2017-02-10 / Obituaries

William Hamill

William Dette Hamill of Yarmouth, died on Jan. 30, 2017 at the age of 85. He was the son of James Fairfax Hamill and Esther Dette Hamill of Greenwich, Connecticut, and New York City. Bill was born in Greenwich, Connecticut on Nov. 1, 1931 and grew up in Walpole, New Hampshire.

Bill was educated at Hackley School in Tarrytown, New York; University of New Hampshire (forestry); Harvard Business School (advanced management program) and University of Tulsa (geology).

Bill joined the 2nd Infantry Battalion, Marine Corp Reserve in Boston. The battalion was activated at the outbreak of the Korean War in July 1950.

In early 1955, Bill met Elizabeth Sherwood Picking in Boston and they were married later that year at the First Parish Church in Portland. They later moved from Boston to Maine, ultimately settling in Falmouth to raise their five children.

Bill was first and foremost an entrepreneur venturing into an array of businesses, many of which were real estate oriented. He was active in the greater Portland community where he pursued both his civic and business interests including serving on three committees and as chairman of two on behalf of the town of Yarmouth, he also served on the board of the Yarmouth Historical Society as its chairman.

Bill was a passionate supporter of the arts. He shared his excitement for art with everyone through his collections, as a board member and chairman of the Portland Museum of Art and as a personal friend and collector of many artists throughout Maine and elsewhere.

One of his favorite things to do was visit artist’s studios and galleries with his wife, Mary Louise. Together, they would drive all day to visit artists in different parts of the state, to see where they worked and what they had in progress. His interest for many Maine artists provided early support to help make their creative dreams come to fruition.

Travel was another of Bill’s many interests and passions. His travels were centered around art, history and culture. Bill’s sense of community and love of art and travel have all culminated in the donation of several collections he and Mary Louise made to the Portland International Jetport. Bill wanted to share his love of art with travelers arriving in or departing from Portland so they too could be uplifted by beautiful sculptures that would make their travel experience more inspiring and enjoyable.

In his children and his community, Bill instilled an appreciation for art, design, travel and history. His legacy will live on in his family and in the artists and countless other people that he encountered throughout his long life.

Bill was predeceased by his brother, James Fairfax Hamill, and his first wife, Elizabeth Sherwood Hamill.

In addition to his wife, Mary Louise Norton Hamill, Bill is survived by his brother, Thomas Fairfax Hamill, of Santa Fe, New Mexico; his five children, Susan Knight Hamill of Cumberland Foreside, Sherwood Neal Hamill and his wife Angela of Portland, Elizabeth Rice Hamill and her husband Trevor of Falmouth, Anne Fairfax Hamill and her husband Steven, and their children Finn and Charlotte, of Salt Lake City, Utah, William Dette Hamill III and his children Alanna and Marin, and their mother, Stacey, of Park City, Utah. He also is survived by his niece, Lisa Hamill of North Carolina and his stepson Andrew Norton and his partner Julie.

The family wishes to give heartfelt thanks to the staff of Huntington Common in Kennebunk who provided Bill with wonderful care as well as the staff of VNA Hospice of Portland.

Visitation was Tuesday, Feb. 7 at Bibber Memorial Chapel, Kennebunk.

A memorial mass was celebrated Wednesday, Feb. 8 at Holy Spirit Parish, St. Martha’s Catholic Church, 30 Portland Road, Kennebunk .

Should friends desire, a memorial donation in Bill’s name may be made to The Portland Museum of Art, 7 Congress Square, Portland, ME 04101.

To share a memory or leave a message of condolence, please visit Bill’s Book of Memories Page at www.bibberfuneral.com.

Arrangements are in care of Bibber Memorial Chapel, Kennebunk.

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