Robert Allen Hamilton was born July 7, 1959 in Orange, to Hallie “Possie” Wukasch Herring and Robert Glenn Hamilton. Both preceded him in death, along with his beloved younger brother, Clay Morgan Hamilton, and cousin, Sterlin Wade Stringer. He is survived by family, Linda Hamilton Sanders of Conroe, Dr. M. Jason Sanders of Houston and numerous nieces and nephews in Orange, who Robert always held dear to his heart.
Robert was born with dyslexia and attention deficit disorder, disabilities unrecognized at that time as special needs. His struggles began in school and, sadly, led to drug use as a juvenile. He was imprisoned in the mid-1980s for delivery of a controlled substance and served 20 years of an unimaginable 40-year sentence before being paroled. In 2005, he once again returned to state prison, this time at the mercy of a three-strikes-out law that dealt him an 80-year sentence for burglarizing a home which he owned. He was not guilty of the crime, but served another 10 years before God granted him the ultimate pardon and eternal freedom on Oct. 28. His chains were finally removed and he was set free.
Robert is survived by 200,000 Texas inmates, in addition to countless guards, officers and chaplains who serve in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. His family wishes to recognize and thank one in particular, Robert’s parole officer Freddy Hackney, Jr., for his extraordinary support and a job well done as a parole officer. They also wish to thank the many faithful friends in Orange, and elsewhere who prayed in support of Robert during his final years in prison.
Of interest and great pride to Robert, during those final years, were his ancestors. His great uncle, Isaac Ryan of Lake Charles, died defending Texas at the Alamo. Robert’s family history includes ancestors in the Wars of 1776 and 1812 and the Civil War, and he was a descendant of Rev. James Pierpont, who founded Yale University in Hartford, Ct.
Another ancestor of pride to Robert was his great grandfather, Captain James Allen Capps, who raised his family in Washington, La. in the mid-1800s. Washington was considered one of the revolutionary all-black towns in the United States in the 1870s. Robert’s grandfather, James Allen Capps, Jr., settled in Orange, and married Mary A. Nogess. The family property along State Highway 62 in Orange was the land of his forebears, land that Robert loved and on which, if ever granted his freedom, he hoped to live out his remaining days.
A memorial service for Robert will be held in the Chapel of First United Methodist Church in Conroe, on Tuesday, Nov. 10, at 3:00 PM. In his memory, the family requests donations be made to the Restorative Justice Ministries Network of Texas, 1229 Avenue J, Huntsville, TX, 77340, 936-291-2156, http://l.facebook.com/l/JAQGbzJH9AQHem770GR9BoWb9ouxpLr07F0E3vTPQ905g0w/www.rjmntexas.net, or the FUMC-Conroe Prison Ministry, 4308 W. Davis, Conroe, TX, 77304, 936-756-3395, http://l.facebook.com/l/lAQHel0jUAQFm6l7l1_mwbhwqRH9_ATXFbTz7V6sXChvnMw/www.fumc-conroe.org.