HAMILTON

Larry D. Hamilton, age 88, of Mendon, passed away                           
Wednesday, April 6, 2022, at Divine Rehabilitation 

and Nursing at Shane Hill, Rockford.

 

Born July 4, 1933, in Mendon, he was the son of 

Ronald D. & Edna I. (McMichael) Hamilton.

 

Larry and Betty M. Long were married on March 5, 1961, 

and she preceded him in death March 1, 2016.

 

He is survived by a son, Michael Hamilton of Mendon,

daughter, Beth (Tom) Hoenie of Celina, grandchildren: 

Lisa Hoenie, Katie (Jeff) Vian, John Hoenie and Joshua 

Hoenie, great granddaughters: Jenna May and Alexis 

Renee Vian, his sister, Deanne (Norman) VanTilburg 

of Rockford, and many nieces & nephews.

 

Preceding him in death were brothers-in-law and 

sisters-in-law: Robert & Eva Ritchie Sr., Jennie & 

Lewis Merkle Jr., and Viola & Ril Miller.                  

 

Larry was a 1951 graduate of Mendon-Union High School.

A retired farmer, he had also owned and operated the

Hamilton Stockyard in Mendon, and attended Mt. Tabor 

Church of God, Celina.

 

Larry enjoyed sharing stories of local history, particularly 

telling the adventures of "Elmer the Cat".  In 1958, Elmer, 

a cross-eyed Calico cat from the Hamilton Stockyard, was 

chosen out of hundreds of felines nationwide to appear 

on the television program "The Millionaire".   

 

Elmer, accompanied by Larry, traveled to California to film the

show, and were treated to an elaborate 11-day all expenses 

paid stay in Hollywood.  Larry received much media attention 

from all around the region due to Elmer's celebrity status, and 

treasured his scrapbooks of articles, photos and memorabilia 

collected from their experience. 

 

Larry enjoyed horse racing, traveling throughout the area to fairs 

and racetracks such as Scioto Downs and Chicago.  He owned and 

raced several pacer horses over the years, but his horse, "Banta", 

was one of his favorites.                                                 

 

Larry enjoyed gardening with his wife Betty, especially growing 

sweet corn.  He loved spending time with his grandkids, taking 

them out for rides and treats.

 

Funeral Services will be held at 11:00 a.m., Monday, April 11,

at Mt. Tabor Church of God, Celina.  Pastor Tom Powell will be

officiating, with Pastors Darwin Dunten and Kyle Stoker, assisting.

 

Burial will follow at Mendon Cemetery.

 

Calling Hours are 2:00 - 4:00 & 5:00 - 7:00 p.m., Sunday, 

April 10, at W.H. Dick & Sons-Hellwarth Funeral Home in 

Mendon, and 10:00 - 11:00 a.m. on Monday, at the Church.

 

Memorial Contributions may be made to

EverHeart Hospice or Mt. Tabor Women of God.

 

Condolences can be expressed to 

Larry's family at dickandsonshellwarthfh.com.

 

 

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