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William G. Hamilton, 88, retired Fairmount Park Guard

William G. Hamilton was a member of the Fairmount Park Guards when the FBI National Academy invited him to its three-month course at Quantico, Va.

William G. Hamilton
William G. HamiltonRead more

William G. Hamilton was a member of the Fairmount Park Guards when the FBI National Academy invited him to its three-month course at Quantico, Va.

About 220 officers, including those from "international law enforcement agencies," attend the courses, the Academy website states.

And, said Mr. Hamilton's son, William J., "less than 1 percent of law enforcement officers in the U.S. have the distinction of being graduates," as he was.

There was another advantage.

"He missed the 1964 Phillies' collapse," his son said. "He was working too hard down there to even pay attention. . . .

"He was a fanatic," his son said. "He was relieved that he didn't have to live through it."

On Saturday, March 21, Mr. Hamilton, 88, of Williamstown, who retired in 1972 as a Park Guards inspector, died of respiratory failure, at Virtua Berlin medical center.

When he retired with the rank of inspector, his son said, Mr. Hamilton "was basically the Number Two guy" in the gray-uniformed Park Guards, which merged with the Philadelphia Police Department in 1972.

A Police Department spokeswoman said that he retired "after 20 years and 11 months of service."

Born in Springfield, Delaware County, Mr. Hamilton "dropped out of high school during the Depression to help support the family," his son said. "His father died when he was a kid."

After working on the production line at a can manufacturer, he enlisted in the Navy when he was 17.

"He had to get his mother to sign a permission form," his son said. "She resisted at first, but finally signed."

Mr. Hamilton was an electrician's mate on an oceangoing amphibious ship during World War II, saw combat during an invasion of the Philippines, and served in the occupation of Okinawa at war's end.

With the Park Guards, he worked in Cobbs Creek Park, Pennypack Park, and, after becoming captain, at headquarters at Memorial Hall.

"In the history of the park police," his son said, "he was the youngest man to make the rank of sergeant, lieutenant, captain, and inspector."

After retiring, Mr. Hamilton from the mid-1970s to the late 1980s was "a municipal police consultant for the Pennsylvania Department of Community Affairs," spending his workdays in Harrisburg and his weekends in Philadelphia.

He was a member of the American Legion, the Knights of Columbus, and the Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police Association.

As residents, since the early 2000s, of Holiday City at Monroe, a retirement community in Williamstown, Mr. Hamilton and his wife, Doris, packaged Meals on Wheels material for the Monroe Township Senior Center.

Besides his wife and son, Mr. Hamilton is survived by a daughter, Diane Kanetsky; a brother; four grandchildren; and a great-grandson.

A viewing was set from 9 to 10 a.m. Wednesday, March 25, at St. Mary's Church, 32 Carroll Ave., Williamstown, before a 10 a.m. Funeral Mass there, with burial in Gloucester County Veterans Memorial Cemetery, Williamstown.

Donations may be sent to Our Lady of Peace Parish, 32 Carroll Ave., Williamstown, N.J. 08094.

Condolences may be offered to the family at