Dr. Robert Lee Hampton was born on Jan. 16, 1930, to Roy and Winnifred (Sory) Hampton in Dallas. He grew up in Texas with two sisters, one brother, and one half-brother. When he was 14 years old, his mother died of tetanus and the family was devastated. However, they pulled together, accepted more responsibility, and remained loving and caring individuals.
Dr. Hampton excelled in school; he won the Dallas County spelling bee. From an early age, he had a love for dogs, horses, and humans. This continued throughout his life. He considered veterinary medicine and the ministry during his higher education, but found that being a doctor of humans suited him. He graduated from SMU with a B.S. in Biology.
At Southwestern Medical School, he met and married Veronica Nell (Carter) Hampton while she was a nursing student. They married June 6, 1957 and were married for 54 years. Veronica simply made life FUN. Robert and Veronica had three children, Daniel, Samuel and Debbie. They lived in Mount Edgecumbe, Alaska, for a number of years while Dr. Hampton worked for the Public Health Service of the U.S. government. While there, he established the Church of Christ and built the church building with help from friends. In Alaska, Dr. Hampton received many commendations for “willingness, efficiency, and teamwork in tackling tough assignments.” He was “particularly commended for the effective and diplomatic manner” in which problems were solved. His “many extra hours and efforts exerted” as well as “uncomplainingly” assuming extra duties were noted and rewarded.
Dr. Hampton accomplished a medical doctor residency in San Francisco, and a surgical residency in Sacramento, Calif. After that, he moved his family to Talihina where he worked at the Indian Hospital for three years as Chief of Surgery. He started private practice in Poteau with Drs. Lowery, Powell, Cunningham and Winters in 1970. He practiced medicine for 38 years with 25 years in Poteau.
Dr. Hampton was truly a man for all seasons. He believed in working hard and doing his best. If he spent his time learning about something, he worked at it until her perfected it. He was one of the old-style family doctors, a farmer, rancher, carpenter, welder, horse trainer, veterinarian, rabbit hunter, beagle breeder, builder, heavy equipment operator, repairman, mechanic, counselor, preacher, teacher, singer, song leader, hunter, fisherman, pilot, and a good friend.
To the community he was honest, ethical, moral, kind and somewhat quiet. He was generous to a fault. He performed in several Carl Albert Junior College musicals, usually with his wife, and was an avid supporter of their basketball team.
To his patients he was a perfectionist. He went the extra mile to listen to their ailments, effected the best resolution, and honed his skills to produce the least visible scars and the most relief. He loved the people of LeFlore County.
To his church family he was a leader, always kind and patient. He was an elder, deacon, song leader, preacher, counselor, and teacher at the Poteau Church of Christ. He did everything as if for the Lord. He raised his children to have a strong work ethic and a higher sense of morality and fairness than the world exhibited. He exemplified what it is to live a Godly life. Whenever possible he showed, rather than told, because he knew the power of a good example.
To his close friends he was willing to hunt, fish, run dogs, barbecue, tell stories, relax, eat, work, pull pranks or listen to problems. He would drop everything and help whenever needed.
To his family he was hard-working, tenacious, a perfectionist, kind, loving, and long-suffering. He attended track meets, basketball games, scout campouts, band and chorus concerts, and honor banquets despite his busy schedule. He was quiet, patient, meticulous, and worthy of respect. He was determined to succeed. He was a good mix of gentleness and dependability, but could be firm when firmness was required. He was what a friend, father, brother, uncle and husband should be.
Dr. Hampton was a faithful child of God and believed in Jesus. He was a wonderful person, and excellent surgeon, a good friend, a loving husband, and a father who was worthy of respect. He will be greatly missed.
He is survived by his sons, Dan Hampton and Sam Hampton; daughter, Debbie Hampton; and sister, Patsy Burke. He was preceded in death by his wife, Veronica; parents, Roy and Winnifred (Sory) Hampton; brother, Don Hampton; and sister, Jan Hackett.
Memorial services will be at 10 a.m. Saturday, July 7, at Poteau Church of Christ with Don Cherry officiating.
You may leave an online message at evansandmillerfuneralhomes.com. Arrangements are under the direction of Evans and Miller Funeral Home, Poteau.
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