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James L. McKernan
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Buckley James Hamilton

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HARTINGTON — Buckley James Hamilton, 57, Hartington, died Jan. 30, 2022, at Avera Sacred Heart Hospital, Yankton, S.D., due to complications of Covid-19.

Funeral services were Feb. 4 at St. John’s Lutheran Church, Randolph, with PMA Richard Bloomquist and PMA Dwight Brummels officiating.

Burial of his cremated remains will be at a later date at the Randolph Cemetery in Randolph.

Pallbearers were Ryan Hamilton, Brian Hamilton, Zachary Hamilton, Chris Klug, Mark “Hippie” Reagan and Clayton Lammers.

Visitation with his body present was Feb. 3 at St. John’s Lutheran Church and continued one hour prior to services at the church.

Arrangements were under the direction of the Wintz Funeral Home, Hartington.

Buckley James was born Sept. 27, 1964, in Osmond, to Robert and Neva (McDonald) Hamilton. He grew up in Randolph and attended school there. Buckley was a hard-working man who had many jobs throughout his life, a man who could do just about anything. If he didn’t know how to do it, he would figure it out — he always figured it out. He found his passion in driving over the road and he was good at it. He had great success and gradually was able to build up to a fleet of 11 trucks. He loved to drive and prided himself in never letting a truck sit for a week. If one of his drivers was sick or wanted to take time off, he would jump behind the wheel with no questions asked.

Buckley also had a great passion for music. He picked up a guitar at an early age and taught himself to play by watching others play. He couldn’t read a single note of music but he could play just about any song you requested. He also rarely had the lyrics right but he could play it right and would every chance he got.

Buckley lucked out with having five children that loved and adored him. He knew they loved him and loved them back beyond words. That love was plentiful enough to spill over to their children, too. He loved being a Dad and that love was topped only by being Grandpa Buck.

It took Buckley about 14 years, but he finally wore down the love of his life and best friend Toni Peitz Hamilton. They were married June 6, 2009, in Hartington. He would tell anyone who would listen how much he loved her and, to that, she would roll her eyes. He would tell her he loved her every day, no matter what. She would tell him every day that she loved him more, since he was harder to love.

Buckley had a big heart and a big personality. This was displayed often through the best, most infectious laugh. If you were ever looking for Buck, all you had to do was stop and listen.

Buckley is survived by his wife, Toni Marie, Hartington; five children, Cody Shipps and girlfriend, Heather Brandt, Norfolk; Robyn Hamilton, Niobrara; Chad Shipps, Yankton, S.D.; Thomasina Robinette, Winnetoon; Rochelle (Chris) Klug, Santee; 20 grandchildren; father, Robert Hamilton, McCook; five siblings, Bobby (Kathy) Hamilton, Louisville; Becky (Toby) McDonald, Fremont; Misty Hamilton, Randolph; Molly (Jason) Weiss, McCook; and Morgan Hamilton, Randolph.

He was preceded in death by his mother Neva Lovejoy; and brothers, Brian and Billy Hamilton.