Some of us infrequently may have attended the famous Indianapolis 500 race, but this gentleman did not miss a race in 32 years. Bob Hamilton worked at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the grandstand, a job tailor-made for this gregarious man. “I came to know the regular attendees by name and many of the drivers, too.” he recalled.
Born and raised in Massillon, Ohio, with his two sisters, he graduated high school in 1949. The town people were avid football fans. Bob commented that the team was made up primarily of farm boys. He was announcer on the local radio, giving information about the town and schools.
Edie’s family lived in Racine, Wisconsin, before moving to Massillon in her sixth grade. Her father was city Water Works Superintendent. As was the norm then, her mother was a homemaker. “I was good at arithmetic and liked geography,” she said. Graduation was in 1953. Later she enrolled at Indiana Central for extended math studies.
One of their grandsons currently teaches at Southport High School near Indianapolis. Edie thinks his classroom control might not be a problem since he is 6’8”.
In the early ‘50s roller skating facilities were popular. It was at one of these where they first met. Bob attracted her attention with his fancy skating maneuvers and his flashy clothes. “He would always wear pink or green shirts.”
In 1951 with the Korean War blazing, Bob joined the Army rather than waiting to be drafted and end up in the marines. Soon Korea was his new home where he was in heavy mortars used for supporting the ground soldiers. He nearly was in the battle for Old Baldy, but arrived too late. Instead, he helped guard the women and children prisoners.
When he left for Korea, his spouse, Edie, returned to Ohio. For 23 years, she was employed at Fletcher Savings which eventually became Chase Bank.
When Bob was discharged in 1953, he and a friend heard that Eli Lilly, an Indianapolis pharmaceutical industry, was hiring. Never knowing of the company or what it produced, they applied and both landed jobs. Until retirement in 1991, it was Bob’s employment for 38 years.
Discovering SunBird, they moved in during the 1997-98 winter. Immediately they began attending our SunBird Church and through the years have been on the governing Board and numerous other volunteer activities. Edie is the treasurer. Bob likes to interact with people and has been the unofficial greeter for years.
With a daughter, two sons, six grandchildren, and 12 great grandchildren – plus another girl is due soon – the couple has many places to visit.
Edie enjoys crafts while Bob likes photography, sports and the Indianapolis 500. He also was a 10 year volunteer for the local firefighters, assisting with their smoke alarm program. Bob and Edie have taken cruises and traveled to many of our National Parks.
Like most of us, they like SunBird living and the sunny, warm winters.
But after all, who wouldn’t?