Rex Hamilton was a noted wildlife biologist and WWII veteran

Thursday, November 14, 2013 | 7:08 p.m. CST

COLUMBIA — Rex Hamilton of Columbia died Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2013. He was 88.

He was born Jan. 11, 1925 in Herrin, Ill., to Sam and Robbie (Crider) Hamilton.

Mr. Hamilton served as an aviator with the U.S. Navy during World War II and was an MU graduate.

He was a noted wildlife biologist and worked with the Indiana Fish and Game Department from 1954 to 1965. He went on to work as a wildlife biologist in Illinois and Nebraska until he retired in 1986. Mr. Hamilton was instrumental in re-introducing the white-tailed deer in Indiana.

He's recognized as an outstanding leader in wildlife conservation by his peers and especially enjoyed serving as a mentor to young biologists in the USDA Soil Conservation Service.

"He was a great guy," said Mike Dunn, general manager of KBIA/93.1 FM. "He's been a longtime listener and supporter of the station and a good friend. We spent a lot of time talking about gardening and playing snooker (a game similar to pool). He was great at snooker—used to invite a lot of my friends over to his house to play."

Mr. Hamilton is survived by three sons, Jeff Hamilton and his wife, Kathy, of Prescott, Ariz.; Andrew T. Hamilton of Champaign, Ill.; Chris Hamilton and his wife, Jamie, of Columbia; a brother, James Mayor of Dover, Del.; and 10 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

His parents; wife, Dorothy; son, Joel Hamilton; brothers, Max and Joel Hamilton; and step-sisters, Nina and Helen Louise, died earlier.

Memorial contributions can be made to KBIA Mid-Missouri Public Radio, Columbia, Mo. in Mr. Hamilton's name.

Online condolences can be left for the family at

Like what you see here? Become a member.

Show Me the Errors (What's this?)

Report corrections or additions here. Leave comments below here.

You must be logged in to participate in the Show Me the Errors contest.