Dr. Thomas William Hamilton Jr.
Dr. Thomas William Hamilton Jr. peacefully passed away surrounded by his family on Thursday, July 30th, while listening to his favorite Frank Sinatra songs. Tom fought a courageous six-year battle with cancer.
Tom was born in June of 1938 and raised in Evansville, Indiana along with his three brothers and three sisters. He graduated from Mater Dei High School as a standout athlete in both football and basketball. He later went on to play basketball for the University of Evansville Purple Aces —a team that won the NCAA Division II Championship in 1960. Tom would often be found sporting his Purple Aces apparel to support his Alma Mater.
Tom earned his Medical Degree from Indiana University School of Medicine and became a Family Physician in 1970. That year, Tom and his former wife (Judith Smith) and their children moved to California where he completed his Residency at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital. In 1985, he and his partners joined forces with Sansum Clinic where he would practice for the remainder of his career. In that same year, Tom married his current wife Jennifer Allen Hamilton.
After 44 years of practicing medicine, Tom retired in 2014. His work was truly rewarding; he had the pleasure of treating multiple generations and watching his young patients grow up and start families of their own. Tom had an innate passion for helping others.
Family was Tom’s top priority, both his immediate and extended family. He regularly traveled back to Evansville, Indiana to attend annual family reunions and catch up with longtime friends. One of his favorite things to do back home was to go to the Horse Races at Ellis Park with his brothers and sisters.
Tom was an avid reader and well versed in many areas including medicine, spirituality and religion, nutrition, world history and biographies. You would think he read plenty of card playing books with the amount of games he always seemed to effortlessly win against his family and friends. His passion for sports was eternal and contagious. He loved to share and teach this passion to with his children, attending nearly every game.
Raised as a religious man, Tom found joy and community being a member of Santa Barbara Hope Church. You could find him wearing a bright blue shirt and an infectious smile, handing out name tags as the ‘Church Greeter’ on Sunday mornings. It is incredible to reflect on how many lives Tom impacted in a positive way; he had this way of making others want to be a better version of themselves. Tom had a genuine love for life and he sure did it right.
Tom was preceded in death by his mother Thelma and sister Betty. He is survived by his siblings Bob, Allen, John, Margaret and Judy. Tom is survived by his loving wife of 34 years Jennifer, his four children Michael (daughter in-law Nancy), Angela, Matthew, Evan, and three granddaughters — Austin, Jordan and Madison.
With a heart full of compassion and kindness, Tom’s presence will be deeply missed by all those fortunate enough to know him.
We would like to give a special thank you to Doctors Newman, Ransohoff and Suh for all of their help along the way. We would also like to thank the Hospice Team for all their support and assistance.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to The Ridley-Tree Cancer Center: Cfsb.org/giving-to-cfsb/
Celebration of Life to be announced at a later date.