Aviation Collection Supporter Jack Hamilton Dies
Jan. 28, 2011
UT Dallas is mourning the loss of Jack H. Hamilton, a University supporter and a key figure in the growth of the Eugene McDermott Library’s History of Aviation Collection.
Hamilton died earlier this week. A memorial service is scheduled for 2 p.m. Friday at Woodcreek Church, 3400 E. Renner Road in Richardson.
The former president of Teledyne Geotech was a staunch supporter of aviation history who served as co-chairman of the History of Aviation Collection (HAC) Advisory Council.
Hamilton gave more than his time and expertise to the collection. A gift from the Jack and Jane Hamilton Fund of the Communities Foundation of Texas aided McDermott Library’s plans to purchase the A.E. Ferko Collection of World War I documents and photographs. It is one of the finest such collections in the world.
Hamilton also sat on the board of the Frontiers of Flight Museum, which houses parts of the library’s aviation collection.
“Jack Hamilton was a great friend of our History of Aviation Collection and was particularly helpful in establishing our close cooperation with the Frontiers of Flight Museum, which provided a proper home for the HAC's many artifacts,” said former UT Dallas Dean of Libraries Larry Sall. “He was part of a group of HAC friends that I took to Germany in 1999 to visit aviation museums there. His support, encouragement and friendship will be profoundly missed.”
HAC advisory board co-chairman Jan Collmer became acquainted with Hamilton in Garland when both were involved in the electronics business.
“This is a sad day,” Collmer said. “Jack was very elemental in the creation of the Frontiers of Flight Museum.”
Paul Oelkrug, head of McDermott Library Special Collections, home of the HAC, said Hamilton was part of the UT Dallas group that visited CIA headquarters in preparation for the UT Dallas Air America symposium in 2009. “We had a grand time. Jack’s personality and passion for aviation history always made him a joy to be around,” Oelkrug said.
Hamilton was born in 1926. He was in the Navy from 1944 to 1946 and received a bachelor’s in mechanical engineering from George Washington University in 1949. He joined The Geotechnical Corp. and later served on the company’s board of directors. In 1965, when The Geotechnical Corp. was acquired by Teledyne Inc., he became president of Teledyne Geotech. The company engaged in research, development and analysis of earth science endeavors and the manufacturing of instruments.
Earlier this month, the “Jack and Jane Hamilton Opportunity Fund for the History of Aviation Collection” was established, providing a permanently endowed source of support for the ongoing care and operation of the HAC. Jane Hamilton has also been an active volunteer for UT Dallas, serving as a member of the Advisory Board for the Callier Center since 2002, and with Jack, supported the Callier “Help Them Hear” Fund. The Jack and Jane Hamilton Heart and Vascular Hospital unit of Baylor University Medical Center is named after the couple for a major donation in 2002.