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James Hamilton, 91, WWII vet, marine insurance exec.


HUDSON—James P. Hamilton of Ghent, a former marine insurance executive, died August 24, 2010 at Columbia Memorial Hospital.  He was 91. The cause was heart failure.

Mr. Hamilton was born in Sturgis, Michigan to Wanda and Howard Hamilton.


He attended the Georgia Institute of Technology and earned a degree in aeronautical engineering. He joined the Army Air Corps and served during World War II. While in the service, he met and married Marguerite Adelmann, a Wave. They remained married until her death in 1988.

After the War, Mr. Hamilton was a yacht designer in Damariscotta, Maine. Subsequently, he returned to the Midwest where he spent his career as a marine insurance executive, first at Johnson & Higgins, and later at Marsh & McLennan. His specialty was marine insurance on the Mississippi River, its tributaries and the Gulf of Mexico.  After his retirement, he became president of Compass Marine, Inc., a barge company in New Orleans, Louisiana, where he and his wife resided. They then returned to Sturgis, Michigan for a time. He moved finally to Ghent in 2000 to be near his daughter. Mr. Hamilton had a wide variety of interests, including music, especially jazz, cars, boats and aircraft. He was an avid reader.

An adventure traveler, Mr. Hamilton repeatedly visited sub-Saharan Africa, Southeast Asia and Central and South America, indulging another hobby, photography.  At the age of 89 he drove a Corvette Sting Ray. Columbia County became a true home to him and he was involved in activities such as the editorial board of the Columbia County Historical Society magazine.

Mr. Hamilton is survived by his daughter, Jean, and son-in-law, Richard McCarthy of Ghent and New York City and by his sister, Sue Thomas of Oakland Park, Florida.

A gathering to remember his life will be held at the Hudson Opera House, 327 Warren Street, Hudson at 10 a.m. Saturday, September 4. Arrangements are with the French, Gifford, Preiter & Blasl Funeral Home, Chatham.









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