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Dr. Van R. Hamilton

1937 - 2018

Dr. Van R. Hamilton, a man beloved by patients, colleagues, family, and friends, passed away on September 6, 2018. He was born on December 27, 1937, in Van Nuys, California, the son of Dr. Van R. Hamilton and Cecilia Lindsten Hamilton. He spent most of his youth in Riverside, where his father was a practicing pediatrician. He graduated from Riverside Poly, then went on to earn a degree from University of Oregon, and obtained his medical degree from the University of California San Francisco, graduating near the top of his class.

After service as an army doctor in Vietnam, he settled with his first wife Janice and sons Greg and Eric in Santa Barbara, where he practiced internal medicine for almost fifty years, finally retiring at age 80. He loved his work, and patients loved him, often remarking on his care, compassion, and his willingness to spend whatever time they needed with them. They also appreciated that twinkle in his eye and his sense of humor.

Van was also a man who dearly loved and appreciated family and friends. His relatives always enjoyed his masterful storytelling and his ability to adopt a character and keep us all laughing and highly entertained. He was an avid reader, always willing to share books and book-related conversation. Van also reveled in his hiking, backpacking and horse-packing with friends and family members. He was never happier than when he was fishing a high country stream or sharing jokes and stories around a campfire.

He possessed an amazing memory, able to recall details of long past events and people. This served him well in his medical practice, as he was able to recall almost everything he had read or learned in medical school, allowing him to be a masterful diagnostician.

Van leaves behind his wife Lois, sons Greg and his wife, Monica, of Santa Barbara and Eric and his wife, Linda, of Los Angeles, his step-daughter Kim Mearig and her husband, Brian, of Carpinteria, along with four grandchildren, Abel, Elaia, Jack, and Meredith and two step-grandchildren, Justin, and Kaitlyn. He also leaves behind his sisters, Valerie Thompson of Oceanside, Diane Jensen and her husband Verlyn of Santa Ana and his brother, Stephen Hamilton and his wife Andrea of Santa Fe, New Mexico, and many nieces and nephews. He will always be missed, but never forgotten.

Van's memorial service will take place at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 17, at the First Presbyterian Church, 21 E. Constance Ave., Santa Barbara 93105.

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