Hamilton – Ronald J., 62, Richland, went home to be with Jesus on November 18, 2019.
In the first year of their marriage, Ron and Robin had many serious discussions about their life goals. Together, they decided their life goal was to hear the Lord say “Well done, my good and faithful servant…come and share your Master’s happiness!” (Matthew 25:23) Ron condensed that Scripture into one of his favorite lifelong sayings: Well done. Get happy!
We all choose what to prioritize in life with our time and efforts. For Ron, the choice was always to serve the Lord and love his family. He took his priorities to work as CFO of Crown American Hotels; he had impeccable integrity and an unwavering commitment to provide for his wife and children. He took those same priorities home with him. Ron always spent as much time as possible with his family; he chose his own hobbies based on the interests of his wife and children. He even left the workforce to spend more time in prayer and with his family.
Ron always tried to live life according to the wise sayings and riddles he wrote – many in groups of three! Ron was not perfect. But he never failed to consider his actions in light of what he thought was best. Indeed, his favorite saying was love is an action you take based on a decision you make…and not an emotional feeling. That proverb summarized Ron’s entire life.
Of course, it is impossible to adequately condense a life as rich as Ron’s into a few paragraphs. But here is at least a glance into his personality.
Ron loved nature and the outdoors: yard work, hunting, fishing, hiking, biking, skiing…and so much more. At home, Ron spent many hours watching the financial world and investing his money as wisely as possible (he did quite well at beating the market!). He loved being an expert in Microsoft Excel; Ron had the skill to create incredibly complex spreadsheets that performed every task accurately.
Ron leaves behind a wonderful legacy.
Not surprisingly, Ron’s most treasured legacy was his family. He was survived by Robin, his wife of 33 years. Together they had four children: Christopher, Mark, Stephanie, and Sarah.
As a couple, Ron and Robin sought to live according to the Scriptures above all other priorities. They loved dreaming together about every aspect of their lives and the future. Ron shared many truths and deep wisdom with Robin to cherish for the rest of her life. He taught her so much about how to think outside the box, how to understand and apply Scripture, how to get things done in all areas of life, how to deeply enjoy God’s natural creation and spot wildlife no matter how well it was camouflaged. Ron and Robin shared so much of their lives that it is difficult to separate one from the other. They truly built one life out of two.
Chris lives in Arlington and works as a political fundraiser. His love of politics came directly from Ron. They shared many hours of discussions (and passionate arguments!) about every political issue imaginable. Those discussions eventually turned into actions as Ron and Chris attended numerous political training events together, then put their skills to work lobbying U.S. Senators in Washington and training others how to get involved. Ron is the reason that Chris grew to be the man he is today. They spent countless hours together hunting, camping, mentoring boys in Royal Rangers, kayaking, and talking about every topic imaginable. In many ways, Ron was Chris’s best friend until the very end of his life.
Mark married his sweetheart Sarah Trinkle in May 2018. They live in York, PA, where Sarah is an engineer and Mark is preparing to be a stay-at-home Dad. Together they expect Ron and Robin’s first Granddaughter! As of this moment, only three people know her name: Mark, Sarah, and her proud Grandpa Ron. Ron had a profound impact on Mark’s life. The two of them spent their time together dreaming, talking about life, fishing, kayaking, camping, learning life skills in Royal Rangers and the Civil Air Patrol, working on projects around the house and yard, and inspiring each other to become better men. Mark shares Ron’s love of pithy quotes, poetry, and pecan pie. They learned many lessons from each other, and they share the same spiritual values and thought process. Ron was so proud of Mark’s growth into a mature man of God.
Stephanie also lives in York, PA. She graduated with a degree in psychology from Grove City College, and has a deep love for the brain, how it works, and how people can improve their mental health. Stephanie was so proud to call Ron her Daddy. He was always there for her, and was one of the biggest pieces in the puzzle of her life. He taught her so many valuable life lessons, helped her buy her first car, ferried her to and from college, bought her a professional camera so she could take better pictures, sat with her when she was sick. Ron was her biggest cheerleader and believed she could do anything she set her mind to. Stephanie carries many of the life lessons Ron taught her, and has grown into a strong, capable woman with many of her father’s strengths and virtues.
Sarah lives at home and is still homeschooled. She loves to play the piano and violin – and Ron loved to listen to her. Over the years, Ron and Sarah spent their days watching the news on C-SPAN and discussing current events, watching the Golf Channel, learning how to save and invest, playing games around the dinner table, working outside on yard work (Sarah would always groan when Daddy said it was time to work outside…then love it within a few minutes of starting!) Every night Ron, Robin, and Sarah played Jeopardy along with the TV contestants. Every competition was heated and usually came down to the end – they even did their own Final Jeopardy wagers! Above all, Ron did everything he could to raise Sarah into the best woman she could be.
This obituary could not be complete without encouraging you, the reader. Ron never liked obituaries, funerals, or anything of the sort. But he did value one aspect of such matters: the opportunity to give hope to others in the Gospel.
So in honor of Ron, please take a moment to consider this: our hope is not in this life. Ron’s body is merely a shell – a tent that held the real Ronald Jay Hamilton…his soul. We all recognize that no one is perfect. Every person who ever lived or ever will live makes terrible mistakes. That is why God himself offers us a way to be reconciled to him: by accepting the gift of Heaven. No one can earn forgiveness by any action, prayer, or process. Instead, Jesus Christ offered himself as a sacrifice to cover the sin of every single person who lived on earth from creation to the end of the world. And the Lord tells us how we may receive that gift:
“To all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God – children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.” (John 1:12-13)
There is no formula for how to pray to receive the gift of salvation. And once you are “born again” into the family of God, there is no formula for how to live the Christian life. Instead, we must live our life in a relationship with God. So whether you are a Christian or not…what matters is what you do today and every day going forward. Let us live every day of our lives as Ron did: knowing that Jesus Christ is God and that every action we take should be influenced by the Truth of the Gospel.
Ron is survived by wife of 33 years, Robin (Gilbert) and four children: Christopher, (Arlington, VA) Mark and wife Sarah, (York, PA) Stephanie, (York, PA) and Sarah, (Johnstown.) Also survived by parents, Robert and Thelma Hamilton, (Chattanooga, TN) brother Ernest and wife, Blanche, (Chattanooga, TN) and brother Thomas, (Chattanooga, TN); in-laws Charles and Myrna Gilbert, (Johnstown, PA), brother-in-law Scott Gilbert and wife Jennifer, (The Woodlands, TX) and sister-in-law Kimberly Hulme and husband Ken (Virginia Beach, VA) and many nieces, nephews, and great nieces and nephews. Preceded in death by brother, Robert Jr. and sister Wanda.
At Ron’s request, there will be no public viewing. A visitation will be held from 10 a.m. until time of Memorial Service, at 11 a.m. on Saturday, November 23, 2019, at Oakland United Methodist Church, 1504 Bedford Street, Johnstown, PA 15902, Rev. Randy Bain officiating. Private entombment will be held at the convenience of the family at Richland Mausoleum. The family is being served by the Harris Funeral Home, 500 Cherry Lane, Richland. Ron’s family suggests memorial contributions be directed to Focus on the Family; Samaritan’s Purse; or Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PanCAN) in memory of Ronald. Online condolences may be posted to www.wharrisfuneralhome.com.
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