Roy Lee Hamilton

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Roy Lee Hamilton, 89, passed away on Wednesday, August 15, 2019 at his home in Norman, OK. A celebration of Roy's life will be held at the American Legion Hall, located at 710 E. Main, on Wednesday, August 28th at 10:30am.
Roy was born on August 12, 1930 and grew up in Norman. He attended Wilson Elementary School where he wrote the school's fight song. A gifted athlete, he was selected All-State in basketball, excelled at quarterback, and lettered in baseball and track at Norman High School. Roy's enthusiasm for sports, especially OU sports, continued throughout his life, creating a lifelong bond with his athletic buddies J. Portwood and Pete Barnard of Norman, Sam Wilson of Austin, Texas and Walter Ratliff of San Antonio, Texas.
With his friendly personality, he made many close friends. One friendship became special and remained very close to both. That friendship was with Jim Bumgarner, also known as the gifted actor James Garner. This strong friendship was instrumental in inspiring Roy to encourage the City of Norman to honor Garner as part of Oklahoma's 2007 Centennial celebration. In the summer of 2005, the City Council agreed and appointed Roy as an ad hoc committee chairman to head the way to create an appropriate honor for Garner.
Roy solicited assistance from two other school friends, Robert Goins and Jim Cobb. Their vision was to construct a "heroic scale" bronze statue of Garner across from the Sooner Theatre in downtown Norman. With Roy as the principal, they spearheaded the approximately $200,000 fundraising drive, selected an artist, approved the design, and over-saw the James Garner Commemorative Plaza to completion.
Always an inspiring entrepreneur, Roy was a partner in several OKC and Norman businesses. He even attempted to recapture the thrilling days of yesteryear by designing belt buckles that were produced by Award Design Metals. One of his more popular design series was dedicated to the Four Singing Cowboys - Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, Tex Ritter and Rex Allen.
As a loyal patriot, he served his country in the Army during the Korean War. Years later, he became one of several veterans who stirred Norman's awareness that a proper monument was missing. One that would recognize the many men and women of Cleveland County who served in one of the five branches of the U.S. military. He helped to raise funds and identify a location for a memorial that families of all veterans could be proud of. Roy served as a guide to the committee, reaching an agreement on a design and location of today's Cleveland County Veterans Memorial, located as part of Reeves Park on south Jenkins.
Roy was preceded in death by his parents, his beloved wife Mary, their son, and his brother George Bell. He is survived by a nephew, Mike Bell (Regina) and their children, all of Norman, and a host of friends. The family especially wishes to thank all of Roy's friends for the many expressions of kindness and to Roy's neighbors who extended so much care over the past many years. Condolences may be left for Roy at www.tribute.care.
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Published on September 3, 2019
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