William Hamlett Jr.

Obituary of William C. Hamlett Jr.

Please share a memory of William to include in a keepsake book for family and friends.

William Cornelius Hamlett, Jr, 76, passed away at his home under the care of Gentiva Hospice, on February 18, 2024.  Will was born on January 22, 1948, in Henderson, NC, the son of the late William C and Dorothy Ayscue Hamlett.  He graduated from Hartsville High School and went on to earn both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Biology from University of South Carolina, followed by a PhD in Zoology from Clemson University in 1983.  He then held a postdoctorate followed by a faculty position at Medical College of Ohio at Toledo. In 1991, he joined the faculty of Indiana University School of Medicine, South Bend branch, where he retired as Professor of Cell Biology and Anatomy in 2009.  In addition to teaching cell and developmental biology to medical students, he also did extensive research involving sharks.  Organizing conferences in various worldwide locations for fellow researchers, he was able to experience many different cultures, fostering a lifelong love of foreign travel.  In his retirement, he settled in Chapel Hill, NC. 


He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Martha Dunlap Hamlett of Chapel Hill; daughter, Kathleen Hamlett of Elkhart, IN; son, Alexander Hamlett (Jessica) of Parker, CO; grandchildren, Alexis and Lucas Hamlett; and brother, Chris Hamlett of NC. He was preceded in death by his son, Hayes Hamlett.  


Cremation will be handled by Walker’s Funeral Home of Chapel Hill.  As a way of honoring his love of the marine environment, his ashes will be interred with Eternal Reefs (www.EternalReefs.com) to help restore the ocean’s reef structures. A Celebration of Life will take place at a future date.  In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to University of South Carolina, Biology Department, online at www.sc.edu or by mail to USC Office of Gift Processing, 1600 Hampton Street, Suite 736, Columbia, SC 29208. 

Share Your Memory of