38° Good Morning
38° Good Morning
Long IslandObituaries

Educator, coach Harry Lee Hampson dies

Harry Lee Hampson, whose prowess as a young student athlete in Rhode Island led to a career as a teacher, coach and mentor in Long Island schools, died Sept. 3 of leukemia. He was 77.

Hampson, of Central Islip, retired in 1988 after three decades as an educator, primarily in the Herricks school district, where he taught general science, biology and Earth science and coached junior high school basketball and track.

For more than a decade, he also coached Little League baseball in Central Islip, where he and his wife, Betty, raised their family. She died in 2008.

"Dad's passion for life was evident in everything he did," said his son Stephen Hampson of Lindenhurst. "Harry was always nailing up basketball hoops, teaching someone how to throw a curve, organizing a game or tutoring children."

Hampson, born in Providence, was the fourth of Harold and Inez Hampson's 20 children and grew up playing sports. As a youngster, he attended public schools in Coventry, R.I., and took up golf at age 12, caddying at local country clubs.

In 1952, when he was 17, he won the New England Junior Golf Championship and the Northeast Jaycees Golf Tournament and traveled to Eugene, Ore., to compete in the National Junior Golf championship.

At the University of Rhode Island, he was captain of the golf and track teams and was named "all-Yankee Conference" in cross country as well as indoor and spring track.

He graduated from URI, majoring in science and physical education. Later he won a National Science Foundation grant and in 1963 received his master's degree in science education from Columbia University.

Hampson met Betty Schmidt, herself a URI Athlete of the Year, in 1956 while he was student-teaching at Coventry High School. The couple married on Dec. 26, 1958.

Relatives said he reveled in his work as a science teacher, often leading students on field trips to dig for fossils and minerals.

In addition to his son Stephen, he is survived by son Roland Hampson of Central Islip; brothers Edward Hampson and Marvin Hampson, both of upstate Stony Point, Jesse Hampson of Plainfield, Ill., Charles Hampson of Charlotte, N.C., and David Hampson of Santee, Calif.; sisters, Linda Renz and Ruth Hiroko, both of Brunswick, Maine, Judy Robinson of Jacksonville, Fla., Carol Vislocky of upstate Nyack, Inez Craig of Coventry, Edith Spirek of Cleveland, Ohio, and Anne Davis of Clearwater, Fla.; and five grandchildren.

He was cremated. A memorial service is planned Oct. 6 at First Presbyterian Church of Smithtown, with burial in Queen of All Saints Cemetery in Central Islip.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Rolling Thunder Special Needs Running Club, 164 Robinson Ave., Medford, N.Y. 11763, or the Central Islip Little League, P.O. Box 48, Central Islip, N.Y. 11722.


We're revamping our Comments section. Learn more and share your input.

Latest Long Island News