Raymond Hamilton, 68, passed away peacefully Monday, September 2, 2019, after a brief illness. Raymond was born to Zelma Lee Dobbins Hamilton and Tommie Lee Hamilton in Hobbs, NM on December 14, 1950. He graduated from Hobbs High School in 1968, with a 3.8 GPA and was selected to go to Boys State. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Education from the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. He received a J.D. Degree from Harvard Law School in 1975.
Raymond returned to New Mexico and worked for NM Attorney General Toney Anaya in Santa Fe, then spent 30 years as an Assistance U. S. Attorney for the Department of Justice in Albuquerque until retirement in 2011. He attributed his longevity in U. S. Attorney’s Office to R. E. Thompson and John Kelly. Under John Kelly, Raymond became Chief of the Civil Division.
Raymond was co-founder of the New Mexico Black Lawyers Association along with the Honorable Tommy Jewell Jr., and attorney Hannah B. Best (both of whom are retired) and remained active as an officer in NMBLA until his passing.
Raymond maintained membership in the Albuquerque Branch of the NAACP, Associate with Albuquerque Section of the National Council of Negro Women, Incorporated, New Mexico Black Caucus, the Democratic Party of NM, the State Bar of New Mexico, and the National Bar Association. He formerly served terms on the Board of Bar Examiners, Character and Fitness Committee of the NM Disciplinary Board, as well as Legal Aid Society of Albuquerque Inc.
Raymond was an avid tennis player. He had a close-knit group of friends calling themselves the Barelas Brothers. They included Juan Abeyta, Bobby Avila, Tommy Jewell, Dan Smith, Woody Smith, and the late Vic Pedro.
Raymond promoted diversity and fought for civil rights. He was always helping someone whenever he could. He mentored many young lawyers, and in particular, first-year law students at UNM School of Law. He had a great and ongoing concern for African American students who failed the Bar Exam and would make time to work with those students so they could pass on the next take. He was recognized by many organizations for his accomplishments.
Raymond was preceded in death by his parents (Tommie and Zelma Hamilton), a brother (Larry Hamilton), and a sister (Betty Spirlin). He leaves to cherish his memory his wife, Cecilia La Verne (Shelton) Webb of Albuquerque, three sons, Christopher Woods of Las Cruces, Richard Hamilton of Hobbs, Steven Hamilton of Albuquerque; aunt, Marie Johnson, of Oakland, CA; stepson, Troy Taylor of Albuquerque; grandchildren, Jarrod and Maya Woods, Ebba and Tavin Taylor; one brother, Charles (Pamela) Becknell of Rio Rancho; two brothers-in-law, Lawrence (Kate) Shelton of Boise, ID and Darryl Shelton of Danville, VA; a special cousin, Sheldra Wormhoudt of Mandeville, La; in laws Elizabeth and Joe Brown of Albuquerque, and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
A memorial service will be held at God’s House Church, 2335 Wyoming Blvd NE 87112, on Saturday, September 14, 2019 at 5:30 p.m.
Thank you to the caregivers, Presbyterian Hospice, Compassus Home Health, and the staff at Kaseman Hospital IPU for your excellent care.