Perry Hamilton II

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Perry Elwood Hamilton, II

Birthplace: Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, Ohio, United States
Death: April 28, 2012 (84)
Hilton Head Island, Beaufort County, South Carolina, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Private and Adeline Lillian Hamilton Clapper
Husband of Private User
Ex-husband of Private
Father of Rex Baker Hamilton; Private User; Woody Hamilton; Private User; Bruce Tower Hamilton and 2 others
Brother of Private and Private User

Managed by: Woody Hamilton
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Perry Hamilton II

Obit for Web site

In Memoriam Perry E. Hamilton II

On Saturday April 28th, around noon, Perry Hamilton breathed his last. He was surrounded by his wife and three youngest sons, his brother and his other children still in the air trying to get to him before the last. A cancer survivor for the last six years, he succumbed to complications from chemotherapy.

His experience in the title business spanned some sixty years, beginning as a title examiner at Land Title Guarantee & Trust in Cleveland, while he was attending law school. He graduated from Cleveland-Marshall Law School and was admitted to the bar, but never practiced law, opting instead to stay with the title insurance business. He rose to senior management, as LTG&T was later purchased by Chicago Title. He resisted calls to move to the home office, choosing instead to achieve the life-long goal of becoming president of LTG&T. Later, he accepted a Senior Vice-president position at Chicago Title, and lived in Wheaton IL for several years.

Later, he moved to Hilton Head, SC to found a new firm, Condell and Company (after his mother's maiden name). Their niche was to provide service to title insurance companies--management consulting, publications (Settlement Services Today, and The Condell Private Letter), and producing an annual trade show (“Title Tech”). They published a directory of every title insurance firm in America, the first of its kind. Later, Condell & Co. produced its most progressive and far-reaching initiative, “Fee Simple Hosting,” a plan to greatly increase productivity, greatly reduce expenses, and simplify the entire title insurance industry.

It was his greatest disappointment that his Fee Simple Hosting idea never took off. Perry knew that for the entire industry to accept FSH, the biggest players would first have to be persuaded. But after providing reams of support documentation and personal presentations, only one company gave immediate approval. Two others said they'd go along only if everyone else did, and one company never responded. The fifth, and largest in the industry, rejected the idea from the first--apparently their thinking was that they would be willing to change the way they did business only to improve their own market share, not to benefit the entire industry.

The great expense in materials and man-hours trying to bring FSH to fruition, plus crippling middle-management missteps producing the Title Tech conventions, severely hurt Condell & Co.'s profitability. The company started losing money, more so as it had to shed employees, thus curtailing services further. The once-busy office became quieter as it became emptier. Finally, Perry was working by himself.

He was still publishing SST and CPL, but now was writing every word himself. Most of his readers would have been astonished to learn that these two respected publications were just one guy pounding away on his laptop. He would sometimes accept articles for inclusion, but mostly they were authored by him alone. Over the years, his publications came to be an invaluable source of news, information, analysis, and insight for title companies, real-estate firms, government agencies, and interested parties of all kinds across the nation.

He also authored every word on his two accompanying Web sites. A detailed explanation and supporting documents for the Fee Simple Hosting initiative is published at The Web presence was replaced by when he reorganized Condell & Co. into The Fort Sherman Group. Both Web sites still exist today, though they are now many months out of date.

In about 2005, Perry was diagnosed with cancer, mantle-cell lymphoma. Chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and their accompanying side effects and complications now plagued him constantly. His physicians predicted he had two years to live. So in 2007, his wife and seven (now-grown) children celebrated his 80th birthday with him, and had a laugh at the expense of his medical team.

But the drain on him was taking its toll. Perry had stopped publishing Settlement Services Today and concentrated all his efforts on the Condell Private Letter. He started a long article, serialized over many issues of CPL, that was a point-by-point recounting of the failed attempt to gain traction with the Fee Simple Hosting idea. Eventually he started falling behind on his publication schedule. The chemotherapy had damaged his nervous system to the point that he could barely walk. Still he worked—and even traveled, trying to rescue the Fee Simple Hosting initiative. Finally in March he was bedridden by an unshakable case of pneumonia, and quietly departed from this world in April, surrounded by family.

I (his son, Perry III, known as “Woody”) have always been struck by how little interested he was in taking personal credit for his accomplishments. I don't believe his name appeared on the masthead or as a byline for any of his print publications. I know he has never named himself anywhere on his Web sites. In the series of articles about the FSH misfires (a series he often referred to privately as his “Little Dorrit” story, after the Charles Dickens novel of that name, serialized in the London newspapers some 150 years ago), he referred to himself simply as “the lead man.” As the end of life was approaching, I had several times recommended that he reveal to his audience the “man behind the curtain,” and talk about himself a bit. He agreed it might be “close” to that time, but never got it done before he passed away.

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Perry Hamilton II's Timeline

July 22, 1927
Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, Ohio, United States