Harold C. Hamilton
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Harold C. Hamilton
He graduated from Old Town High School in 1969, Elmhurst College in 1973, and the University of Maine School of Law in 1976. He practiced law in Bangor for many years, always working in a small practice with colleagues who were his best friends then and remained his closest buddies until the day he died. On December 30, 2018, Harold died at home with his wife Peg and daughter Megan by his side, and his dog Wallace sitting on his bed.
So why does a guy from Stillwater, Maine, maintain three residences in two countries? As retirement approached in 2014 Harold began making plans to sell the house in Bangor and locate a new winter abode, free of ice and snow. He loaded up Wallace and began his epic road trip down the eastern seaboard, from Bangor to Key West. In the southeast, he mostly followed Highway 17. Harold made a blog entry each day about the towns he visited (travelswithwallie.blogspot.com). When he reached the Low Country and found Edisto Beach, he announced he had found the place. In Edisto, Harold found a southern sanctuary where he and his wife could indulge their shared love of history and live surrounded by island people with a sense of place, who know how to tolerate those "from away" even if they are "cum'yuhs" rather than "bin'yuhs" in the traditional Gullah dialect. The relatively undeveloped barrier island located on a sand spit on the St. Helena Sound lured him almost, but not quite as much as his summer island camp on a granite outcropping overlooking the Bay of Fundy. His spirits always soared when he crossed the bridge to either of the islands.
Although he spent most of his retirement on the Atlantic coast, Harold kept a small Bangor presence because of a saying that FDR, a man he admired, popularized in the 1930s, reminding us that taxes are the price we pay for living in a civilized society. Harold felt that he owed much to the State of Maine, where he grew up, obtained an incredible and reasonably-priced legal education, and became the husband and father he was, and where he would ultimately one day return. For Harold, it was right and proper that he pay his taxes to the State he loved most.
November 2016 is a month that "will live in infamy" for many reasons, not the least of which was Harold's first diagnosis of cancer. Even as he realized the end was near, the fall of 2018 brought solace in many ways. In October, he saw his beloved Red Sox win another World Series championship. He loved going to a baseball game, whether it was the Boston Red Sox, the Charleston River Dogs, the Portland Sea Dogs, or the Maine Black Bears. In November, he saw his law school classmate and long-time friend elected governor of the State of Maine. And in December, he got to spend Christmas at the beach with his wife and daughter. It was a good run at the end.
Harold is survived by his wife of 40 years, Margaret Kravchuk; his daughter, Megan Hamilton, currently of Taipei, Taiwan; his mother, Marion Hamilton, currently of Woodbridge, Connecticut; and three siblings, Faith Griffith of Bangor, Steve Hamilton and family, including his nephew, Brooks Hamilton of Gorham, Maine; and Pennell Hamilton and family, including his niece, Marion Hamilton of Woodbridge. As his sister has said, Harold was a man of few words, but when he spoke it behooved you to pay attention. This fact explains why all three siblings to various degrees have joined with him in winter migration to Edisto.
If you wish to do something in Harold's memory, take a walk in the woods, enjoy the sound of the waves crashing at the beach, or donate to your favorite charity in his name. Next summer his family and friends will be invited to a celebration of life on Campobello, the island he loved.
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