Charles Finley Hamilton
Charlie was lovingly referred to at times as “The Energizer Bunny” because of his ability to bounce back from numerous serious health problems. But, sadly his “batteries” finally gave out on May 12, 2016, when he passed away due to complications from a stroke.
Born on December 28, 1930, in Bay City, Michigan, to Charles and Ruby Hamilton, Charlie was the youngest of four. He attended Bay City Central High School, where he was the quarterback for the football team; he also lettered in basketball and tennis.
The University of Michigan was his choice, as his father and two older sisters were also “Wolverines.” He was an avid U. of M. booster all his life.
After two years there, during which he pledged Chi Phi Fraternity, Charlie took a hiatus and joined the Army, where he attended the Army Language School in Monterey, CA. He eventually became a member of the Army Security Agency, and served as a Russian-German translator on the train between East and West Berlin. He also played quarterback for an Army Football Team.
After three years, he returned to the University of Michigan and graduated as a Pre-Med Major in 1955. The U. of M. was also his choice for his Medical School, Internship and Dermatology Residency. He was a member of Phi Rho Sigma Medical Fraternity and Galens Honorary Medical Society. He wrote many of the songs for, and performed in, that society’s annual fundraising event.
As a junior in Medical School, he married Peggy Zuelch, a recent U. of M. graduate. They celebrated their 50th anniversary in 2007.
His first medical practice was in Van Nuys, CA., but the lure of beautiful Santa Barbara caused him to move north and join the Dermatology Practice of Dr. Larry Nelson, in 1964. When Larry retired, Dr. Kevin Osburn joined Charlie’s practice. Charlie’s patients, as well as his friends and family, were familiar with his unending memory for a good joke or great song. One could hardly believe the number of them that he could tell or sing, in his booming bass voice, at a moment’s notice. It was never “dull” around Charlie!!
In Santa Barbara he was a Board Member of The Lobero Theater Foundation, La Cumbre Country Club, Tri-County Dermatology Society, United Way, and The Memorial Rehabilitation Foundation. He enjoyed reading for “Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic.” Playing a round of golf with his buddies or his family was his idea of a perfect day. He loved tending to his roses and puttering around his house and took great satisfaction in “professionally” fixing anything that needed fixing.
He was “Scottish” to the core and a devoted husband, loving father, revered uncle and faithful friend. He loved being called “Papa Charlie” by his two young grandsons and delighted in them.
He was preceded in death by his parents and sisters. He leaves his loving wife of 58 years, Peggy; older son, Chuck, of Goleta; and younger son, Robb (Anita), of Long Beach. He also leaves two grandsons, Grant and Dylan, and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins, many of whose lives he touched deeply.
In accordance with his wishes there will be no formal funeral services.
In lieu of flowers, donations in his name may be made to either The Page Youth Center (P.O. Box 6766, Santa Barbara, CA. 93160), Galens Medical Society (C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, Room F-5770, 1500 E. Medical Center Dr. SPC 5250, Ann Arbor, MI 48109), or a charity of your choice.