Obituary of Thomas H Hamilton
The above link will become "active" when the service begins (at approx. 1:30 on Monday, April 27th).
Thomas H. Hamilton, a lifelong resident of the City of Woburn, passed away on April 23rd. Surrounded and cared for by his family, in the home in which he was born, Tom was ninety years of age.
Tom was proud to call Woburn his home. He worked in and/or for the city for most of his life and belonged to a number of its fraternal and service organizations. He was friendly, gregarious, and therefore known by many throughout the city. Tom seemed to make friends wherever he went, whether it be his newest next door neighbor, the gym, Dunkin’ Donuts, Lowe’s, or just people walking by his house on their way to the pond.
Tom went through the Woburn school system, but left prematurely at the age of 17 to enlist in the Marine Corp at the end of World War II. He served honorably and was discharged at the rank of corporal. Tom carried his love of the Marine Corp with him wherever he went, literally. He almost always wore a USMC t-shirt, sweatshirt, or hat and carried Marine Corp magnets in his car that he handed out to anyone who expressed interest. Tom eventually did receive his Woburn High School diploma when he graduated with his granddaughter in 2007.
Tom drove a cab when he left the service and tried to pick up the love of his life, Harriet, in 1951. While initially snubbed, Tom finally worked his way into her heart and they were married in 1954. Tom and Harriet raised three children and many cats in their 66 years of marriage.
Tom worked in many capacities for the City of Woburn – as a mechanic, garage supervisor, and street sweeper in the Department of Public Works; a clerk in the Engineering Department; and upon retirement at the Senior Center and Woodbrook Cemetery. Despite taking a stroke in December, he was looking forward to nicer weather so he could get back to work at the Woodbrook.
Tom spent many years boating on the Parker River in Rowley and camping at the Rusnik Campground in Salisbury. While he enjoyed his vacations and weekends up north, he loved returning to Woburn. Here, he spent his retirement years working in his garden, going from yard sale to yard sale, and restoring old furniture and other antiques. There was almost nothing that Tom couldn’t fix. He was a true Jack of all trades. He did much of his restoration work and entertaining in his barn, where he held court.
More than anything, Tom was a true home body who enjoyed spending time with his family. He was the source of much love and laughter. Always quick with a quip, advice, or shoulder to lean on, he was beloved by his wife, children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and Spider (his favorite feline).
Tom was the beloved husband of Harriet (Marinacci) for 66 years. He was the loving father of Jane Hamilton and her spouse Mary Grenham, Mary Marconnot and her husband Vinny, and Thomas Hamilton and his companion Shirley Murray, all of Woburn. Tom was the very proud grandfather of Douglas and Aran Hamilton-Grenham, Alicia Frink, and Ariana and Rachelle Marconnot; and great grandfather of Kenley, Braden, and Mila Frink. He also leaves his dear friend Fred Russell of Wilmington and is survived by many nieces, nephews, and friends. Tom was predeceased by his parents, Alfred and Viola (Maynard), and by his siblings, Leland Hamilton and Isabelle “Pat” Amico. In keeping with restrictions caused by COVID-19, burial is private. For the obituary, video tribute, and obituary see www.sullivanfuneralhome.net
Papa’s Eulogy April 28, 2020
Papa was a people person, a guy’s guy, a tough guy...a marine (always wearing a sweatshirt that said it proudly), and an overall goof. He’d make friends with just about anyone, always cracking jokes, smiling, making silly face, and let us not forget all those crazy hats...he made everyone feel at ease and they loved him for it. Papa knew the value of a good strong handshake (ya know, the kind that leaves your hand throbbing for the next five minutes)…this was something he taught his grandsons early on…the importance of being invested in the conversation and the person you’re speaking with. That’s the beautiful thing about papa, he was always invested. Invested in his work or latest projects, his friends (invested in his enemies-won’t mention any names), his family, his CATS, and most importantly the love of his life….my nana. Boy did he love her. I’ve heard the story countless times of how long he pursued her and how many times she shut him down…I mean if that’s not ‘investing’ in someone I don’t know what is. He finally got the date…and the kiss, only for her to say, “I hope you’re satisfied”. I think that should have been a pretty clear indicator of how the rest of their lives were going to go. Her telling him he’s a slob, and him telling her she should haunt houses on the weekend. If that’s not true love, then what is. Papa was so good to her, and she to him…he would surprise her with projects around the house or a new piece of jewelry and nana would agree to give him all the dollar bills in her wallet at the end of the day…seems like a pretty fair exchange if you ask me. Speaking of dollar bills...papa would do anything for a buck. Collecting cans, Cleaning up the cemetery, and his latest job title…laundry folder. He loved doing uncle toms laundry…in fact it was something he was proud of…looking back I think his favorite part of it all was being able to see uncle tom when he’d drop it off and pick it up. He loved you uncle tom. Some of his fondest memories were watching you at your sporting events whether it was hockey, baseball, and boxing… “Boy was he tough” he’d always say. I always knew if you and Shirley had taken them out to eat or stopped by, he’d always be sure to mention it. It meant the world to him. Speaking of going out to eat, that reminds me of one of his other favorite things. Going to breakfast at aunties on the