Ryland King Hamilton was born Dec. 31, 1920, in Kansas City, Mo., to Tom and Besse Hamilton and, with his three-year-old sister Nadine, completed the Hamilton family. He died Thursday, Dec. 17, 2009, at Midland Hospice, Topeka. He was 88.
Ryland’s father was a traveling salesman of women’s clothing and rode the trains from Kansas City to San Francisco, selling clothing to local merchants. It took him three months to complete a round trip. After Ryland was born, Tom wanted to be closer to home, and moved the family to Concordia in 1923 to start a new Dodge automobile franchise. His was one of the first for Dodge dealerships in the state, coming directly from the Dodge Brothers family.
Ryland graduated from Concordia High School in 1938 and from the Salt City Business College in Hutchinson in 1940. He then moved to San Antonio, where he worked at Duncan Field as an airplane welder. As World War II continued, he entered the U.S. Navy and was sent to Hawaii. He then returned to Concordia to work at the Dodge dealership established by his father, in the Hamilton building next to the Brown Grand Theatre. The business was renamed Tom Hamilton and Son, and operated for 34 years until 1959. The Hamiltons owned the 100th Dodge built, a 1914 model, a favorite in Concordia parades.
When the dealership closed, Ryland then converted the showroom into the new Mainstreet Laundromat, which he operated for 20 years. Then followed seven years in the maintenance department of the St. Joseph Hospital, a three-year stint at Wal-Mart and then part-time work for Stop and Save. He also rented storage space.
Ryland was a regional square dance caller and called many dances in the area and at national square dance conventions. His record collection and equipment have been donated to the Cloud County Historical Museum. He also was elected and served a term as a Cloud County commissioner.
Ryland was married to Dorothy Isabelle Francoeur at the Catholic Rectory in Concordia, on June 9, 1941. They were together for nearly 48 years until her death May 20, 1989.
He is survived by three sons and one daughter, including Darryl and wife Claire Hamilton of Dunnellon, Fla.; Roger Hamilton, Manhattan; Christopher and wife Kate Hamilton, Topeka; and Sue Yankovich, Erie, Colo.; eight grandchildren including Christine Kalemba, New Port Richey, Fla.; John Hamilton, Kissimmee, Fla.; Julia Swierz, Candia, N.H.; Valerie Davis, Keene, N.H.; Shawn Hamilton, Louisville, Ky.; Tahira Beth Schmidt, Topeka; Noah Hamilton, Lawrence; and Qilly Shifrin, Denver; 10 great-grandchildren including Alexander, Arielle, Emily, Jillian, Kaitlin, Kyle, Madilyn, Nicholas, Riley and Sarah. He also is survived by his sister, Nadine Johnson of Colorado Springs and by numerous nephews, nieces and cousins.
He was preceded in death by his son-in-law, Michael Yankovich, who died in 2002, by great-grandchild, William Schmidt who died in 2008. He also was preceded in death by his loyal companion, Wanda Istas, who died in 2008, and by his aunt, Marie Cote, who died this past June. He is survived by Wanda’s daughter, Marla Kalivoda Jorgensen, Bartlesville, Okla.
During his lifetime, he made a home for numerous pets, including his doggies Skipper, Nicholas and Pierre.
Funeral services will be at Nutter Mortuary, 116 E. 6th, Concordia, Tuesday, Dec. 22, at 2 p.m. with Father Barry Brinkman officiating. Burial will be in St. Concordia Cemetery with military graveside services.
Visitation will be from 10 a.m..-8 p.m., Monday, with the family receiving friends from 6-8 p.m. at Nutter Mortuary. Memorials to support the Cloud County Historical Museum may be left or sent in care of the funeral home.



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