Hamiltons celebrate 50-year partnership of love and business
Thursday, March 19, 2020
Jim and Rosalyn Hamilton have the secrets -- to owning a successful, longtime business and to enjoying happiness in love, too.
The couple -- known to generations of Miami Lakers who have visited their Miami Lakes Sports Shop, established in 1973 in the Cypress Village shopping center before moving to Main Street in 1986 -- celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on Feb. 14.
When asked how their marriage has lasted so long, Rosalyn Hamilton, 72, said communication with her husband is important, as is approaching life as a team.
“We talk a lot and are on the same page in life and in how to run our business,” she said.
Said Jim Hamilton, 75, “I listen to everything she says.”
Then he added how marriage has taught him how to be a supportive spouse.
“Personally, I have a wonderful partner in life, and that means not only are you responsible for yourself, but for your partner as well,” he said. “Responsibility in a marriage makes you a better person.”
The couple celebrated their golden anniversary with their three adult children, their spouses and nine grandchildren and family friends at Shula’s Steak House in Miami Lakes.
Son Jimmy Hamilton and his wife Barbara Hamilton live in Miami Lakes with their three kids.
Daughter Maureen LeSerra and her husband Joe LeSerra and their three children live in Tallahassee, and son John Hamilton and his wife
Georgia Hamilton and their three children from
Jacksonville all surprised Jim and Rosalyn for the anniversary weekend.
“We enjoy being grandparents,” said Jim.
Children in town have also benefitted from his support at The Optimist Club of Miami Lakes, where he’s been a member since 1973.
The Hamiltons met back in 1967, when Jim needed a date for a business banquet.
He was all set to go on a blind date with Rosalyn’s identical twin, Marilyn
But Marilyn had to cancel at the last minute and luckily for Jim, Rosalyn was available.
“They both looked just alike, and I couldn’t tell them apart,” Jim said. “But everything worked out.”
But after that first date, Jim and Rosalyn didn’t see much of each other: Rosalyn traveled as a flight attendant for Eastern Airlines and Jim was on the road, too, as an oil sales representative for the company that later became Exxon.
“He went one way and I went the other,” Rosalyn said.
But fate intervened when they bumped into each other two years later at the Orange Bowl, during a University of Miami football game.
Jim bought an engagement ring from Snow’s Jewelers when it was still in Hialeah and proposed during a restaurant dinner in October, 1969.
They took their vows four months later at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Hialeah.
The bride was 22, the groom was 25.
Their one-night honeymoon was at the Miami Lakes Country Club, which became
Shula’s Golf Club.
Rosalyn’s ties to town are longer than Jim’s: she grew up in Miami Lakes with her mother, Billie Anne Murphy, who worked as a commercial leasing agent for The Graham Companies.
Rosalyn said while in high school, she babysat for daughters of Adele Graham and Bob Graham, the former Florida governor and former U.S. senator.
The Hamiltons bought their first townhome in the 1970s, on Crooked Palm Lane in Lake Martha.
In 1988, they purchased a four-bedroom house in the Lake Elizabeth community.
“We have been living there for 32 years,” Jim said. “It’s one of the best communities in Miami Lakes.”
They decided to start their own business and opened the sports shop.
Jim said Rosalyn is the face of the business, greeting customers in the front of the store while he stocks sporting equipment and checks inventory.
He also delivers gear and team uniforms to area high schools.
“I’m behind the scenes and customers see her running the business from the front of the store,” he said.
Daughter-in-law Barbara Hamilton also works at the store.
The elder Hamiltons said they are not retiring any time soon.
“We love working,” Jim said. “We’ll be working for 20 more years.”
And their love story?
“Still moving forward,” Jim said with a smile.