Jim was born in Plymouth, Massachusetts, the son of Marjorie and Harold Hamilton. He attended Williston Northampton School and Dartmouth College and received a masters degree in graphic arts under the tutelage of Alex Nesbitt at Southern Massachusetts University.
Jim had a long and productive career as a printing salesman for Nimrod Press, which later became part of Universal Printing. Well known in the printing industry of New England, he was a longtime member of the Society of Printers from whom he received the Benjamin Franklin Award for distinguished service in 1996. He was a member for many years of PINE, Printing Industries of New England, and chaired their scholarship program.
With boundless energy and enthusiasm, Jim generously gave of his time and creative talents to many organizations. He served on the board of trustees of Williston Northampton School from 1979 to 1989. Committed to his community and appreciative of anyone and anything with a story to tell, he worked on countless projects for the Cohasset Conservation Trust and the Cohasset Town History Committee. His artistic skills, cunning wit and feelings about small town political issues were on display weekly in the cartoons he submitted for the Cohasset Mariner. He thoroughly enjoyed his membership in the Old Goats of Cohasset where he could share his gift for the gab and loyalty to his town.
Jim was a longtime member of the First Parish Cohasset Unitarian Universalist Church. Jim was a sailor, a fly-fisherman and a gifted gardener known for his ever-expanding rows of vegetables and the pleasure he derived from working on his property. He delighted in driving his restored vintage jeeps around town. But of his many interests and pursuits, his greatest passions were the White Mountains of New Hampshire and the Appalachian Mountain Club where he worked summers as a young man at Greenleaf Hut and Zealand Falls Hut. Jim was a lifelong member of the club and served on its Board of Advisors and as a member of the Board of Directors there. Following retirement, he delighted in a second career in development for the AMC. He was a proud member of the Old Hutmans Association. He rejuvenated and edited for many years the OH Resuscitator newsletter.
Above all, Jim was a devoted family man. He leaves his wife of 48 years, Laurie (Goodwin) Hamilton; his two daughters, Sarah Hamilton Barringer and Jill Hamilton Yates, and their spouses, Scott Barringer and Robert Yates; his four grandchildren, Harold and Evelyn Barringer and George and Henry Yates, as well as his sister, June Withington, and her husband, Nuff, and many nieces and nephews whom he loved dearly; most especially, Mikio and Naomi Aoki with whom he had a very special relationship.