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SALINA - Sharron Hamilton was born Dec. 19, 1933, at Ellsworth Hospital, but she soon headed for Lincoln, Kan., where she would spend most of her 89 years.
Sharron, born into the Great Depression, was the first child of Thomas and Haddie (Brockett) King. Her father supplemented the family larder by fishing – catfish, mostly – from the Saline River, which led to Sharron’s lifetime aversion to seafood of all kinds.
Tom and Haddie moved to Salina for a few years and Sharron attended first grade at Hawthorne Elementary. But they were soon drawn back to Lincoln, where Sharron completed the rest of her schooling. She was elected Homecoming Queen as a junior and graduated in 1951. She then attended Brown Mackie in Salina for a year, training as a legal secretary, before marrying her high school sweetheart, Bill Lewick, in 1952.
Bill joined the Air Force after they married and the couple moved to Omaha. Sharron worked for Swanson Foods, the frozen dinner company, in the promotions office. When Bill was discharged they returned to Lincoln, where Bill helped his dad farm and worked for Quartzite. Their first daughter, Teree, was born in 1956, and Tracee followed in 1960.
In June 1964, two days after moving to a new, larger house, Bill was tragically killed in an explosion at Quartzite and Sharron’s life dramatically changed. She began to work part-time, then full time, doing legal typing for Walt Urban and Gary Rohrer and in various positions at the courthouse.
Her friends Betty and Duane Cole set her up on a date with Robert Hamilton, who had returned to Lincoln to teach after a stint in the Army. Bob, as he never tired of reminding her, was a few years younger but stepped into the role of husband and father to two girls, ages 10 and 6, in 1966.
Sharron kept working, for photographers Charles Hogg and Dick Struble, and later for Keith Weigert in the Register of Deeds office and Joe Lamer in the Probate Judge’s office. In the 1970s, Sharron ran the Town and Country Dress Shop on main street, a job she loved. But her favorite job was working as a secretary at the Lincoln Elementary School, where she remained for 19 years before retiring.
Sharron and Bob moved to Salina in 2001 and Sharron embarked on two decades of tireless volunteer work. She loved helping at Salina Regional Health Center and served as an officer for the Salina Theater Guild and the Salina Symphony Guild, along with many hours with R.S.V.P. and Volunteer Connection, staffing blood drives and stuffing envelopes for jury duty, among other duties. She also served on the Historic Sites Board of Review, which approved projects for inclusion in the National Register, and the Kansas Library Board. She was active in many organizations in both Lincoln and Salina, including the DAR.
Bob, a graduate of the University of Kansas, brought Sharron into the Jayhawk fold early and she became a true blue convert. They had season tickets during some of the lean years in Lawrence, but were able to join Don Fambrough and Gale Sayers at the 2008 Orange Bowl. She also enjoyed sending little notes of encouragement to players and coaches, and many responded, including Larry Brown, Roy Williams and Bill Self. She got her photograph taken with Self and many players over the years; Sherron Collins and Frank Mason were among her favorites. She and Bob volunteered many years as organizers of the Kansas Honors Program for the Salina/Central Kansas region.
Sharron was known for her distinctive hair style, her beautiful handwriting, and her perfectly coordinated clothes, shoes and jewelry. No clerk ever took a check from Sharron without commenting on her penmanship. She was an avid antique collector, a tremendous Hallmark customer and a voracious reader.
In March 2020, Bob passed away and Sharron was a two-time widow. Her decline in health over the next few years took her volunteer work, her handwriting and her bouffant. She moved to Brookdale-Fairdale nursing home in January after a series of falls left her unable to walk.
Sharron passed away on Feb. 21, 2023, at the age of 89. She leaves a daughter and son-in-law, Teree and Nick Rohleder, and a daughter, Tracee Hamilton, all of Salina. She also leaves a beloved grandson, Dustin Engelken, an equally beloved granddaughter-in-law, Farah Mitz Bechette, and three great-granddaughters who were an endless source of pride and joy: Ayala Marie, Maelys Ann and Amelya Jolie, all of Raleigh, N.C.
Sharron wished to be cremated. Her ashes will be interred at St. Patrick’s Cemetery, Lincoln, near her late husband Bill and with Bob. A service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 25, 2023, at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, Lincoln, with a luncheon to follow at the Parish Hall.
Memorials may be made to the Lincoln Art Center, the Lincoln County Historical Society, or the Salina Theater Guild.
Lincoln Art Center
126 E Lincoln Ave, Lincoln KS 67455
Lincoln County Historical Society
216 W Lincoln Ave, Lincoln KS 67455
Salina Theater Guild
303 E Iron Ave, Salina KS 67401