Obituaries

Aldean “Al” Hamilton, 91

December 07, 2020

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. II Timothy 4:7

Al Hamilton, 91, of Manheim, passed away peacefully but suddenly on Monday, December 7th, 2020 at UPMC Lititz. He has now joined Betty in Heaven. He was born in Carnwath, Clearfield County, PA and was the son of the late Thomas and Dora (Freeman) Hamilton, Sr.

Al was preceded in death by the love of his life, Betty Mae (Beers) Hamilton, in 2008. They were married on July 28th, 1950.

Al was a self-made, self-employed businessman and visionary. His business resume spanned from the coal industry to a successful 410 Sprint car team owner to being a successful real estate investor. He accomplished all of this with a 10th grade education. For 20 plus years he owned and operated Al Hamilton Contracting in Clearfield County, PA which was known to be the 2nd largest bituminous coal production company in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. He was a race car legend with 436 wins in the fiercely competitive 410 Sprint car ranks throughout the central Pennsylvania region and across the United States. Al was inducted into the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame and The Eastern Motorsports Press Association Hall of Fame, and the York County Racing Club Hall of Fame due to his immense success as owner of the famed Red #77. He was a member of The Eastern Museum of Motor Racing (EMMR). Al was also recognized throughout the Clearfield County region for his domination as a race car driver during the 1950’s and 60’s driving what was then recognized as a modified car. He also enjoyed hunting, snowmobiling and car collecting. He would say his greatest achievement was his family.

He was a member of the Assembly of God Church. Al served on several church boards and was an influential donor and volunteer in the missionary sector. He had a gift of recognizing other’s needs and his kindness and generosity spanned the globe and generations. Many came to him to ask for advice and guidance and he gave it willingly.

He is survived by three daughters, Coleen Clark, wife of Daniel, of East Petersburg, Gayle Gearhart, wife of Chip, of Manheim, Carolyn Hindy, wife of Gerry, of Springfield, MO, and a son Timothy Hamilton, husband of Marcia, of Lititz. He is survived by 10 grandchildren, Beth (Ray) Byers, Curtis (Adora) Clark, Brenda (Chris) Sipel, Adam Gearhart, Joshua Hamilton, Julie (Matt) Weidman, Leah (Jackson) Capel, Lydia (Darren) Elder, Gabriela (Geremy) Labrador, Chloe (DJ) King, 18 great grandchildren, Garrett (Lisa), and Peyton Clark, Paige (fiancé Derek) Byers, Lyndsey Byers, Lily, Charlie, and Bode Sipel, Hannah and Jaxson Gearhart, Laila and Cole Hamilton, Luke, Joel, Benjamin, and Gabriel Weidman, London and Sawyer Elder, and Action Capel and one great great grandchild, Verity Clark. Al is also survived by two brothers, Rev. Thomas Hamilton, of Altoona, Edward Hamilton, husband of Barbara, of Philipsburg, a sister, Vivian Fleming, of Jersey Shore, PA, and a host of nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by a brother Joseph Hamilton and two grandsons, Aldean Gearhart and Joel Hamilton.

As we are all aware life is currently anything but normal and we struggled to adapt in the circumstances. We have a small private service planned at the Charles F. Snyder, Jr. Funeral Home & Crematory and interment in Clearfield County, PA planned for Dad before the close of 2020 so that we may bring some measure of closure to this chapter. It is our plan and hope to have a “Celebration of Life Event/Party” just as Dad would want it, sometime in mid-April near his birthday of April 14, 2021. We promise to give Dad the proper send off, honor his life’s successes and we want each and every person whose life or lives were impacted by his to be a part of this. As soon as we have confirmation on the details, we will be sure to post those details on social media and through multiple other sources. In the meantime, each of us, Coleen, Gayle, Tim and Carolyn would like to offer our deepest gratitude to all who have sent their condolences through text messages, calls, social media posts, flowers and cards. You have made this period of grieving much easier and you have honored our Dad in an unprecedented way. We are grateful for each of you and so grateful for the legacy that our Dad has left for us. With our deepest appreciation, Coleen, Gayle, Tim and Carolyn.

