Centenarian A. Merle Hamilton, life-long Marion resident and noted philanthropist, created an enduring legacy in Marion in general and, specifically, with Marion Community Foundation. During his 101 years of life in the Marion area, Hamilton supported many worthy causes.
Prior to his passing in November 2008, he designated a substantial portion of his vast estate for the creation of five new funds at Marion Community Foundation to provide financial support in perpetuity for causes he deemed worthy — Epworth United Methodist Church, Central Christian Church, the Marion County Historical Society, and Centenary United Methodist Church in Cutler, Ohio — as well as an unrestricted fund for community support.
Merle was known and admired for his kind, gentle, compassionate nature and tremendous sense of humor. Utilizing his college degree in chemical engineering, he made a career with his family’s limestone quarry business in Marion. His strong work ethic kept him working well into his 90s; he retired in 2000.
Some of Merle’s favorite projects and causes included the restoration of the Linn School, Marion’s World War II Memorial, the Harding Home, Marion Family YMCA, and Marion General Hospital. One of his last projects was the Palace’s May Pavilion. Other organizations supported by Merle include The Ohio State University and Upper Sandusky’s Fairhaven Community.
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