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HAMILTON, Donald Murray

April 19, 1936 – November 14, 2012

It is with deep sadness that the family of Don Hamilton announces his passage at the age of 76 on November 14, 2012 in Calgary after a prolonged illness. Don will be lovingly remembered by his wife, Mary Lou Hamilton; his daughters Heather (Darren Weitzel) of Calgary and Bonnie (Jamie McVicar) of Canmore, his sons Doug of Winnipeg and Scott (Sonia Silva) of Edmonton, and their mother Jean Hamilton of Edmonton; his grandchildren Sam, Niki, Kierra, Kamryn and Taylor; his sister Lois Fisher of Edmonton, and Mary Lou’s daughter Dyana Lawrence of Calgary and son Derek Christie (Carolyn) of Calgary. Don was predeceased by his parents Murray and Nellie Hamilton of Edmonton and by his wife Judy Wish Hamilton of Edmonton.

Don was born and raised in Edmonton and attended the University of Alberta, earning both Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Divinity degrees. He was the founding Minister of Southminster United Church in Edmonton and, after early retirement, continued expressing his compassionate faith as a volunteer Minister in frequent demand for persons in need.

Don had a respected and diverse career in business and politics. As a budding entrepreneur in university, he and his partner, Jim Bateman, opened Guiseppi’s, the first pizza restaurant in Alberta. He was the President of the Nordic Neon sign company and served as President of the Edmonton Northlands Board. In 1967, he was recruited by Alberta’s Minister of Youth, Hon. Bob Clark, to establish the Alberta Service Corps, which provided university students a life changing experience volunteering in mental health, anti-poverty and environmental projects. This began his deep involvement in Alberta public affairs. He became Executive Assistant to the Premier of Alberta, Honorable Harry Strom. He ran for Mayor of Edmonton, acted as a political consultant, and ended his public service as Alberta’s Ethics Commissioner from 2003-2008, during which term he implemented the pioneering Lobbyists Registry. He celebrated his Scottish heritage as a President of the Edmonton Burn’s Club, and maintained a life long participation in exploring innovative public policies as a founding fellow of the McIntyre Collegium.

Don had a passion for sports, being General Manager of the championship Edmonton Huskies Football Club, Vice Chair of the highly successful 1978 Commonwealth Games and, more recently, Chair of the Horse Racing Tribunal. He loved to sail, skippering his boat in the Gulf Islands and on charters in the Carribean. He took up golf late in life with much gusto, cherishing his days on courses everywhere with family and friends, and an ever-present cigar. Don’s large appetite for public service, adventure and keen sense of humour will be sorely missed.

A Memorial Service will be held at McDougall United Church (10086 – 101 Street, Edmonton) on Thursday, November 22nd at 2:30 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorial tributes may to made directly to the Alzheimer Society of Calgary 201, 222 58 Avenue SW, Calgary T2H 2S3

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  1. Dana J. Weitzel :

    Dear Don Hamilton Family,

    Dana and Breanne send our deepest condolences in this great time of sorrow. We send our love as well. We know he will be deeply missed by all who knew and loved him. Stay strong for each other knowing that Don is now at peace.

    With all our love, Dana and Breanne Weitzel

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