Roland M. Hamilton, 89, of Pepperell, formerly of Groton, died at Apple Valley Nursing & Rehabilitation Center on Dec. 26, 2012. He was born in Arlington, MA On Oct. 19, 1923, son of James Clinton and Margaret Dahlbeck Hamilton. He grew up in Arlington and Lexington and graduated from Lexington High School in 1942. He married Thelma Willard in 1945. They moved to Groton in 1954 and then to Pepperell in 1985.
Hamilton worked at Raytheon for 30 years as a mechanical engineer and traveled across the country working on intercontinental ballistic missile systems.
An advocate of public education, he served on the Groton School Committee for 17 years and helped forge the regionalization of the district with Dunstable. He was the last Chairman of the Groton School Committee and the first Chairman of the Groton-Dunstable Regional School Committee.
Hamilton was a founding member of the Nashoba Valley Technical High School and served on that school’s committee.
Hamilton was a member of the Lexington Minutemen in 1940, a company his own father helped to re-activate. He was an 11th generation Mayflower Descendant of John Alden.
Hamilton is survived by six children: Marcia Buckingham and her husband Kim of Townsend; Roland Hamilton of Waukesha, WI; Susan Roberts and her husband Nick of Groton; Jeff Hamilton and his wife Pam of Mesa, AZ; james Hamilton and his wife Denise of Tyngsboro; and Christine Griffin and her husband Joseph of Holden.
Hamilton is survived by 16 grandchildren: David Buckingham, Jennifer Girard, Sarah Caliri, Erica Steffen, Robert Hamilton, Christopher Hamilton, Andrew Hamilton, Nickie Berritto, Todd Monaco, Katrina Monaco, Courtney Monaco, Shane Hamilton, Melissa Selesky, james Hamilton, Ashley Janes, and Alex Griffin. He was pre-deceased by a grandson, Steven Hamilton.
Roland and Thelma were blessed with 23 great-grandchildren: Nick Girard, Ashlyn Girard, Julia Buckingham, Abigayle Buckingham, Maggie Steffen, Kenny Steffen, Logan Steffen, Beth Steffen, Madeleine Hamilton, Robert Hamilton, Michael Hubka, Cassidy George, Matthew Monaco, Andrew Monaco, Kathryn Monaco, Xavier Namiot, Daven Namiot, Liam Namiot, Angel Lermond, Noah Hamilton, Hannah Hamilton, Ben Hamilton, and Mikayla Caliri. Great-grandchild #24 is due in July 2013.
Calling hours will be Wednesday ]an. 2 from 4:00-8:00 p.m., at the Badger Funeral Home on School Street in Groton, MA. The funeral service will be Thursday, ]an 3 at 11:00 a.m. at the funeral home.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in memory of Steven Hamilton to the engineering or sports departments at Montachusett Regional Vocational Tech School, 1050 Westminster Street, Fitchburg, MA 01420.