In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made in Al’s memory to Convoy of Hope: https://www.convoyofhope.org, National Sprint Car Hall of Fame: https://www.sprintcarhof.com, Eastern Museum of Motor Sports: https://emmr.org, and Curtis Clark (Al’s grandson battling CLL) https://www.gofundme.com/f/ppnzt6-curtis-clark-our-warrior

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Condolences to the Family

March 27, 2021

To the Hamilton family. Today I was on the Humminbird Speedway’s website and learned of Al’s passing. Please accept my belated condolences! As a child, Al was an inspiration at the DuBois Fairgrounds Speedway. At that time he drove in what was called the Coupe division, (cars from the 40’s.) He won the feature virtually every week. His only competitor was the late Harry Harris, who was a friend as well,  At that time I was  8-11 years of age and my parents dropped me off at gthe track as they did not have the $1,25 admission and under 12 was free and I knew enough adults to walk in with and would be taken home by a driver John Royer who lived 2 blocks from me. I felt like a king leaving in the tow vehicle of a race car! As as result I got to know Al in the pits after the races!  He was pleasant, friendly, courteous and most of all inspiring! Al always pushed “nothing is impossible!”That stayed with me to this day! I went to college, Graduate school to be a Mental Health Counselor. Worked in that field 47 years n only 3 jobs retiring on New Years Eve 2020!  He made an
impression on me, to this day! “always be the best young man you can!!” I know you are in Heaven , Al! I thank you from the depths of my soul for being my friend! I broke the family mold! To the family, hold him close and give him a squeeze for me!  God Bless!

January 14, 2021

Hamilton Family:
Please accept my deepest sympathy on the loss of your Dad. The World has lost a great man. I had the pleasure of meeting Al eight years ago when I bought a 03 Ford Ranger from him…he came out of the office, saw my long legs sticking out from under the truck, had a great big laugh, and we immediately struck a deal!  My being from the hard coal region above Scranton also helped us form an immediate friendship. He showed me his Shelby Desk..and we swapped stories for over an hour! Then the next day, when I came back with one of my sons to pick up the truck, he continued his kindness by sharing stories of his wife Betty ( I could tell how he loved her) his family, Western Pa., racing, and a life of hard work, well lived!  We shared many phone calls, Christmas Cards and pictures of his hunting trips since then..My son still talks about him.  I still have the truck, it still looks like new, ( he would like that)  but the best part of the deal was my good fortune to meet and spend time with your Dad for those two days.  I will keep your Dad, Mom and family in my thoughts and prayers. God Bless You All…
Patrick Salmon, Clarks Summit, Pa.
 

January 05, 2021

Aldean, I’m thankful for the time we shared. You were a friend, a mentor, and a role model. I will miss you immensely.
Death is a part of life, but it is only temporary. Goodbye for now; until we meet again…
“Those who die in the Lord will live; their bodies will rise again! Those who sleep in the earth will rise up and sing for joy!” – Isaiah 26:19 NLT
Love, Nate

December 27, 2020

Thank you for sharing this with us and letting us be a part of these memories. The highlight of my year when I was a kid was going to Cleaerfield. This was a great time of honoring Al. I have been praying for all you guys that the Lord would comfort you and help you to set your minds on where your dad is now and the fun he is having. And I will continue to pray. One more thing… I think it is neat that he went to Heaven on the 7th.
Love, Vickie

December 27, 2020

Coleen, Gayle, Tim and Carolyn – I’m so sorry for your loss of your dad however Al is rejoicing in heaven with Betty and all those gone before him. I was blessed to have known him, he touched so many lives he leaves you with so many memeories and stories you will cherish forever.  Dana Clark

December 21, 2020

So sorry to hear of your dad/grandpa passing. My thoughts and prayers are with you at this most difficult time!  I didn’t know Al but he sounds like an amazing man! Love and prayers,Sylvia Schmalhofer and family 
 

December 18, 2020

Thank you for the many wonderful memories you and Betty have given our family. From my youth seeing, and still today, reminiscing of the two of you showing kindness, generosity, humbleness and living a Christian walk has helped me in so many ways through life. You don’t even know how you, Betty and your children have helped others, even from afar.  Your life will be celebrated for many years to come in memory. 
Elaine Pulcini Maraia

December 18, 2020

I ran into Al at the carwash not long ago. I told him how much his wife had meant to me & how her words of wisdom helped me through a hard time. I could tell he missed her dearly. Praise God they are together again & rejoicing!  My deepest sympathy to all of you.
Ann Gallagher (Ulrich)

December 16, 2020

We are sorry to hear the passing of Al.  He was a great inspiration to Nancy & me throughtout the times of our life. He assisted us when we were constructing our home and that will never be forgotten.  I really enjoyed the years helping on the race car with Al and Joe. Hope to see you when you visit Clearfield.  
Robert & Nancy Cessna

December 16, 2020

So sorry to hear of the Passing if your dad. He was a Great person. Sending Prayers to all of the family. 
Susan Hanes ( Steiner)

