Hamlett, John William
LCDR John William Hamlett, USN, retired, age 85 died August 10, 2021 in Richardson, Texas. He was born in Houston, Texas on August the 11, 1935. John attended Lamar High School and graduated from the University of Texas in 1957. At age 21 John was commissioned into the Navy as an Ensign, the first step in his long and multifaceted navel career. His first tour of duty was aboard the USNS General Hugh Gaffey, a Navy transport ship where he met his future wife Elly who was traveling with her family, Air Force Chaplain and Mrs. Luther McArthur to the Colonel’s new duty station in Japan. He served aboard various types of navel ships, including the command ship USS Canberra during the Cuban missile crisis. John was the military spokesman aboard the USS Essex for the touchdown and recovery of the Apollo 7 spacecraft. He was attached to the headquarters of the Commander in Chief Atlantic fleet when the disaster of the submarine USS Scorpion occurred. While stationed in Dallas, as the new Public Affairs Officer for the Southwest Recruiting Command, the war in Vietnam came to an end. John was the lone Navy PAO, along with several Air Force officers, who were selected to be escorts for the returning POWs during Operation Homecoming. He was very proud to be apart of these emotional reunions, including service members such as Captain Charlie Plumb and U.S. Senators, John McCain and Sam Johnson. Upon retiring after 25 years in the Navy, John taught as a substitute in Richardson. One of his greatest joys was teaching at Arapaho and Prairie Creek Elementary. He truly loved the students and referred to them as his “kids.” He wrote two books for his students, Pigtails and Inkwells, stories of his childhood and life during WWII as a young boy, and Luke Elliott A Young Texas Pioneer, stories of Texas history. John loved his family, his friends, taking cruises, traveling, and sitting on the beach. John and Elly have been 50 year members of First United Methodist Church Richardson where they attended the Seekers and Apostles Sunday school classes. He was also an usher for 15 years. Every summer for 20+ years he taught the 6th grade Vacation Bible School. John is survived by his wife of 62 years, Eleanor “Elly” McArthur Hamlett; daughter Marty Hamlett, son John L Hamlett and wife Penny; grandchildren Luke Hamlett and wife Cyndi, Haley Hamlett Odom and husband Graham, and Ian Hamlett; great grandchildren Elliot and Baker Odom; nephews Steve White and wife Diane, Leigh Milton and wife Tonya; nieces Laura Moore and Tammy Ogle; brother-in-law Luther McArthur and family, and sister-in-law Ann Milton. John was preceded in death by his parents, Elizabeth Fry and William Alexander Hamlett; as well as his brother and sister William F Hamlett and Early Hammock. A memorial service will be held at First United Methodist Church Richardson on Friday August 20, 2021 at 4 pm. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials to be made to the church he loved, FUMCR, or Salem Camp Ground, the Methodist Camp Meeting that John and family attend every July. (PO Box 243, Conyers, Georgia 30012) Please leave the family condolences and share memories on this website.
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