Max Delbert Hamilton, 94, of Greenville, OH, met his Savior as he passed away peacefully at State of the Heart Hospice in Greenville on December 22, 2018. His death followed a brief illness.
Max was born at home in Shelbyville, IN, on June 21, 1924. His parents were both ordained ministers: Clarence D. and Grace M. (McCullough) Hamilton.
Max graduated from Shelbyville High School in Shelbyville, IN, in 1942 and then traveled the country for 18 years as a gospel-singing evangelist. He married gospel singer Barbara J. Hine on June 8, 1948. They continued their evangelistic singing as they had three children together: Philip, Stephen, and Susan. After Max and Barbara settled their family of five in Lebanon, IN, Max worked as a postal carrier for the U.S. Postal Service in Speedway, IN, for 27 years before retiring in December 1987.
Barbara passed away on October 24, 1994. On March 30, 1996, Max married Vernita L. Longfellow of Greenville, OH, and they made their residence in Greenville. Max’s interests included tennis, golf, traveling (especially to Alaska), and the outdoors. He and Vernita continued to perform music for churches through the last year of his life. Max was especially known as a singer, trombonist, guitarist, bass violinist, and inspirational leader of congregational singing. The name “Max Hamilton” was almost synonymous with Christian music.
In addition to his parents and first wife (Barbara), Max was preceded in death by his daughter, Susan E. Hamilton; his brothers, Clarence “Melvin” Hamilton and Paul M. Hamilton; and his sister, Mildred M. Hamilton.
Max is survived by his wife, Vernita Hamilton; his sister, Violet “Mae” Hamilton of Shelbyville, IN; his sons, Philip M. Hamilton of Costa Rica and Stephen D. Hamilton of California; his step-son, Steven E. Longfellow of Greenville, OH; his step-daughter, Jana Longfellow Boudouris of Dayton, OH; four grandchildren and two great-granddaughters; and three step-grandchildren and six step-great-grandchildren.
The service for Max Hamilton is open to the public and will start at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, December 27, at Trinity Wesleyan Church, 1400 E. Main St., Greenville, OH. Visitation will be from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, immediately preceding the service at the church. The burial will take place the following day (Friday) at 1:00 p.m. at Oak Hill Cemetery, 935 E. Washington St., Lebanon, IN. In lieu of flowers, contributions in Max’s memory may be made to State of the Heart Hospice, 1350 N. Broadway St., Greenville, OH 45331. Arrangements are under the direction of Zechar Bailey Funeral Home in Greenville. Condolences for the family may be expressed through www.zecharbailey.com.