Charles Edward Hamilton, a longtime Baltimore County educator who had also been superintendent of schools in Burlington, Vt., died of pulmonary fibrosis Thursday at Howard County General Hospital. The Columbia resident was 86.
Dr. Hamilton was born above his family's general store at York Road and Belvedere Avenue. He was raised in Lutherville and Mount Pleasant in Frederick County, and graduated in 1934 from Frederick High School.
He earned a bachelor's degree in education in 1938 from what is now Towson University, and a master's in 1948 and a Ph.D. in 1960, both in education and from Columbia University.
Dr. Hamilton began teaching in 1938 at Carroll Manor Elementary School. He was promoted to teacher-principal at the old Upper Falls Elementary, a four-room school near Kingsville.
He left teaching in 1942 to work for the Glenn L. Martin Co. in Middle River as a procurement officer. A year later, he enlisted in the Navy and served as a member of the naval armed guard aboard the SS Champ Clark, a Liberty ship that participated in the invasion of Italy. He was later transferred to the Pacific, serving as a lieutenant in an amphibian unit.
He taught at Fort Howard Elementary School from 1948 until 1952, when he was named the first principal of the newly opened Rodgers Forge Elementary. He was assistant superintendent for instruction of Frederick County public schools from 1964 until 1969, when he was appointed superintendent of schools in Burlington.
He returned to Baltimore County schools in 1973 as director of the county's federal Title 1 program.
"Because he had been such a valuable administrator, that's why we brought Ed back to Baltimore County," said Robert Y. Dubel, a former Baltimore County schools superintendent. "He had a real affinity for the Title 1 program children who had special needs. Many of them were from low-income families, and he was very good in working with them and their families.
After his wife of 17 years, the former Ellen Pratt, died in 1960, he married Dorothy Gettel, a Montgomery County schoolteacher. After he retired in 1980, they established Hamilton Associates, an educational consulting firm.
Dr. Hamilton was an avid golfer and world traveler.
He was an active member of the Lutheran Church of the Living Word, 5885 Robert Oliver Place, Columbia, where a memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. Sunday.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by a son, Charles E. Hamilton Jr. of Seattle.
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