Barbara Ann Hamilton

CHEBEAGUE ISLAND - Barbara Ann Hamilton, 78, passed away on Dec. 22, 2017, in Portland, surrounded by family. She was born in Waltham, Mass., on May 28, 1939, to Frederick and Eileen (Southern) Symonds. She graduated from Natick High School and the Chandler School for Women, in Boston, Mass.

Barbara was predeceased by her husband of 49 years, Rodney Hamilton; parents; sister Marilyn Hall; and brother Douglas Symonds. She is survived by her son, Douglas, and his wife Michele, of Windham; daughter, Debra, and her husband Raymond Mileson, of South Portland; eight grandchildren and step-grandchildren, Aaron, Sam and Ted Hamilton, Marc, Lauren and Alexis Reynolds, and Sarah and Brad Mileson; in-laws, Audrey Collins, of Chebeague; Theron Hamilton, of North Yarmouth; Sylvia Ross, of Chebeague; Joyce and Robert Burns, of Yarmouth; and Dr. John Hall, of Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Barbara met and fell in love with her future husband, Rodney, when her parents summered on Chebeague Island before purchasing a home and retiring to the island. Rodney's island roots became Barbara's as well. After marrying and moving off the island, living in Portland and later Cumberland for nearly 30 years, they frequently came back to visit family and vacation. She and Rodney built a cottage on her parent's property, where they spent much time together. Some of their children's fondest memories are of summers camping and exploring Chebeague. After purchasing her parents' home and after Rodney's retirement, they moved permanently back to the island -- their favorite place in the world.

Barbara worked at many jobs over the years, but all came in second to her primary job as Mom. Her work included waitressing at Deering Ice Cream restaurant, assistant teacher in the Cumberland North Yarmouth school system, and secretarial work at L.L.Bean and The Metro (Greater Portland Transit District). While her children were in college, Barbara started her own business creating and selling "blueberry" baskets to fine shops from Bar Harbor to Nantucket. She and Rodney enjoyed traveling and sightseeing while visiting with clients throughout New England.

For 14 years "in retirement," Barbara was the Chebeague Golf Club manager. She took great pride in keeping a clean, tidy, well-run shop and greeting members and visitors at the historic club.

Barbara enjoyed hosting family and her many friends and visitors -- setting up, baking and cooking, and providing -- she loved it. Her 4th of July preparations were legendary and her family has many great memories, all thanks to Bammie. She loved to tell people all about her eight grandchildren -- she was so proud of each one. She cherished time with friends and family…and was sure to give her opinion on whatever was being discussed and once in a while could be swayed to another view, but not often(!).

In Cumberland, Barbara was active in Ladies' Extension; and on Chebeague, Barbara was active in both the Ladies' Aid and the Chebeague Historical Society. For a number of years, she was the editor of the monthly Chebeague Newsletter.

Barbara was a collector of sea glass, heart rocks, books, and brass candlesticks; and her many hobbies included cooking, gardening, knitting/crocheting, and painting and listening to music.

Life is different on an island -- Barbara appreciated the support and closeness that Chebeaguers provided.

The family expresses a special thank you to the following: Chebeague Fire and Rescue, VNA Hospice staff, Mercy Hospital Wound Care Specialists, Dr. Steven Dobieski and staff and the doctors and nurses in the CICU at MMC -- all of your efforts and care are greatly appreciated.

A celebration of Barbara's life will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 30, 2017, at the Chebeague Methodist Church. Arrangements are entrusted to
A.T. Hutchins Funeral Home.
To share a memory or condolence, please visit:

Contributions may be made to:
Chebeague Island Fire and Rescue, or Chebeague Ladies' Aid