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HAMILTON, Robert “Ross”

May 23, 1929 – June 6, 2012

Ross passed away peacefully at the Foothills Hospital from complications after emergency heart surgery with his loving wife of 59 years, Lois and his four sons James, Robert, Douglas, and Patrick by his side.

Born in Vancouver, to Hamish and Eva Hamilton, Ross spent his youth attending St. George’s School from kindergarden to grade 13 where he was a noted athlete and leader, graduating in 1946. While courting Lois, his high school sweetheart and love of his life, he earned a Bachelors of Commerce from the University of British Columbia. Being an adventurous soul, he then went off to work in the new oil fields in northern British Columbia and Alberta. This was an exciting time to be in the new and rapidly growing Alberta oil and gas industry so in 1953 he returned to Vancouver, married Lois and they moved to Calgary to start a new life.

Ross got a job with Imperial Oil as a landman where his talents as a negotiator and deal maker became apparent. It was while he negotiated numerous land plays during the early days of the Calgary oil patch that he made friendships which lasted his lifetime. Ross was an entrepreneur at heart and his first of many business deals occurred when he left Imperial Oil to build Supplementary Land Services, a company that specialized in land services for the oil industry. His three oldest sons fondly remember the “map room” where the entire Western Canadian oil patch was represented on dozens of huge maps where the staff diligently placed pins showing the status of every well drilled. In the early 1970’s he sold his interest in Supplimentary Land Services to become president of Great Basins Petroleum, a position he held until it was sold to United Canso in 1981. While still running his businesses in the late 1960’s and 1970’s he went on an entrepreneurial spree where he got involved in a number of business ventures including Venetian Marble, a cultured marble manufacturing factory, Can-Am Containers, a company making innovative plastic products, a coal mine in Kentucky and a uranium prospecting venture in Saskatchewan, as well as numerous other deals. In 1971 he founded MJ Systems, which created a special microfilm fiche library which revolutionized the management of oil well log information in North America. This company is still going strong after 40 Years and is a dominant player in its industry. His MJ partners and its staff were very special to Ross.

He was always looking for an exciting new opportunity, which lead him, and later his sons, into numerous projects and adventures. His sons recall often being swept up into projects and business such as water filled car bumpers, mini umbrellas worn on the head, plastic sulky harness racing wheels, lobster traps and pig feeders, explosion proof electrical generators, digital corrosion protections systems, solar powered oil field equipment, aircraft machining systems for the Boeing 747 and 767, oilfield supply and remote accessed power meters, and gold mining sluice projects, to name just a few. This lifelong insatiable quest for business opportunities compelled him to continue investing in numerous other ventures from oil and gas to cellular technology up to the last days of his marvelous life. Though not a technical man, Ross was fascinated by the opportunities arising from the inventiveness and creativity of others. He was always seeking to apply his business acumen to help those who, while often brilliant, had little business sense or experience. He had a gift for finding great business partners and being highly loyal and supportive of them. Ross enjoyed the energy and passion of the younger generation and wanted to apply his business acumen to provide advice and opportunity for them.

Ross was part of the old school where his word was his bond and once he placed his trust in someone, it was absolute and lifelong. He never forgot a favor and will always be remembered for assisting those less fortunate, even when times were tough for him. He leaves a rich legacy of friends and business acquaintances he made throughout his life. For his family and friends, he ensured life was never dull. The extended Hamilton Clan spent wonderful summer vacations every August in Lake Okanagan near Westbank for 50 years where they made numerous friendships that were renewed each summer and have lasted forever. Ross attended almost every sports event his four sons were in, including many freezing nights standing by outdoor hockey rinks. He was the camp cook at all the Cub and Scout camps, the coach and trainer for the Cubs Chuckwagon races each winter at the Corral, baseball umpire extraordinaire, and always willing to help out. His mischievous nature and larger than life presence always brought a smile to those who had the fortune to meet him.

In addition to Lois and his four sons, he leaves behind his four daughters in law, Catherine, Susan, Katherine, and Carolyn; and ten grandchildren, Alexander, Ayden, Bridie, Keltie, Lindsay, Matthew, Norman, Ross, Sarah, and Virginia. He will be dearly missed by all who knew him.

At Ross’s request, there will be no funeral service. A celebration of his life will be held at a later date and we ask all who wish to attend to send their email address to lois.e.hamilton@gmail.com

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Condolence Messages

  1. John Parkin :

    My very heartfelt condolences on the passing of Ross. He and your family were a significant and positive influence on me growing up in Elboya. Our thoughts are with you.

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  2. Cathy Howes (Allen) :

    I met Ross through the Brackman family and the “Mulligan Cup” golf tournament of yore. His imprint on my memory is all big, all funny and of a very impressive man. I am very sorry for your loss.
    His memory lives.

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