caring staff of Pilgrim Manor in Covenant Village of Cromwell.

A memorial service will be held at a future date. Burial will be in Newtown Village Cemetery. In lieu of flowers please consider making donations to a charity of your choice in Robert’s name. Cromwell Funeral Home has care of the arrangements. To share memories or send condolences to the family, please visit doolittlefuneralservice.com.

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