Kenneth Hamilton

CHEBEAGUE ISLAND - Kenneth H. Hamilton, 89, of Chebeague Island, died while resting peacefully at his home at the Island Commons on Sunday, Jan. 3, 2016. He was born on Jan. 11, 1926, on Chebeague Island, one of six children and the eldest child of Ellen (Bennett) Hamilton and Ervin O. Hamilton. He was a proud seventh generation islander.
After graduating from Chebeague Island High School, Kenneth joined the Navy and was stationed on the U.S.S. Corregidor, an escort carrier in Hawaii. He was the first in his family to attend college, graduating from the University of Maine Orono with a bachelor of arts in government. A position as teacher at the Chebeague Island School opened and secured Ken's fate back on the island. He would spend the next 25 years in the classroom. Summers were enjoyed working as a carpenter for a dear friend, Lewis Ross. He loved those years and told many a tale. He later bought his lobster boat, the Jeanette E., and spent the rest of his working summers on the water.

On August 8, 1952, Ken married the woman with whom he would happily spend the rest of his life, Jeanette E. MacVane of Cliff Island. Theirs was a love of mutual adoration, of respect, and of much fun. They raised four children, two girls and two boys, in an island home they made beautiful, a home that would serve as centerpiece to three generations.
Second to his love of family was a love for Chebeague: its people, its land and its history. He spent his whole life protecting it. The Historical Society, the Fire and Rescue, the Coastal Waters Commission, the Sunset Committee, these were just a few of the many organizations he served. He believed in educating the island youth, and helped establish the Stephen Ross Scholarship Fund. He served for 49 years, most of them as president, before passing the torch to his granddaughter, Sarah. He served as Marine Issues Chair during Chebeague's secession in 2007, and made history as the first councilman from Chebeague in the Town of Cumberland. At the time of his death, he was compiling a history of Chebeague Island veterans. He never tired of telling a tale of the good ole days. His life of service to this island was outstanding.

Kenneth worked hard with his hands and his heart. He spoke thoughtfully with pause and truthfully with conviction. His love for Chebeague and love for family were one and the same. He said it best in an email to a granddaughter, expressing his thanks for another wonderful family Christmas: "This family of ours has been so lucky to have all of us close by. I suppose we should thank the magnetic force that Chebeague puts out in all directions to pull us all together. At least I think that is what occurs."

He is survived by his wife, Jeannette; his children, Kendra McKinnon and her husband Ronald of Bowdoinham, Vicki Emery and her husband Clifton of Westford, Mass., Jeffrey Hamilton of Chebeague Island, and Jason Hamilton and his wife Lori of Chebeague Island; and by nine beloved and loving grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren. Kenneth is survived as well by siblings Theron Hamilton of North Yarmouth, Audrey Collins and her husband Richard of Chebeague Island, Sylvia Ross of Chebeague Island, and Joyce Burns and her husband Robert of Yarmouth; and numerous nieces and nephews. Kenneth was predeceased by his brother, Rodney Hamilton, of Chebeague Island.

A celebration of Kenneth's life will be held on Saturday, Jan. 9, 2016, at the Chebeague Island United Methodist Church at 1 p.m., followed by a reception at the Island Hall. Arrangements are under the direction of Lindquist Funeral Home, 1 Mayberry Lane in Yarmouth. Online condolences can be given to the family at:
After retiring as president of the Stephen Ross Scholarship Fund, the Board created the Kenneth Hamilton Education Award to honor his service to the students of Chebeague. This award assists college students entering the field of education.

In lieu of flowers,
donations can be made to the
Stephen Ross Scholarship Fund
c/o Sarah McKinnon Koerber
34 Bluff Head Road
Chebeague Island, Maine 04017
or: c/o The Maine
Community Foundation
245 Main Street
Ellsworth, Maine 04605