Howard A. Hamilton Obituary
Howard A. Hamilton, Omaha Historian, age 86 passed away on November 19th, 2020.
Howard was born in Marathon County, Wisconsin on December 5th, 1934. His parents were John Orville Hamilton Sr. and Mary Victoria (nee Boucher) Hamilton. Howard dedicated his life to history. He was a well-known figure in Omaha Nebraska. Perhaps known best for his recollection of historical events, and his gregarious and engaging personality.
As a young man, Howard was fluent in 12 languages. Until his death, he had an almost encyclopedic recollection of people, places, and dates. Howard's residence was hard to miss with a sign on the front door reading “Howard Hamilton, Historian”.
Howard’s family moved from the Dakotas to Omaha at the age of 5 and Omaha would become his home and his life. Howard studied language at Georgetown University. He also attended Creighton University followed by graduate school. He spent three years in Pakistan with the U.S. Army. He also worked for the government overseas and spent time in Europe and the Middle East. In 1959, Howard returned to Omaha. He made lasting friendships wherever he went and he would return to distant places if for no other reason than to visit an old friend.
Hamilton was a retired history instructor at Metropolitan Community College. In 1990, he founded and served as the first president of the Trans-Mississippi Exposition Historical Association.
Howard’s hobbies included Omaha history, genealogy, and cemeteries. Known for his vast knowledge of Omaha cemeteries he gave walking tours to the public and was well versed in the history and preservation of cemeteries. On his tours he was also known to say he knew where all the bodies were buried, even the ones without markers.
In 1993 Howard created the “Trivia-Omaha” board game which featured more than 1, 300 trivia questions about Omaha. In 2003 he authored the book "Believe It, Omaha (Or Not)." Howard amassed an enormous collection of local history and in 2012 he donated much of it to the Durham Museum. The collection is appropriately named The Howard Hamilton Research Archive.
Howard enjoyed interacting with people. He will be sadly missed by anyone fortunate enough to have known him.
Howard was preceded in death by his parents, two sisters; Mary Ann Radtke, and Edith Beckwith, and four brothers; John Orville Hamilton Jr., Donald Wilfred Hamilton, Edward (Jimmy) Hamilton, and infant brother Richard Darrell Hamilton.