James Edward Hamilton Sr., 89: veteran, history buff
BATH — James Edward Hamilton Sr., 89, of Bath, died Nov. 27 with his family by his side. He was born on Great Chebegue Island on Oct. 20, 1923, the son of Ray and Mildred (Turner) Hamilton. He grew up on the island and graduated from Chebegue Island High School.
In 1951, he married his best friend, Beverly Denham, and the couple resided in Bath to raise their family.
Hamilton was a civil service worker for the U.S. Navy after high school, refueling ships on Long Island. Later, he worked for Bath Iron Works as a ship fitter, and as a maintenance worker at Hyde School, retiring in 1985.
Known to everyone as Papa, he had a deep love for history. While working at BIW, he collected hats from each ship that was sailed out of the yard. That ship's history usually became the topic of the day at the South Gate Restaurant, where he would sit and talk with his friends for hours.
Nothing meant more to Hamilton than his family, and he loved spending time with them. He also cherished sharing time on Chebegue each summer.
Hamilton was a member of the Woolwich-Wiscasset Baptist Church and the Corliss Street Baptist Church.
He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Beverly Mildred (Denham) Hamilton; four daughters, Cathy “CJ” Bilodeau and her husband, Gary, of Durham, Linda Leighton, of Emerson, N.J., Lori Larochelle, of Bath, and Tammy Shirley, of Bath; a son, James E. Hamilton Jr., of Brunswick; a sister, Beverly Louise Hamilton Parson Stepler, of Chambersburg, Pa.; 11 grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; one great-great-granddaughter, and several nieces and nephews
In lieu of flowers, the family has requested memorial donations. If you would like to make a donation in his name, please send it to: Paw in the Door, c/o Wags & Whiskers, 176 Front St., Bath, ME 04530 or online at www.pawinthedoor.org.
A funeral was held Dec. 1, at the David E. Desmond & Son Funeral Home, 638 High St., Bath. Interment will be held on Chebegue in the spring.
To share your thoughts and condolences with the family, please visit www.desmondfuneralhomes.com.