Leon Leroy Hamilton
January 13, 1936-April 13, 2022
Leon Leroy Hamilton died on April 13, 2022, at home with family, from complications of pneumonia following a year-long illness. After several hospitalizations, he was very happy to be at home with his wife Sharon, stepson Kevin and beloved dog, Cody.
Leon was born to Roy Agee Hamilton and Doris Loraine Hamilton in McArthur, Calif. He was raised by his father and his stepmother, Diane, alongside two older brothers. Leon grew up living on several ranches the family owned: Treasure Creek Ranch in Bowman, Calif., Hamilton’s Skyline Ranch in Auburn, and Tranquility Ranch in Orangevale.
From a young age music was a big part of Leon’s life, and by the time he began at Auburn High School he’d started his own band. He graduated in 1953, and went on to college at the University of Washington, where he started another band, studied music, and played the violin, piano and trumpet.
In 1957 he married Joyce Ellen McCallum, and they had three children — George Leroy, Pamela Kay, and Gerald Scott. Leon was a wonderful and loving father, and he enjoyed family life very much. He always had time to spend with his children, and he enjoyed everything from a game of catch to an impromptu dance party featuring his own musical stylings on the trumpet. The family enjoyed many summers camping at Wyntoon Park on Trinity Lake. He loved the natural beauty of the Trinity Alps, and he enjoyed fishing, boating, and water skiing. After 41 years together, his wife, Joyce, sadly died from cancer.
Leon’s career with the Humboldt County Department of Public Works spanned forty-one years, where he started with the roads department, then later studied to obtain his professional engineer license in Civil Engineering. In his time with the county, he was involved with the design and construction of every major bridge in Humboldt County since 1964, as well as hundreds of road projects. The County was recognized with an award by the American Steel Institute for the design of the Alderpoint Bridge, in which he was instrumental in the design process. Following official retirement he continued to work for the county as an independent contractor for more than 10 years.
Leon married his second wife, Sharon, in 2006, and they spent 15 loving years together. They enjoyed spending time with each other, attending music events, and traveling to visit family in Oregon, South Dakota, and Colorado as well as various parts of California. With his marriage to Sharon, Leon gained 3 stepdaughters and a stepson, with whom he enjoyed a loving relationship.
Leon played trumpet in many area bands; Dancers Only, Big Foot Stompers, All Seasons Orchestra, Eureka Brass, CR Jazz Band, Eureka Symphony, and The Redwood Dixie- Gators. He will be missed by many local musicians who valued his musical talents and friendship. When not playing music, Leon enjoyed growing beautiful roses and playing senior softball which he continued doing well into his 80’s. He cherished his dog Cody, and his favorite daily activity was taking him on long walks along the Mad River.
A soft-spoken, kind, and truly gentle man, Leon was well loved and respected by family, friends, colleagues, and fellow musicians.
Leon was preceded in death by his parents Roy and Doris Hamilton, his stepmother, Diane Hamilton, his brothers, Gerald and Gaird Hamilton, his first wife, Joyce Hamilton, his son, G. Scott Hamilton, his nephew, Gaird Jr. Hamilton, and his niece, Debra Birch.
Leon is survived by his beloved wife, Sharon Hamilton, stepson Kevin Garside, stepdaughters, Carol Clem, Brenda Bohrn, Kim Pinto, and numerous stepgrandchildren. He is also survived by his son, George (Kristi) Hamilton, daughter, Pamela (Tamara) Hazen, granddaughter, Sydney Hamilton, grandson, Brandon Hamilton, sister-in-law, Patricia Hamilton, sister-in-law, Cala Ross, nephews, John Hamilton, David Hamilton, and Mark Ross, nieces, Julie Reyes and Tammie Clifford, and numerous great-nieces and nephews.
A memorial gathering will be held at Water Pump Park 1 on West End Road on June 26 at 2 p.m. There will be music and a hors d’oeuvre potluck. All who knew and loved Leon are welcome.
The obituary above was submitted by Leon Hamilton’s loved ones. The Lost Coast Outpost runs obituaries of Humboldt County residents at no charge. See guidelines here. Email email@example.com.