Gravette Day Grand Marshals Celebrate Community
The 2022 Gravette Day theme is “Celebrating Community” and the lives of grand marshals Robert and Geneva Hamilton of Hiwasse exemplify community service. “Robert and Geneva are cornerstones of our community,” said Heather Finley, Gravette Day Committee chair. “They have selflessly given. Their passion paired with the teamwork they have, has made a huge impact to Hiwasse.”
Geneva, the daughter of Dean and Nona (Holloway) Fletcher, attended Hiwasse School and graduated from Gravette High School. Robert, the son of Cecil Lee “Bill” and Mae (Marshall) Hamilton, was born in Prairie Grove, Ark. and moved with his family to Westville, Okla. where he graduated from Westville High School. He graduated from Tulsa Technical School in Tulsa, Okla. and later attended Central State College. Robert served in the U. S. Army and was stationed in Germany.
The Hamiltons, after living in Bentonville for a few years, built a home in Hiwasse in 1973. They are active members of the Hiwasse Church of the Nazarene where they were married in 1964. Robert currently serves as treasurer and Geneva has served in various positions including church secretary and Sunday School teacher.
Geneva was chairman of the Hiwasse History Book and Hiwasse Centennial Book committees and co-chairman of the Hiwasse Centennial Celebration committee. She also served as postmaster of the Hiwasse Post Office.
The Hamiltons have been on the board of directors for the Mt. Pleasant Cemetery Association Board of Directors since the early 1990s. Geneva was the Association’s secretary-treasurer for 29 years and Robert, who has served on the Board for 30 years, has mapped gravesite locations and led an effort to beautify the cemetery. They were involved in the Avenue of Flags project that was completed in February of 1996 and dedicated a few months later on Memorial Day. Robert was also a member of the Hiwasse Volunteer Fire Department.
Fond memories of past community events include Little League and Babe Ruth baseball league games, Hiwasse Halloween Carnivals held in the school gym (now the Hiwasse Community Building), Hiwasse Day, and the Centennial Celebration.
The Hamiltons enjoy traveling and have visited 49 U.S. states as well as several countries in Europe. Their oldest son, Robert Paul, married Amanda (Bates) and they have three children: Koletun, Beau and Reese. Koletun and his wife, Rachel, have two children. Robert and Geneva’s daughter, Marlo, is a Community Engagement Manager at the Northwest Arkansas Children’s Shelter.
Dale Ayers, Sr. will drive the Hamiltons in the parade.
Hiwasse, formerly known as Dickson according to the Hiwasse Centennial Book, was voluntarily annexed into the City of Gravette in 2012.
You can learn more about Gravette Day or sign up to participate in one of the many Gravette Day events at https://www.gravettear.com/ under the 'Events' tab.