S. Dean Hamrick

February 10, 2020

CHARLOTTE – Spencer Dean Hamrick, “Dean,” 91, of Charlotte, NC, passed away at Southminster Retirement Community on February 10, 2020. Dean was born September 12, 1928, in Shelby, NC, the son of Alger Vason and Ettie Abernathy Hamrick. He had an idyllic childhood as the youngest of three children in a loving family, surrounded by friends who he maintained for life. Dean was an excellent high school student, was on the football team, and graduated in 1945. At age 16 he attended Wake Forest College, where he was a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity and graduated in 1949. He then attended the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Law, where he was a member of the UNC-CH Law Review and graduated with Honors in 1952. After law school, he served in the US Army JAG Corps in Korea and was awarded the Bronze Star. He then moved to Charlotte to practice law with Francis Fairley and began a long and distinguished legal career. He married Betty Jo Ring on July 30, 1955. They had three children, all of whom survive him: Spence and his wife, Ellen, of Charlotte, Cameron and his wife, Monica, of Washington, DC, and Sara Hamrick Meek and her husband, Peter, of Charlotte; four grandchildren: Spencer Hamrick and his wife, Meaghan, Abigail and her husband, TJ Guyton, Gray Meek and Kate Meek, all of Charlotte; step-grandchild James Scott of Los Angeles; and twelve nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his wife, Betty Jo, brother, Alger Vason Hamrick, Jr., and sister, Sara Mundy Hamrick Broadway.
He had a prominent legal career underscored by a wry and lively sense of humor and the invaluable and longtime assistance of Peggy Byers. He was the President of the Mecklenburg County Bar; a permanent member of the Fourth Circuit Judicial Conference; and District Governor of Phi Delta Phi. He handled several high-profile cases, including successful representation of H.R. Haldeman, former White House Chief of Staff, in a civil suit involving a Billy Graham rally in Charlotte (despite being a life-long Democrat). He also was a Kiwanis Club President and served as Chairman of the American Cancer Society of Greater Charlotte. In addition, he was a Life Deacon at Myers Park Baptist Church, which provided decades of social and spiritual fulfillment for him and Betty Jo. He was a curious student of humanity, loved to laugh, engage in light debate on almost any topic, and wander. He was proud of the fact that he visited all 100 counties in NC, all 50 states, and all 7 continents.
A memorial service will be held at Myers Park Baptist Church on Thursday February 20 at 1:00 pm and a reception at the church will follow the service. Memorials may be made to the Myers Park Baptist Church or Hospice. The children would like to thank the staff of Southminster for the loving care they provided Dad, especially “Hillary.”
Dean had a sharp mind and a gifted sense of humor that allowed him to successfully navigate the aspects of life that mattered and left a deep impression on those fortunate enough to experience those qualities.
Arrangements are in the care of Kenneth W. Poe Funeral & Cremation Service, 1321 Berkeley Ave., Charlotte, NC 28204; (704) 641-7606. Online condolences can be shared at www.kennethpoeservices.com.

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  • Jeanette Hendrix

    So sorry for your loss. I worked for Fairley, Hamrick,Hamilton, Monteith and Cobb in the 60’s. He was a wonderful boss. Prayers for his family.

  • Richard Boner

    I am sorry to hear of Dean's death. As a fellow attorney and member of the Mecklenburg County Bar, I have known Dean for 45 years, I and other members of the bar held him in great respect. Rest well, my friend.

  • Kathy Sharpe

    Spence and family, I am so sorry for your loss. While my contact with Mr. Hamrick was limited I will always remember him fondly. My heart is with you all.