Stiles, Hamilton William
Birth: Tuesday, May 07, 1935
Death: Friday, June 17, 2022 at the age of 87
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Hamilton William Stiles, known as "Bill" to most, "Hamster" to his wife, and "Peaps" to other loved ones, was born to Hamilton and Phoebe Stiles on May 7, 1935 in Flushing, Queens, New York. He grew up in Darien, Connecticut alongside his brother David.
He proudly attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) where, according to his loving wife, he majored in sailing and minored in Aeronautical Engineering. If you were fortunate enough to meet him, he would at some point have shown off his prized class of '57 ring, the "brass rat". He grew up sailing his entire life, but ended up on the MIT team almost by accident - possibly the happiest of his life. One of his most treasured memories was attending a sailing invitational in Europe with the team. He had a sharp mind and could win by knowing the rules better than anyone else, even if the bow didn't cross the finish line first…that and the other teams would be horribly hungover while he was fresh as a daisy at 7 AM.
Bill's sailing passion continued beyond MIT to be twice commodore of the Setauket Yacht Club in Port Jefferson, New York. Sailing was always a joy for him, from summertime sailing and racing with his family to winter frostbiting.
In 1958 Bill began his lifelong career at Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corp. in Bethpage, Long Island. He worked primarily on the F-14 "Tomcat", everyone's favorite blockbuster fighter jet. He contributed to the aircraft from its inception on paper until its final flight. In that time he moved from Long Island, New York to Dameron, Maryland where he continued his work for the newly minted Northrop-Grumman at the Patuxent naval base in Lexington Park, Maryland.
At Champlin's Marina on Block Island, Rhode Island in the year 1949 he met Sigrid Provan, the same marina where his daughter Jennifer would later meet her husband. Bill and Sigrid married on June 21, 1958 in Haverstraw, New York. They settled in Port Jefferson, New York where they had a son, David, and twin daughters, Jennifer and Lissa. Lissa, tragically, pre-deceased her father.
The things that loved ones will always remember about Bill are his love for anything and everything chocolate, a spicy bloody mary, Spongebob, backyard birding, sailing, and his hatred for dandelions. He was orderly and clever, fixing anything broken with duct tape. Even until the end he could do complicated calculus and trigonometry. He was always concerned for his loved ones and always quick to strike up a conversation with any lovely lady (to the chagrin of his wife). He traveled extensively and saw distant, magnificent corners of the world. Every year at Thanksgiving he had the unenviable task of trimming three pounds of brussels sprouts and did it cheerfully, without complaint. He was devoted to his cats, Kiki 1, now deceased, and Kiki 2 who still likes to sleep on his bed. Bill was quiet by nature, but brilliant and proud of his contributions to this country.
He is survived by his wife, Sigrid, his children, David (Joan) and Jennifer (Joseph) Morris, his grandchildren Steven, Samantha, and Sarah, his great-grandchildren Ayden, Jayce, and Lorelei, and his beloved three-legged cat, Kiki. His granddaughter Sarah was inspired by a visit to the naval base with her grandfather when she was a small child and has since become a pilot.
He passed peacefully on June 17, 2022 aged 87 surrounded by his loved ones while listening to Benny Goodman, a favorite of his.
In lieu of flowers, a donation to St. Jude's Hospital, an organization close to Bill's heart, can be made in his memory.
There will be a private memorial held later this fall.