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-Harley Hamilton-

Harley Hamilton, 85, of Lone Tree, passed away on Tuesday, December 27, 2011, at Iowa City Rehab and Health Care Center.  Funeral services were 10:00 A.M. on Saturday, December 31, 2011, at the Sorden-Lewis Home for Funeral and Cremation Services in Lone Tree.  Pastor Jeff Tackaberry officiated.  Burial was in the Conesville Cemetery with full military rites by the Lone Tree American Legion Post 457.  Casket bearers were Butch Hesseltine, Norm Singleton, Bobby Goldesberry, John Murphy, Doug Reed and Lynn Murphy.  Honorary Casket bearers were Jordan Burk, Dylan Hayes, Hunter Hamilton Alex McGowen and Zach McGowen. Following the interment, a time of food and fellowship was held at the Conesville Community Center.  Visitation was held on Friday, December 30, from 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. at the Sorden-Lewis Home for Funeral and Cremation Services in Lone Tree.  A memorial fund has been established at the funeral home in memory of Harley. Online condolences may be sent to the Hamilton family at www.lewisfuneralhomes.com. 

Harley was born March 7, 1926, in Trenton, Missouri, the son of Elza and Myrtle (Martin) Hamilton.  Harley attended country school in the Conesville and Lone Tree area, graduating from Conesville High School in 1944.  He entered the Marine Corp, May 31, 1944.  He left for boot camp the night he graduated from high school.  He served in the South Pacific.  He was stationed in many locations throughout the region.  He turned 19 while on Iwo Jima.  He was last stationed in China, where he learned many words and phrases in Mandarin.  Years later he taught his children to count in Mandarin.

Harley married Gelaine Patterson in 1953.  They had one daughter.  Harley married Rachel Skala in 1962.  Harley worked as a telegrapher for the railroad after he left the Marine Corp.  He worked construction for a while, helping to build the Coralville Dam and Spillway.  Harley worked at Thatcher Plastics in Muscatine for 27 years as an electrician, returning there as a contractor for two more years.

Harley loved to grow garden.  Harley and his wife, Rachel owned and operated Conesville Garden Center for many years, raising everything from melons to tomatoes, sweet potatoes, strawberries and flowers and their four children.  Harley enjoyed hunting and fishing all throughout his life.  Many meals were put on the table because of these hobbies.  He was an avid mushroom hunter.  He could “smell” the morels.  Mushroom hunting was a family event with all ages participating.  He loved fishing with his grandsons, son and nephews.  Harley was a prankster and loved to tell jokes and laugh.  He always had a joke to tell you each time he saw you.  Harley loved family.  In later years family reunions were especially important to him. 

Harley suffered a stroke in August of 2007, paralyzing his right side and affecting his speech.  He worked hard at rehabilitation and returned home before Christmas that year.

Survivors include his wife, Rachel of Lone Tree, daughters, Lori Lacina of West Branch, Julie (Dennis) Forbes of Lone Tree, Rebecca (Scott) McGowen of Springdale, Arkansas, Ramona (Todd) Hayes of Lone Tree, son, Stephen (Joyce) Hamilton of Lone Tree; grandchildren, Jordan Burk of Iowa City, Dylan Hayes of Lone Tree, Ashley Johnson (Brandon Philips) of Center Point, Kinley Hayes and Hunter Hamilton of Lone Tree, Alex, Zach and Andi McGowen of Springdale, Arkansas; one great grand daughter, Avery Philips of Center Point; sisters, Carmen Goldesberry of Denton, Texas, Ethel Gerot of Riverside, Mary Singleton of Conesville and a brother, Marvin Hamilton of Columbus Junction.

He was preceded in death by his parents, a brother, Don, and nephews Chris Singleton and Gary Hamilton.

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