Bill Hamilton in New Hampshire in 2009

Early on Sept. 16, a great man, R. W. “Bill” Hamilton, died with little warning. Bill was a stalwart friend incapable of dull thoughts or actions. He believed in God and country, hard work and creativity. More than once he told me—in not these words—to stop whining and get the job done. His research into how deep-sea diving affects the human body changed how divers explored. (He was still working the week he died.) But he never rattled on to us about diving unless we asked. His message about life was: You can do it in the time allowed. Just take a nap and carry on. Bill didn’t care what people thought of him, but he cared what he thought of people. He stood up for his church and his women. He could paint pop-art, fly planes, and I believe he once neutered a cat on the dining room table. Bill and his wife, Kathy, make up part of my foundation.

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