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Williams Scales Hamilton Obituary & Arrangements

Mr. Hamilton passed away on Monday, July 9, 2012 at the Tennessee Veterans Home in Humboldt, TN.

Mr. Hamilton was born November 22, 1919 in Humboldt, TN to the late William Wilson and Pauline Scales Hamilton. He was lifelong member and elder at First Presbyterian Church at Humboldt, TN. He graduated from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville with a Masters Degree. He was a WWII Veteran in the United States Army Air Force. He married Gladys Gibson of Parsons, TN in 1945, and they lived and raised their family in Jackson, TN. He was a devoted educator serving as a teacher and later, principal of Humboldt Junior High School. When Jackson State Community College opened, he became a professor in the agriculture department until he retired in June of 1979. He was an avid lover of Tennessee Walking Horses. For an equestrian who holds twenty-three championship titles, Bill Hamilton defied all odds by riding horses well into his late eighties.

Experience played a big role in Bill's riding abilities. He grew up in Humboldt, TN and began riding horses on the family farm at an early age. He remembered riding a pony three miles to school everyday from first thru the third grade. It wasn't until his son, Howard Hamilton, owner of Southern Serenity Ranch in Cedar Grove, TN, began training horses as a hobby and then professionally that Bill Hamilton became passionate about riding and showing Tennessee Walking Horses. He saw his show ring career blossom in the summer of 1978 with his prize mare Ebony's Princess. However, in 1974, when he first laid eyes on "Princess" at an auction in Lewisburg, TN, the mare appeared less than promising.

"Princess" was an unwanted, underfed, non-bearing brood mare, according to Bill, but he had high hopes for the mare because of her fine pedigree. He purchased Princess for $400 and relocated her to the family farm in Jackson, TN.

Under Bill Hamilton's care, "Princess" came into her own. She gained some much needed weight and was ridden to round up the cattle. Then one day, Bill decided that he wanted show "Princess" in a horse show. The rest of the family shrugged their shoulder, but his son Howard agreed to shoe and train her. The first Celebration he took her to Shelbyville, TN, was unsuccessful, but Bill was determined to give it another try. The second time around, he picked up the Men's Plantation Pleasure World Championship and the 1978 Plantation World Grand Championship. This win marked the first time a plantation horse walked under the spotlight for the victory ride at The Celebration in Shelbyville, TN.

The team went on to win many more honors, accruing twelve championship titles. Bill was quoted in a newspaper interview as saying, "It was like a little bit of Heaven riding Princess."

He married Dotty Ree Williams Harber on January 17, 1998. They were married 13 years until the time of his death.

Mr. Hamilton was preceded in death by his wife of 51 years, Gladys Gibson Hamilton and a daughter, Ruth Ann Hamilton.

Mr. Bill is survived by his wife, Dotty Harber Hamilton of Jackson, TN; daughter, Martha Jean (Danny) Wix of Morrison, TN; two sons, William Gibson Hamilton and Howard Scales (Clarenita) Hamilton, both of Cedar Grove, TN; sister, Martha Hamilton Boswell of Senatobia, MS; three grandchildren, Lauren, Jenna and Anna Hamilton; stepson, Austin Harber; step grandchildren, Leanne Wix (David) Braswell, Richard (Gina) Wix, Tonja Wix (Naulin) Kendrick, Laura Wix (Daran) Martin, Justin Harber and Christy Jo Harber.

Visitation with the family will be conducted on Tuesday, July 10, 2012 from 6 - 8 p.m., at George A. Smith & Sons North Chapel (731) 427-5555. Funeral services for Mr. Bill Hamilton, age 92, will be conducted on Wednesday, July 11, 2012 at 2 p.m., at the First Presbyterian Church at Humboldt. Entombment will follow at Highland Memorial Gardens.

"No hour of life is lost that is spent riding a horse." - Winston Churchill.

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