Mr. Lee Hamill
February 10, 1925 – November 7, 2019
Lee Hamill, age 94, passed away on Thursday, 11/7/2019, after suffering a severe stroke. Mr. Hamill, a loving husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, son, brother and uncle, was passionate about his faith, family, good friends, farm life, sales and marketing.
Born on February 10, 1925 in Memphis, TN, to Mary Margaret Henry Hamill and Lee Augusta (“Gusta”) Hamill, he, his parents and two younger brothers moved back to the family farm near Sturgis, MS when he was six years old. The depression had destroyed his father’s business. With a very large extended family near Sturgis, MS, he loved growing up near them and helping his dad on the farm. He had many great memories and wonderful stories, which he passed down to the next generation.
He loved football and played in junior high and varsity. Following high school graduation, he joined the US Navy and served in the Pacific in WWII from 1942-1945. He was stationed in Southern California, Hawaii, Guam and in Okinawa, Japan. After the war he served as a 1st Lt in the Air Force Reserves. Following his honorable discharge from the Navy, he returned home to attend Mississippi State University (MSU), but the freshman class was already full with other WWII veterans being admitted using the GI Bill. We, his family, are thankful he ended up going to East Central Junior College for his first two years because that’s where he met and fell in love with Joy Jolly, who would later become his wife and the mother of their two daughters.
While at “State” he completed his course in the ROTC and was promoted to a 1st Lt. He served in a number of leadership positions in several organizations including Pi Kappa Alpha social Fraternity, ODK, a national Leadership Honor Society for Men, and President of the campus YMCA, where he was awarded one of 3 Golden Triangle Awards bestowed in 1950. Mr. Hamill graduated from MSU in 1950 with a BS degree in Agriculture, married Joy Jolly in 1951 and joined The Pet Milk Company. He and Joy moved from MS to Paris, TN, followed by Martin, TN, Winona MS and Louisville MS during his years at Pet Milk. In Louisville, he was very active in his church, First Methodist, and after Pet Milk, he worked for Taylor Machine Works, now The Taylor Group, for ten years. In 1970 he moved his family to Jackson, MS, where he worked for Mississippi Road Supply for the next 10 years, selling heavy road-building equipment.
In 1980 he had a life-altering car accident which ended his career at only 55 years of age. His neurosurgeon and neurologist both thought he would continue his life without the ability to think, communicate, or move. However, Mr. Hamill, always resilient, recovered “miraculously” in their words. Over the next several years, he volunteered and promoted land-use projects, politicians, products and services for various friends. Following his wife’s death in 2011, he moved to an assisted living residence in Jackson and in 2016 to Atlanta, where his younger daughter and family live. Mr. Hamill is preceded in death by both parents, Lee Augusta and Mary Margaret Henry Hamill and brother, James Hamill. He is survived by his brother, Robert Henry (Bob) Hamill (Annette) of Collins, MS and two daughters, Patrice Simon of Biloxi, MS and Susan Stewart of Atlanta, GA; sons-in-law, Joe Simon and Bob Stewart; grandchildren, Lindsay Simon Lechner (Jeffrey), also of Biloxi, MS; Susannah Simon Swingos (Dan) of San Diego, CA and Allyson Stewart Wright (Raymond), also of Atlanta, GA; and great grandchildren, Channing and Gage Lechner, Delta and Jay Swingos and Ava Lee Wright.
There will be a visitation and funeral service in Jackson, MS at the Lakewood Funeral Home Chapel at 2:00 PM on Tuesday, November 12, 2019, and a reception immediately following within the Lakewood Funeral Home. The address of the Lakewood Memorial Park and Funeral Home is 6000 Clinton Blvd, Jackson, MS 39209.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions in Mr. Hamill’s name to the Alzheimer’s Association or The Parkinson’s Association.
- Visitation Tuesday, November 12, 2019
- Funeral Service Tuesday, November 12, 2019
Mr. Lee Hamill
November 12, 2019
Uncle Lee, was my father's oldest brother and I know my dad looked up to him all his life. Lee had the salesmans gift of being able to talk to anyone about anything, immediately putting a person at ease and making one feel as though they were the most important one in the room. He valued education and when my siblings and I were growing up, he always wanted to know our plans after high school...where we'd go, what we'd study and what work we would seek. He would often pop in when his sales jobs had him on the road and he passed near our home for a visit or meal ... we would say he was the Hamill with hair :)
He had a dignified, genteel presence and I look for that quality in the sales team I work with everyday . Lee made you want to succeed, do well at whatever you sought and always treat whomever you meet as a person to be treated with dignity and respect.