Prof. Gerald Less Hamilton, 66, retired head of the Edward R. MacTaggart Dept of Music at Marietta College, died at 5:30 PM yesterday in Marietta Memorial Hospital where he was admitted about 3 PM after suffering an apparent heart attack at his home at 409 Wooster St.

Death came to the man affectionately known to many Mariettans as "Mr. Music" as he was in the midst of preparation for one of his best-loved activities, the annual presentation of "The Messiah". Thousands of MC students, alumni and area persons have sung or played under his direction in "Messiah" performances since 1926. His musicianship also touched others as he served as conductor of the College-Civic Symphonette and during the 20 years he directed the Allegro Club, an adult choral society in Parkersburg.

This year's presentation of "The Messiah" will be performed as scheduled, serving as a memorial to the man who devoted so many hours every year toward one of the musical highlights of the Christmas holy season.

Gerald Lee Hamilton was born Sept 22, 1901, in Hutchinson, Kansas, the son of Charles Gilpin and Hattie Gormley Hamilton. On Jun 2, 1927, he married Dallas Sisk, who died in 1960.

He attended high school in Kansas and received his bachelor of arts degree from Washburn University at Topeka in 1923. In 1926, Boston University awarded him a master's degree. While at Boston and the New England Conservatory of Music, he served as director of music at First Congregational Church in Lynn, Mass, and directed the Lynn Little Symphony Orchestra. He attended Harvard University, singing at that time with the Boston Symphony Orchestra Chorus.

He came to Marietta College as assistant professor of music in 1926, becoming associate professor in 1946 and full professor in 1949. From 1949 until he retired in August of this year, Professor Hamilton headed the music department. Since then, he has continued to work with the college as coordinator of musical activities.

In addition to his musical contacts, he made many friends through his slide and lecture programs on his travels in European countries.

Professor Hamilton was listed in Who's Important in Music", a record of leaders in the music field, and in 1965 he was honored here by the Fourth Annual Band-o-Rama for his years of devotion to music in the community.

Surviving relatives are three sisters-in-law, Mrs. Eugene Hamilton of Hutchinson, KS, Mrs. Newton Hamilton of Pretty Prairie, Kan., and Robert G. Williams of Charleston, W. Va.; two nieces and two nephews, Miss Kathryn Ann Williams of Charleston, Mrs. Mary Francis Graber of Kansas, Maj. Charles Hamilton, Jr. in Viet Nam and Robert G. Williams, Jr. Charleston.

His two brothers, Eugene and Newton, preceded him in death.

Funeral services will be at 11 AM Friday in St. Luke's Episcopal Church, with the Rev. John S. Dilley officiating. Burial will be in Oak Grove Cemetery.

Friends may call at Harold Hadley and Sons Funeral Home from 7 to 9 PM tomorrow.

Marietta Times, Marietta, OH; 29 Nov 1967

Contributed by: Laura Greene

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