James “Jim” Hamilton ’61

HamiltonJames Warren “Jim” Hamilton died Saturday, February 1, 2014 at his home in Cohasset following a brief battle with bladder cancer. He was 71.

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.

12 thoughts on “James “Jim” Hamilton ’61”

  1. What a solid guy.

    Jim was solid with his family, his community, his profession, his avocations, his associations and his friends. He established his routes, he nurtured them and they grew deep. It is a shame this tree was cut down so early, but what a legacy he leaves.

  2. Dan’s so right about Jim’s being a solid guy… in the past day or so since Jim’s death I’ve had communications from a couple dozen of our classmates and, like me, their involvements with Jim during our adult lives was limited to a handful of always memorable, warm, and fun events… for me Jim was boundless, as noted, in his energy and enthusiasm and these were traits that he exhibited as our classmate and leader in sports and extra, extra curricular activities… a very good man and dear friend who’s gone way too soon!

  3. Jim was a unique spirit, full of life and gusto for Williston, the White Mountains, and his innumerable friends. Will we ever forget A Night with Charles Addams? Stein Night? His hilarious antics on the Blue Bird returning from a lacrosse game? His incredible accuracy down the “Bombsite”? His time with a select few of us in the “Kitchen Crew”? It’s so sad to loose one of the good guys but wonderful to have such great memories of him. Rest in peace, Hair, in that great “crump” spot in the sky.

  4. Jim was always one of the good ones.
    We all remember his cartoons in the school paper and yearbook.
    There are fewer tangible “audit trails” for Jim’s leading role in establishing nicknames that stuck, like PoohPooh Clapp and Fudge Fallon and Snuffy Campbell and YukYuk Farnham and so many others.
    Thanks, Jim, for helping us through those long New England winters.

  5. Jim was a great friend, helped us a great deal when we first returned to Williston 1977. He was a good fund raiser and served the school for many years. We will miss him

  6. I had the pleasure of knowing and working with Jim during my years in the development office at Williston. He was an amazing person with boundless energy. He will be missed.

  7. Jim was one of the good ones.
    Of course we all remember Jim’s terrific cartoons in the school paper and year book. There is less of a tangible “audit trail” to prove Jim’s invention/perpetuation of so many nicknames that stuck, like Poo Poo Clapp, Fudge Fallon, Stretch Aldermann, YukYuk Farnham, Formic Fred Thorne. Thanks Jim for helping us all survive those long cold New England winters!

  8. Last but not— least, I will comment on the “Hair”. Since he gave us all knick names at Willie Prep, we gave him his- The “Hair” for Harry Hamilton. I had the dubious pleasure (1?) of rooming with the Hair the first year of Willie Prep/”Stein High” as he often called it. With my predisposition of snuffling with my allergies, I got dubbed the ” Sniffer” by the Hair, and never lived that down until I had a man to man conversation with him (only several years ago), and told him that I ‘was over that’ and had outgrown the allergies, and he never called me Sniffer, again !!

    I remember, well, the antics of The Hair in the room, playing his sister’s Letterman records, the song “Mumbles Jumbles” and gesticulating with his voice and arms to the lyrics and vibes from ShaNaNa and the Vibratones – with his face all screwed up, dancing the ;jig’, with his handkerchief all rolled up in the form of his, now famous, ‘rabbit’- sounds and all (and he wasn’t even in the Glee Club!?).

    One of the more infamous pranks was to pay “Faggs Fallon” back from putting our alarm clock on at all hours of the night and throwing wet willies into our room at night, was for The Hair” to put a pile of books in a waste-pan over the doorway, lying in wait for “The Faggs” to slip around in the wee hours of the evening – and if that happened- the pan and all would fall neatly on his head. Well, “The Faggs” was not the first to visit – in fact, it was Softy Dave (Stevens) from the Head Resident’s apartment. I was duly concerned that “Softy” would trip the pan and end up with a gouge in his head (and we would both be— expelled)(but the pan did not budge). “The Hair” said– not to worry, that Dave’s head was as hard as any New Englander’s and, furthermore, sailors, like Dave, were used to being hit in the head with the “Boom” !?

    Such was “The Hair’s” confidence in any situation, and things usually did work out – to Jim’s great credit. As a result this guy was fearless in sports; at reunions; in pranks; at fundraising; and with people (credit his drawing the “Pin” or Headmaster Phil Stevens riding his motor-scooter, and later that same scooter- up the flag pole on the Quad during ” Stein Night”) – as we all know. I believe it was Jim’s idea to have the “Night with Charles Adams” for our prom theme and to crown the Queen in an electric chair!!

    Jim actually saw us all/saw life as a ‘cartoon’, in ready to act in funny and vagrant ways through his pictures in the Log and Willistonian – Joe LASSSSONE; The “Doc” Phillips; Henry the “Inky” Teller (I believe Jim actually helped Inky’s’s kids re-learn the alphabet and the color chart); and ” Boardy” our official class representative.

    In truth, Jim was actually— the living representative of a ‘cartoon’- constantly’ baying at the moon’ with his off-color comments, antics, and jokes. He was one of a kind, not to be ever replicated, and will be sorely missed by us all in the Class of ’61.

  9. I too remember Jim, although I was sadly deprived of his last two years at Williston (I was class of ’59 and actually graduated with my class to the great surprise of many). My condolences to his family, and to all his ’61 classmates. I just lost a close personal Willie friend two weeks ago to cancer – Bob Hutzler ’58 who was instrumental in starting the fall Williston Wildcat Weekends in Mystic. Too many loved ones are getting taken by this awful disease. RIP, Jim.

  10. I met Jim 20 years ago at a reunion. Aside from our last names, we were linked by our love of fly fishing and a fraternity brother of mine. The man was a former employee, and good friend, of Jim’s. He had tragically killed a 3 year old girl while DUI. We shared remembrances and stories of this remarkable character and his tragic flaws until dawn, in addition to trading lies about our fishing experiences. I will never forget James Hamilton

  11. Jim was a wonderful friend to Williston. His energy and dedication to the school and it’s mission was inspiring. Jim was also a great companion on the Alumni Council and the Board. Jim we will all miss you but the memory of who you were lives on. Mat God a Bless you and your family.

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