By Nicole Hamilton
The Cincinnati Enquirer
Robert Neil "Bob" Hampton regarded the people who worked for his company, Midwest Container Corp., as family, even if they weren't related by blood.
His son, Robert, worked with him. As did his daughter, Nancy, and her husband, Barry Ludwig.
As the Fairfield-based company grew and hired more employees, the circle got larger until it became like one large extended family.
"Everyone knew - even competitors - that they meant a lot to Bob," said Mike Brunst, his friend and partner in Midwest Container.
"He was just an amazing man," said his daughter Nancy Ludwig, who lives in downtown Cincinnati, "He kept (the company) a real family environment and centered it around morals. He had the highest of ethics."
Mr. Hampton died Thursday at Bel-Wood Country Club in Morrow, Ohio, of a heart attack. The longtime Loveland resident, who moved to Maineville 10 years ago, was 59.
Born and raised in Salyersville, Ky., Mr. Hampton graduated from the local high school and attended Cumberland College in Williamsburg, Ky., for one year.
He then moved to Cincinnati, where he worked during the day driving a truck for Pepsi Bottling Co. while attending classes at the University of Cincinnati at night - in addition to helping raise his young children.
Mr. Hampton earned his bachelor's degree in business administration from UC in 1971. He began his career in the packaging industry, first as a salesman at Midwest Specialty in Fairfield, where he eventually became a sales manager.
He worked at Corrugated Packaging as sales manager and later held the same position at Jefferson Smurfit, where he worked for about five years.
Mr. Hampton opened the Fairfield-based Midwest Container - a supplier of corrugated cartons - with his friend Mike Brunst, in 1991.
"He did everything," said his son, Don Hampton of Chicago. "He hired all the staff, kept track of the books, he even ran the machines sometimes."
"He had a tough exterior," his son said. "But he had a tremendously generous heart."
Besides his daughter and two sons, other survivors include his wife of 39 years, Barbara Clark Hampton of Maineville; a brother, Donald of Lexington; and four grandchildren.
The service will be at 11 a.m. today , at Liberty Heights Baptist Church, 9180 Cincinnati-Columbus Road, West Chester.
Burial will be in Rose Hill Cemetery, Mason.
Memorials can be made to American Diabetes Association of Southwest Ohio, 8899 Brookside Ave., Suite 102, West Chester, 45069, or to Matthew 25:Ministries, 1425 Loveland Madeira Road, Loveland, 45140.
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