weekends. It became a routine ever since the boys were little. He’d do a drive by in the morning and if he saw the light on, he knew it was safe to come inside. if no light was on, he’d leave a “calling card” …could be a DD cup, napkin, or pen…just to let you know he had been by. He loved spending time with them and creating special memories...oh and the food… He’d rave about those eggs, as if nobody else in the world could make eggs as good as you guys. His kids were his everything and he was like a peacock whenever he had his family around. Always bragging about them or showing them off to anyone who would listen. His favorite place to display us all was up at Rusnik Campground where he spent many summers with nana. The trip up there always included Fred Astaire’s soundtrack, a meal at the Hungry Traveler, and a trip around the entire campground stopping at every site to introduce us to everyone. I’m sure at the time we all felt the same…like oh god nobody cares how “great” we are…but I think we can all agree now it was because he loved us all so so much. My family was lucky enough to live with him, a true blessing in hindsight. Memories of family meals, putting on performances, homemade frappes, and our favorite…playing the slot machine. Nana wanted us to follow in her footsteps clearly. But if any one of us hit the jackpot papa would be sure to tell us “the machine is broken” you think we would have caught on after a while, but nooo we were satisfied with the 2 quarters he’d send us home with. While we are on the topic of gambling…papa loved scratch tickets but what he loved more than scratch tickets was who he was scratching them with…that was all part of the fun. Freddie…. papa’s best friend. Friends since papa worked in the city engineer’s office. One of the first days papa was working with Freddie he asked him if he ever went for coffee. Shortly after the two of them grabbed coffee, and they’ve been having coffee together ever since. Every Saturday, 2 scratch tickets and a coffee from dunks. The two of them would sit and talk…papa might even have a few chores for him to do and Freddie was always anxious to help. Two people that truly cared and loved for one another, he was lucky to have you. And I know you feel the same about him. Speaking of gambling, once a year nana and papa, and my mom and dad would take their annual trip to Foxwoods (nanas second home) He was always good for some fun and laughs. It was something they all looked forward to each year because it got them away from the day to day schedule. Papa loved being around his family and friends, especially around the holidays. If he wasn’t celebrating with us, he was usually dropping off candies to his girlfriends at the gym, Dunkin Donuts, or the doctor’s office, he was a harmless flirt. Every Christmas we would gather around the tree, nana papa the kids, grandkids, great-grandkids, and Denise and papa would hand out all the gifts.it was A tradition we looked forward to every year. A tradition we will miss terribly.
Since I have mentioned the people he loved, I think I would be doing him a disservice if I didn’t mention his love for objects. Aside from his love of ducks, Hess trucks, and bb guns, he had an undying love for other people’s junk. Maybe it was an item he got for cheap at a yard sale, or something broken in a neighbor’s trash. Papa never met a piece of junk he didn’t think would be worth something. Whatever it was he -had to have it- and couldn’t wait to tell anyone who would listen how much he got it for and what he was going to do with it. I think most of us have something he’s pawned off on us or fixed up for us to use in our homes. Most of which is guaranteed to have at least 12 coats of polyurethane. Oh, and let us not forget his love for flags. He loved his country so much he had flags everywhere...I mean would it even be possible to fit one more flag in the front yard. The man couldn’t have enough. Oh, and that reminds me...front yards…how many people do you think walked or drove by his house and said who is that strange man sleeping in the grass…or on the steps…or in the driveway. The man would take a nap anywhere. he was crazy, but he was our crazy. I think the craziness stems from all the times he fell off the ladders we told him not to climb, or the pots and pans and nails he smashed his head on. Blood…there was always blood. And the more you told him to settle down...the more he’d do. God love him. Up until his stroke he was fixing up niknaks, vacuuming cobwebs under the house (I think, we don’t exactly know what he did under there), and organizing his barn. If you needed help with a house project, he was the guy to ask. He was a jack of all trades. And if he didn’t know how to do it he would find someone who did. At 88 years old him and my father were on their hands and knees sanding and painting my deck…a job he insisted on being a part of. Despite their frequent eye rolling behind each other’s backs…they worked well together, and the deck came out great.
Papa lived a good life, an unbelievable 90 years…a birthday we all got to celebrate with him last year. He was married 66 years, raised 3 wonderful kids (and many many cats), walked his niece down the aisle, watched 5 grandchildren grow up, and got to experience the craziness of his 3 great grandchildren who loved him dearly. When asked their favorite memory…when papa would take out his teeth ahhhh. Such a nut. Papa gave us so many gifts throughout his time with us, and he leaves behind a beautiful legacy. How lucky were we to have him this long? I encourage us all to do something that reminds us of him. Maybe it’s put on some Fred Astaire, make some homemade popcorn, get a stain on your sweatshirt, or have that coffee on a Saturday. Papa has left an impact on all of our lives. May we all find comfort in the wonderful memories we’ve shared with him.
Edward V. Sullivan
43 Winn Street
Burlington, MA 01803
Ph: (781) 272-0050