William “Bill” Ray Hamilton, 73, passed away peacefully Friday, June 28, 2019, at his home in Lewiston, surrounded by his children. Bill had battled several different cancers over the years before finally succumbing to metastatic melanoma.
Bill was born in Pocatello to Glen and Rhoda (Bowman) Hamilton on Dec. 6, 1945. He was the youngest son, third of five children. Bill and his family lived in McCammon, Idaho, in his younger years, before moving to Asotin at the age of 9.
Bill’s family lived on the Cache Creek Ranch on the Snake River and he had a lot of fond memories of his time there. He graduated from Asotin High School in 1964, and maintained many friendships with his classmates throughout his life.
The fall after graduation, Bill enlisted in the U.S. Air Force. He was excited to get to travel the world; however, he spent the entire time stationed at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana. This wasn’t all bad, because he often talked about how great the fishing was there.
In 1967, Bill married Sherry Wall, and two years later, she passed away in a motor vehicle accident. After his honorable discharge, he returned to southern Idaho, where he met and married Nancy Dunn in 1974. Bill gained a daughter, Michelle, when he married Nancy, and the couple had two more daughters, Lacey and Glenna. They later divorced.
After raising three daughters and being surrounded by women his entire life, he finally had the son he always wanted. Bill welcomed his son, Blake, in 1995, at the age of 50.
Bill retired from Blount in May of 2000. His hobbies included all things outdoors and he lived for a good hunt. You could often find him hunting everything on the face of the Earth, from mushrooms in the spring, huckleberries in the summer, and deer and elk in the fall. He also hunted for good deals on antiques at auctions and yard sales. When he wasn’t hunting, you could find him fishing on the local rivers and lakes. Pikeminnow fishing was a big part of his life because, according to him, “What could be better than getting paid to fish?”
He was preceded in death by parents Glen and Rhoda Hamilton; his brother, Bob Hamilton; and his sister, Nadean. He was also preceded in death by his ex-wife, Sherry Wall.
He is survived by his brother, Harry Hamilton; sisters Sheryl Hamilton and JoAnn (Mark) Dorton; his children, Michelle Freand, Lacey (Justin) Sangster, Glenna Hamilton and Blake Hamilton; his grandchildren, Sammantha (Justen) Reed, Mikayla and Gracie Freand, Kade Candler, Carson Sangster and Aron Mallory; his great-grandchildren, Daliah Jo and Aspyn Rose Inman, and Wyatt, Olivia, Claire and Katie Reed. He is also survived by several nieces and nephews.
Bill touched many lives and knew a lot of people. He could talk to anyone, at any time, about anything. He was the type of person who would drop everything to lend a hand when needed. He was a beloved son, brother, father, uncle and grandpa, and he will be missed dearly.
A memorial service is planned for 11 a.m. July 20 at Mountain View Funeral Home, 3521 Seventh St., Lewiston, with graveside military honors followed by a reception.
Arrangements are under the direction of Mountain View Funeral Home. You can sign the online guest book and share memories, pictures or stories with the family at www.mtviewfuneralhome.com.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to a veterans or cancer charity of your choice.