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Russell W. Hamilton, age 86, a lifelong resident of Pepperell, died peacefully Friday evening, August 5, 2011, at his home with his family by his side.

Russ was born in Pepperell, MA, on April 6. 1925, son of the late Russell Wilson Hamilton and Fannie Estelle Hagelwood. He attended Pepperell High School and graduated from Springfield College, Springfield, MA, in 1951, and received a Masters of Education Degree in 1956.

Russ was a World War II veteran and fought in several battles and campaigns, inbcluding Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland, Ardennes, Central Europe, and Battle of the Bulge. Cpl. Hamilton was a member of Company B, 168th Engineer Combat Battalion and served his country from June 1943 to October 1945. Cpl. Hamilton received five Bronze Battle Stars, the Purple Heart, Presidential Citation Medal, European African Middle Eastern Service Medal, French and Belgium Croire De Gavine Medal, and the Good Conduct Medal. He was a member of the V.F.W. Post 3291, Pepperell, MA.

Mr. Hamilton was a physical education teacher, basketball, baseball, cross-country, track and field, and golf coach through his teaching career, and enjoyed several league championship accomplishments with his sports teams. Mr. Hamilton taught and coached at Pepperell High School (1951-1960), Chelmsford High School (1961) and was the athletic director at Tahanto Regional High School (Boylston, MA) from 1962-1985 when he retired from teaching and coaching.

His greatest joy was his family and spending time on the golf course at the Nashua Country Club where he was a member for 60 years.

He was a communicant of St. Joseph Parish in Pepperell, MA.

Russell was married 62 years and is survived by his loving wife Evelyn (Baraby) Hamilton, two sons, Russell W. Hamilton Jr. and Richard W. Hamilton of Gig Harbor, WA, two sisters, Edna (Hamilton) Hayes and Hazel (Hamilton) Walrer, a brother Bruce Edison Hamilton, five grandchildren Kelly (Hamilton) Fitzpatrick, Jamie (Hamilton) Higgens, Russell W. Hamilton Jr., Michelle Hamilton and Richard W. Hamilton, Jr.; two great grandchildren, Charlotte Fitzpatrick and Graham Fitzpatrick.

The family wishes to extend special thanks and appreciation to all who have given prayers, kind thoughts, and visits during Russ’s final weeks, especially the Merrimack Valley Hospice and Home Health VNA staff.

A Mass of Christian burial will be held Saturday at 10 a.m. at Our lady of Grace Parish, worshiping at St. Joseph Church, Tarbell Street,.Pepperell. Visiting hours are Friday, 3-8 p.m.. at the Hamilton-McGAFFIGAN Funeral Home 37 Main St. (Route 113). Relatives and friends kindly invited; please see www.mcgaffiganfuneral.com.

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