Wade L. Hampton, Sr.
Wade Lee Hampton, Sr., well known to the community of Claremont through his business, Hampton’s Meats and Deli, once located inside Wolfe’s Market, died on June 18, 2012 after fighting renal cell carcinoma for a year. Mr. Hampton’s involvement in the grocery and business industries spanned close to 30 years.
The son of Russell and Janice Hampton, owners and operators of the first grocery store in Diamond Bar, Mr. Hampton began by stocking shelves as a young teenager, followed by working as a cashier.
Learning the craft of meat cutting from his father, Mr. Hampton first came to Claremont at age 17 to practice his trade inside of Wolfe’s Market where his father had been working after his entrepreneurial endeavors in Diamond Bar.
Continuing to hone his expertise, Mr. Hampton secured a business loan from his grandfather at age 24 and purchased the meat market section of Wolfe’s to call his own. Thus began Hampton’s Meats and Deli, which, over the years, became synonymous with high-quality meats and delicatessen products.
“Wade had a passion for his business and his craft of meat cutting,” said his wife, Megan Hampton, who worked in the business’ office for 12 years. Mr. Hampton’s stepson, Matt McDonald, also participated in the family business, working on holidays and in between sports seasons while attending Claremont High School (CHS).
A firm believer in supporting the community, Mr. Hampton was involved with many CHS activities including serving as president of the football boosters and as vice president of the Dugout Club boosters from 2000 to 2003. His love of football propelled his involvement in raising funds for Claremont to have its own state-of-the-art football stadium.
Through Hampton’s Meats and Deli, Mr. Hampton and his wife contributed to numerous school fundraisers and donated many gift certificates and products. Mr. Hampton also made donations to the Claremont Colleges, the Joslyn Senior Center, Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center, the city of Claremont, Light of Hope, the League of Women Voters, Casa Colina, House of Ruth, Greenpeace, the Pomona Valley Humane Society due to his great love of animals and numerous other charities in the community. Most gratifying for him was volunteering his time to prepare food for the homeless and donating products for people in need during the holidays and long after.
After closing Hampton’s Meats and Deli in 2002, Mr. Hampton went to work for a Boar’s Head product distributor, covering a large territory in southern California. He established training programs in the delicatessen section of high-end markets and worked with employees to improve their customer service and management skills. Ms. Hampton noted that one of the best parts of the job for her husband was working with small, independent delis—the “little guys.”
“He wanted to help them grow and be successful,” she said.
After a period with Boar’s Head, Mr. Hampton made an exit off of the crowded southern California freeways and went to work for GMC of Ontario where he worked as a director of operations. Although a brand new field for him, the fact that he was able to work in many different facets of the business brought him great satisfaction. His last place of employment was with Vitasource, a vitamin supplement company in Rancho Cucamonga with which he conducted research and assisted with business growth: another new venture that he loved.
Mr. Hampton is survived by his wife, Megan Hampton of Upland; his stepson, Matt McDonald of Upland; his 3 children, Nichole Augustynowicz of Wisconsin, Ashleigh Franke of Michigan and Wade Hampton, Jr. of Indiana; his sister, Debbie Mederios of Rancho Cucamonga; his grandchildren, Morgan, Eathen, Carlie and Devan Augustynowicz; his nieces, Heather Paz, Pina Seiters Estes, Kimberly Medeiros, Julianna and Marissa Stoap and Devan Ponce; his nephews, Christopher Mederios and Cody Ponce; and the large extended Ponce family.
A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, July 10, 2012 at Life Bible Fellowship Church, 2426 N. Euclid Ave., Upland.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to a foundation established at City of Hope in memory of Mr. Hampton. To donate by phone, please call 866-683-4673; or donate online at www.cityofhope.organ. When making your donation, please specify that your contribution is in honor of Wade Hampton and for renal cell carcinoma research.