Passing of Christopher L. Hamilton

Christopher L Hamilton Obituary April 2019April 12, 2019

Mission Viejo, CA — Chris L. Hamilton, 72, after a long and courageous fight with illnesses, passed away peacefully in his sleep on Tuesday, April 2, 2019, at his residence surrounded by his loving family. He lived a full and rewarding life and left much knowledge and goodness behind for others.

Chris was born in Fullerton, California, on August 16, 1946. He was the second son of the late Lloyd and June Hamilton. Since the Hamiltons raised and trained race horses, Chris grew up on a horse ranch, surrounded by gently-sloping green hills, full of wildlife.

He loved music. During his high school years, he played drums in La Habra High School bands. Playing as a member of the marching bands at the Rose Parade was one of his fondest memories. Chris and his best friend performed folk music at the iconic Ice House (at the time, it was a folk music club) from time to time in Pasadena, California.

Immediately after graduating high school, Chris served in the US Army. He was stationed in Albuquerque, New Mexico, as a member of the Military Police Units for two years, providing strong service to his country.

Chris received a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from California State University Fullerton in 1972. He studied law at Western State University College of Law and received a Juris Doctorate degree in 1976. Because teaching was always his passion, he took the position as a professor of Business and Real Estate at Golden West College in Huntington Beach, California. Chris was a driven professional with an unmatched work ethic, absolutely dedicated to his students and his discipline. For forty-three years, Chris devoted himself to providing a high-quality, yet creative and fun learning environment for his students.

As much as Chris was dedicated to his students and teaching, he was equally passionate about advocating for the workplace rights of his teaching colleagues. As a fervent and ethical union advocate, Chris served for decades as a Coast Federation of Education #1911 union vice-president; he assisted everyone who sought his help, and was on the vast majority of negotiation teams over those decades, researching and advocating contracts that ensured fairness, academic freedom, and due process to all his colleagues; his dedicated work on these contracts has affected every full-time faculty member in the Coast Community College District. He fought for them and left them much.

Chris met his Japanese wife Saori thirty years ago at Golden West College. At the time, she was working at the Student Activities Office; they married in 1991. Although Chris and Saori had no children, their home was filled with love from their adored family pets, who they treated as their own kids.

Chris leaves behind Terry Hamilton (brother), Jan Heinricks (brother), Kay Richardson (sister), Saori Hamilton (wife), and numerous nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his parents.

A Memorial Service to celebrate Chris’s life will be held at Mile Square Golf Course in the banquet room, at 10401 Warner Avenue, Fountain Valley, California, on Saturday, May 11, 2019, from 11:00am to 3:00pm. You are invited, as Chris’s friends and colleagues, to share in this time of celebration and memory of Chris’s friendship and career with us. We would appreciate an RSVP to memorial.chrishamilton@gmail.com but you are welcome to come as you are.