December 15, 2020

The Hamilton Family,
We were so saddened to hear about Al’s sudden and unexpected passing.  Al was a great neighbor and friend!  We feel privileged to have known him.  He was kind and honorable in both word and deed and  leaves a “tremedous” legacy for his family.  His “amazing and fascinating” life story is one in which movies are made.  We pray as the days, weeks and months pass, your family will be comforted by many loving memories and the knowledge that Al has graduated to his eternal heavenly home with Betty.  Paul and Gwendolyn  

December 14, 2020

Gail and Chip, I am so sorry to read of the passing of your father, Gail. I will hold you close in my prayers as you go through this difficult journey. May God give you comfort and strength as you grieve your father, God Bless.🙏❤️
Kim Barger Weir

December 14, 2020

Al and Betty Hamilton.  What a pair, what a family, and what a legacy they leave behind. I first met them when they moved to Sarsen Drive. They brought with them the largest oak trees I ever saw being transplanted, and also a Japanese Maple. The trees thrived, there was a huge snowstorm the next year, and just as I was wondering how I was going to get out in waist-deep snow, I heard the buzz of a road scraper. We both moved to Stonehenge Drive in a few years, and enjoyed a great friendship two doors away for a few more years before Betty passed and I moved back to my home state, NC. Al, you and Betty were great examples of what neighbors should be. I know I’m better at being a neighbor, because of you. Hugs and prayers for Colleen, Carolyn, Tim, and I wish I could remember names of all but God knows I’m including everyone. Here’s hoping everyone wears something red, white or blue when that memorial service takes place. 
Laura Parker (Flick)

December 14, 2020

Al was a great guy to work for and a great friend who treated everyone with respect. i will never forget the times putting truck deals together with him and even after getting out of the business he always called me just to say hi. you will be missed Al!
Karl White

December 14, 2020

So sorry for your loss, Al was a great man and friend many people.
Edward Howell

December 13, 2020

My deepest sympathy…Randy Shelly….Penway Construction

December 13, 2020

AL HAMILTON…a man larger than LIFE.
KIND and GENEROUS…His GRAND SMILE was his daily GIFT.
My common ground…I am a neighbor and I owened a 2000 FORD MUSTANG (Performance RED).
AL welcomed me to the neighborhood with a “GRAND TOUR” of the “SHELBY HOUSE”…what at THRiLL for ME!
I felt HONORED and PRIVILEDGED to have met this KIND and GENEROUS MAN.
HUGS and PRAYERS to his FAMILY and FRIENDS…He leaves behind many BEAUTIFUL MEMORIES.
Robin Gainer

December 12, 2020

All those that knew Al appreciated him. There is a big hole in a lot of hearts but he would want us to go on and try to follow in his footsteps.
Hazel Gearhart and Connie Gockley

December 12, 2020

I only got to know Al when I purchased his property on Texter Mountain Road in Lancaster County in 2002. He was extremely proud of how he developed the property and I know he sold it to me before the auction because he could tell that I would continue the legacy of a family gathering place that would be enjoyed for recreation, including hunting. Eighteen years later. our family gathers here for recreation, hunting and holidays. We consider ourselves blessed to be able to enjoy what Al had created.      My deepest condolences to the Hamilton family in their loss of a very special man, who truly valued his family. Our prayers are with you.
scott newkam

December 12, 2020

I am so sorry to hear of the passing of Al Hamilton. I never met Al but I know of him through my history of the HAMILTON Family. I am Al’s half-second cousin once removed going back to William Hamilton/Ann Taylor in Scotland. Please accept my condolences on the passing of this portion of the HAMILTON family tree.
George E. Hamilton

December 12, 2020

Prayers and Love to the whole family . Seems like just yesterday when i worked for AL and i still use and remember things i learned from him to this day in my life. I ‘am so thankful that he gave me the opportunity back then.
SHAWN OWENS

December 12, 2020

Dear gayle and jackson.what a wonderfull legacy your dad and grandfather. Sympathy & love sent your way.just reading many verses in bible about jesus coming.some are asleep till his coming.then they ll will be first raptured.some already there with god changed and doing gods purpose.i think your dad is already with our heavenly father.peace love your friend kyra m.dobler

December 11, 2020

Chip and family – so sorry for the loss of your father. I remember him back in his racing days. Prayers are being sent to you and your family.
Cathie Lansberry Hugar

December 11, 2020

We are so sorry for your loss, but know he is rejoicing on heavens shore with all those who have gone on before, I believe he and Betty had a glorious reunion, and Dad and he will have alot of catching up to do. You will all be in our prayers, looking forward to coming to celebrate his life with you.
David Hamilton

