Kenneth Gerald Hampton, 80, passed from this life into freedom and the loving arms of his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on November 26, 2019, at Forrest General Hospital in Hattiesburg, MS. He was born on November 30, 1938 in Winston-Salem, NC, to Wade Gorrell Sr. and Velma Mae (Bovender) Hampton.
Gerald is survived by his loving wife of 54 years, Joan Martiner Hampton, who he met through a mutual friend at Wake Forest. Gerald is also survived by his three children: Jennifer (husband David Heath) of Florida, Kenneth Gerald “Tim” Hampton, Jr. (wife Maggie) of Mobile, AL, and Julie E. Hampton and her fiancé Trey Caram of Gibsonville, NC. He was also the grandfather of five: Isabeau J., Roland W., Avah Viola Adeline Hampton, Elah Lily Annabelle Hampton, and Noah Oliver Aiden Hampton, a brother Wade Gorrell Hampton II and his wife Dorothy, three brothers-in-law, three sisters-in-law, numerous cousins, nieces, and nephews. Gerald was preceded in death by his parents, Wade G. Hampton, Sr. and Velma Mae Bovender Hampton.
Gerald grew up in Winston-Salem where he graduated from John W. Hanes High School with the Montague Medal as city-wide valedictorian in 1957. He attended Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, NC, where he received a B.S in Chemistry and Duke University in Durham, NC where he received a Ph.D. in Chemistry. Gerald was introduced to Joan by a mutual friend who was tired of hearing both of them talk about chemistry. Their first date in 1964 included the viewing of the movie Cleopatra. They were married a year later.
He taught at Texas A&M for four years and Pearl River Community College for 28 years as a professor of Chemistry. He retired from PRCC in 2013. He especially enjoyed teaching astronomy as a part of the Physical Science course. He attended First Presbyterian Church in Hattiesburg.
Gerald enjoyed educational, musical, historical, financial, and do-it-yourself programs which he shared in the classroom and at home. He loved attending star gazing parties. He enjoyed building furniture and creating other woodworking projects. His baritone voice resonated in the pew and the choir. He was a fan of the Gaither Gospel Hour and the music and humor of Heehaw. Sunday mornings began with a crescendo of Beethoven from his record collection. Afternoons included the roars of engines televised from the Nascar venues. Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt Sr. were among his favorite drivers. Evenings we were transported with him by tales from Masterpiece Theatre, the mysteries of Sherlock Holmes, and the history from World War II documentaries. With him we were exploring the Cosmos of Carl Sagan, making Connections, pondering The Day the Universe Changed by James Burke or exploring the wilds around the globe via various nature programs. Andy Griffith shows included a geography lesson of the actual names in North Carolina. Fibber Magee was the inspiration for puppy names. Advice from Mad Money doled out by James Cramer and financial strategies explained by Louis Rukeyser and his guests on Wall Street Week fueled his interests of long term plans. Saturday mornings began with gardening shows, learning more about agriculture, along with a groggy child who was waiting to be whisked with him into the escapades of a rabbit and his gang in Looney Tunes. Something their father had enjoyed since his childhood. The various do-it-yourself shows inspired assorted plans around the home and in the backyard and fueled his family’s lifelong interests. He enjoyed dogs. Brownie was his childhood pet. Christie was his children’s first dog, followed by Einde, and then Pepper. The cats, Callie, Hallie, Candie, and Sparky, were part of his home life too.
There will be a memorial service at Moore Funeral Home (805 Hardy Street, Hattiesburg, MS 39401) at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday December 1st with a visitation from 2:00 p.m. until service time. The family respectfully requests no flowers.
In lieu of flowers, donations could be made to Samaritan’s Purse, the Women’s and Children’s Hospital of Mobile AL, or the Salvation Army.
Condolences may be left on Moore Funeral Home’s online guest book at http://www.moorefuneralservices.com.
His favorite bible scripture is ‘As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.’ Joshua 24:15.