The People Who Care


OBITUARY - Sterling Hampton, Jr.

Service Info

Service Date & Time
Tuesday, Oct 11, 2016 at 11:00 AM

The Grove Community Church
19900 Grove Community Drive
Riverside, CA 92508

later date (Oct. 17)
Riverside National Cemetery
22495 Van Buren Blvd.
Riverside, CA 92518

In Loving Memory of Sterling Hampton, Jr.

June 18, 1935 - September 30, 2016

Sterling Hampton, Jr. was born in Banks, Arkansas on June 18, 1935. He was the middle child born to the union of Dotsie Belin Hampton and Sterling Hampton, Sr., who preceded him in death. His younger brother, Thornton Hampton also preceded him in death.

He married the love of his life, Etta Mae Dixon on October 30, 1960. Through this union, four children were born, Sterling Hampton III, Diane Hampton, Vincent Hampton and Tracy Hampton.

As a young man, he pursued a career in entertainment as a singer and traveled across the United States with his best friend, Johnny Guitar Watson to many entertainment venues where they performed together. During their travels, they would associate with many of the all-time great Blues, Rock 'n' Roll and Soul Music stars, such as Sam Cooke, Jesse Belvin, Etta James, The Medallions and members of the Drifters, among many others. He was also a songwriter and had once written the radio theme jingle for the famed Dolphins of Hollywood record shop in Los Angeles. His singing career was cut short when he was drafted by the United States Armed Forces during the late 1950s.

Mr. Hampton served in the United States Army as a logistics support heavy truck driver and was responsible for the prompt, safe delivery of ordnance, fuel and other vital military supplies. During a one-year tour of duty in South Korea, he was selected as United Nations Korean Peninsula Region Soldier of the Year. After fulfilling his service obligation, he returned home to civilian life in Los Angeles.

Upon returning home, Mr. Hampton embarked on a 51 year career in public transportation where he started work as a mechanic in one of the vast motor pools of the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transit District. Within just a couple of years, he was hired by the company, at that time newly renamed as the Southern California Rapid Transit District, as Bus Operator. Again, he was tasked with the prompt, safe daily delivery of citizens to and from their destinations or transitions, often during adverse conditions. He regularly drove the 212 route on Crenshaw Boulevard, between Inglewood and Hollywood and, as testament to his wisdom, patience and overall skill as a bus operator, he was selected to perform the additional duty as Line Instructor. In 1996, Mr. Hampton was recognized as the Los Angeles Region MTA Operator of the Year. It should be noted that, at the time of this award, he had never taken time away from assignment due to sickness in more than thirty years on the job and had never had a preventable traffic collision during this period while on duty.

During the 1970's Mr. Hampton was a Little League, Inc. volunteer coach, leading his two teams to first-place finishes in both years. He also made regular contributions to the United Way and the Boys and Girls Club.

Sterling Hampton, Jr. leaves to cherish his memory, his wife, Etta Hampton, sons Sterling Hampton III, Vincent Hampton and Darryl Hampton; two daughters Diane Hampton and Tracy Hampton. He is also survived by his sister, Gerthreen Hampton Smith and brother in-law, Andrew W. Smith, of Los Angeles. He had another daughter, Karen Hampton, who preceded him in death. He had seven grandchildren, two great-grandchildren and two nieces, Sue Harris, of Lancaster, California and Pamela Johnson, of Los Angeles, and a host of other nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.

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Message from Family

The family of Mr. Sterling Hampton, Jr. would like to thank you for the many acts of loving kindness shown to us during our bereavement. Your thoughtfulness is deeply appreciated and will always be remembered.  

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With three locations to serve you, Harrison-Ross Mortuary has always been a community leader in funeral and cremation services. At each location, our staff are trained to patiently assist you in arranging such a very important occasion. Harrison-Ross Mortuary will help your family through tough emotional times with compassionate service. We are family owned and operated, and our number one goal is to make this difficult time easier on you and your loved ones.

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