December 11, 2020

Sorry for your loss, Our deepest condolences to the family.
John & Sharon Hamilton

December 11, 2020

I think you all know how much I loved Al and your whole family. He helped me so much with summer employment in Clearfield at his camp and your house in my younger years, I can never thank him enough, Your family is so well thought of and respected by mine no words can express how much. I loved my relationship with racing around the #77 immensely, being allowed to be a mudder on the car for a few years with Joe and Tom. I am so sad for all of you. I know God will help you through this time of sadness. Your Dad was one of the kindest men I’ve ever met. Betty and him can be reunited again now and live the rest of their life in Heaven together. Bless you all. 
Willie Breon

December 11, 2020

Coleen, Gayle, Tim and Carolyn,
I am thankful for the many fond memories that I have growing up with Mr. Hamilton, Betty and your whole family!!
The void that is in our hearts will be filled with laughter, as we have so many good times to  reminisce back on!!
Thank you all for your kindness and generosity! You have touched and blessed so many lives.
Mr. Hamilton and Betty are now together in Heaven, celebrating and reuniting their everlasting love!
God’s peace and comfort to all of you and all your childern.
Lovingly
Sandy Altemus Wigfield

December 11, 2020

I was so sorry to hear of Al’s passing.  I knew him and his brother, Joe, during his “driving days” in and around Clearfield in the 60s.  He was an amazing man as evidenced by all the accomplishments throughout his life.  Rest in peace, Al, you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.
Irv Kantar

December 11, 2020

I extend my condolences to the Hamilton family.  Your Father was 1 of a kind & will be missed by many of whom life he has touched throughout. I cherish the time I felt as if I too was a part of an extended family by means of The Famous 77. RIP Al Pappy Hamilton

December 11, 2020

Tim our condolences to your family your dad was a great man that I respected very much it doesn’t even seem that long ago that we all went down for the sprint car racesOur family is praying for you at this time
Dave fink

December 11, 2020

So very sad and so sorry for your loss.
Bernadette Ditty Hynd

December 11, 2020

I was blessed to have know him. He was a great, kind & loving man! I had the pleasure of knowing him and seeing him everyday for many years. I will truly miss knowing he is not here with us anymore 😢  RIP AL 
Sending love and comfort to his family during their time of loss ❤ 
Jody Shearer

December 11, 2020

So sorry for your loss   on a side note  al thank you for all the  wonderful  years of  having the 77 on the  track  may u rest in peace and  god bless 
Jason Harris

December 11, 2020

RIP to a wonderful friend for many years. 
Laura Smith

December 10, 2020

Dear Coleen, Gayle, Tim and Carolyn, I am so sorry for your loss. Your Father was a great man and I respected Him very much. I never worked for a better employer. I know in my heart that He is home now, for to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. I trust the Lord will comfort your hearts,you will be in my prayers. God bless and keep you.
Roy Ibberson

December 10, 2020

Condolences to the family, God bless.
Jack smeal

December 10, 2020

Rest in peace he was a great man  love Edward Buydos 

December 10, 2020

My deepest condolences, with some really great memories of Your Dad mostly at the old Clearfield speedway as a young kid . Al Lived a great life and was appreciated around Clearfield 
Larry Haney

December 10, 2020

We r so blessed to have had a chance to share our family with Al’s family both in Racing and privately. Everything we did together included family which is what made all moments special. We will miss u forever.  With so much respect, The Keith Kauffman Family

December 10, 2020

Gail I am so sorry to hear of the passing of your Father,my thoughts and prayers are with you and all your family. 
Pearl Sharp Hanes

December 10, 2020

RIP Mr. Hamilton you have been an inspiration to everyone you ever met, and will be missed by everyone.
David Kurtz

December 10, 2020

A man with a very fulfilling life.  He will be missed.  My condolences to his family.
Mike O’Hara

December 10, 2020

Coleen, Gayle, Tim and Carolyn: I was so very sorry to learn of your loss. I treasure many memories of your dad, and of our family times together.  I am thinking of you all as I remember my Uncle Al fondly, and celebrate his life. From the world of racing to life in the church, your dad was quite the presence! May the peace of God be with you at this time.
Your cousin, Holly

December 10, 2020

Farewell and rest well, my friend!  You were such a good man…..always kind, generous and always ready to lend a helping hand.  May the Good Lord give solace to the dear family you have left to carry on, Al!!!  Lynn Kuhn   Auto Glass Fix

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