GREENSBORO – The Reverend John Willis Hamilton, age 76, died on May 4. Father Hamilton was born on July 27, 1944, in Rutland, the son of the late Willis Carlton and Mary Ellen (Connors) Hamilton. He attended Christ the King and Mount Saint Joseph in Rutland, St. John Vianney Seminary in Barre and St. Paul Seminary in Ottawa, Canada.
Father Hamilton was ordained to the priesthood on May 22, 1970, at Christ the King, Rutland, by Bishop Robert F. Joyce. His priestly ministry began as Parochial Vicar at St. Francis in Bennington. He also served as Parochial Vicar at St. Mark, Burlington. His first pastorate was at St. Michael Church, Greensboro Bend. He also served as pastor at St. Edward in Derby Line, St. Catherine of Siena in Shelburne, St. John Vianney in South Burlington, St. Norbert in Hardwick, St. Michael in Greensboro Bend and Our Lady of Fatima, Craftsbury. Father Hamilton was granted senior priest status on May 7, 2008.
His diocesan responsibilities included diocesan board of consultors, diocesan review board, Presbyterian council, dean of the South Burlington, Orleans and Caledonia Deanery and chaplain at St. Joseph/Kervick Home, Rutland.
Father Hamilton leaves behind his sister Mary Therese (Hamilton) Grace, Joan Agnes (Hamilton) Haley, Barbara Jean (Hamilton) Mazut, numerous nieces and nephews, and many life-long friends.
In addition to his parents, he is also predeceased by his sister Patricia Ann (Hamilton) Lester and her husband Harlan D. Lester, his sister Dolores Elaine (Hamilton) Gray and her husband John P. Gray, his brothers-in-law James H. Grace, Joseph A. Mazut, and Bernard P. Haley.
The Father was an avid reader, especially James Patterson mysteries. He loved trips to Maine, primarily trips to Acadia National Park and Ogunquit Beach. He loved playing jokes, teasing people, and was always good for an exuberant laugh. He loved his family; spending time with his sisters and their children was one of his greatest joys.
Hours of visitation will be held on May 13, from 2 to 4 p.m., at St. Michael Church, Greensboro Bend. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Friday, May 14, at St. Michael Catholic Church at 11 a.m., with Bishop Christopher J. Coyne as principal celebrant, followed by burial at St. Michael Cemetery. Parishioners, friends, and community members wishing to join in honoring Father Hamilton are encouraged to attend the hours of visitation on Thursday as attendance for the Mass on Friday is limited due to COVID policies. The des Groseilliers Funeral Home is in care of arrangements. Condolences and memories may be conveyed to the family online at dgfunerals.com.In lieu of flowers, contributions in Father Hamilton’s memory may be made to the Mary Queen of All Saints Fund or St. Michael Cemetery Fund at maryqueenofallsaints.vermontcatholic.org/donate.