top banner

Obituary Listings

Joseph P. Hamilton

September 11, 1933 July 2, 2016
Joseph P. Hamilton
There are condolences waiting approval on Joseph's Tribute wall
Obituary for Joseph P. Hamilton

Joseph P. Hamilton, 82, Gettysburg, died Saturday, July 2 at Gettysburg Hospital. He was born September 11, 1933, in Gettysburg, the son of Edgar and Loretto Hamilton. He was the last surviving member of his immediate family but considered the St. Francis Xavier Church music ministry, the parishioners, priests, and religious who served there, as his family.

Joe was an outstanding and devoted organist at St. Francis Xavier for the last 59 years and at one time wrote music for an entire Catholic Mass. His rendering of the Gloria was sung at St. Francis for several years.

He started his musical career while he was in grade school when the St. Francis organist lived across the hall from his family and provided him piano lessons. She then introduced him to the organ when he was a teenager in the 8th grade at St. Francis Xavier School. After his mother died, and his father’s business required a great deal of travel, Joe was sent to St. Vincent Prep School and College in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. It was there, in 1948, that he met a staff member who taught organ at the Prep School and was choirmaster at the seminary and monastery. He also became Joe’s teacher and mentor.

After high school Joe continued at the college for two years, then entered the Benedictine novitiate and spent four years as a monk of the Benedictine Order. After discerning that monastic life was not his vocation he returned to Gettysburg in 1957 and began playing the organ at St. Francis which he continued until his death. In addition, he was a regular organist for St. Mary’s in Fairfield, PA and also played at St. Joseph’s in Emmitsburg, MD. Over the years he played for hundreds of masses, funerals, weddings, and special events.

Joe made his living as an insurance claims adjustor, examiner, and supervisor, working out of York and later Hanover until his retirement in 2004. After retiring he began devoting more time to the garden at the house he had shared, until their deaths in the 1980’s, with his devoted aunt and uncle, Ruth (Hamilton) and Alexander Light. The house was purchased by his grandfather in 1906 and has been the home of three generations of Hamiltons since that time.

Joe was an extremely dedicated religious person with a special devotion to Our Blessed Mother as evidenced by his hobby of making and repairing rosaries, and a member of the unofficial “morning breakfast club” after daily Mass. He was a Fourth Degree member of the Knights of Columbus, Gettysburg Chapter, and meeting minutes-taker for many years. He was an angel who walked among us and will be truly missed by those who knew and loved him.

For recreation, Joe was an avid and accomplished bowler and has many trophies, dating back to the 1960’s, to attest to his prowess. He was an enthusiastic Philadelphia Phillies and Philadelphia Eagles fan, and it was not uncommon that he would share the morning sports section with a nun at St. Francis who shared his passion.


A Mass of Christian Burial will be held Friday, July 8, 2016 at 11:00 AM at St. Francis Xavier Church with Rev. Daniel Richards as celebrant. Interment will be in the St. Francis Xavier cemetery immediately following the Mass. There will be visitation at the church on Friday from 10:00 AM until the time of the Mass. In lieu of memorials, contributions can be made in Joe’s name to the St. Francis Xavier School..

Previous Events

Visitation

Friday

8

Jul

10:00 AM 7/8/2016 10:00:00 AM - 11:00 AM 7/8/2016 11:00:00 AM
St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church

25 West High Street
Gettyburg, PA 17325

St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church
25 West High Street Gettyburg 17325 PA
United States

Service

Friday

8

Jul

11:00 AM 7/8/2016 11:00:00 AM
St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church

25 West High Street
Gettyburg, PA 17325

St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church
25 West High Street Gettyburg 17325 PA
United States

Cemetery Details

Location

St. Francis Xavier Catholic Cemetery Final Resting Place

West High Street
Gettysburg, PA 17325

West High Street Gettysburg 17325 PA
United States

Memorial Contribution

St. Francis Xavier School

Albums

Create new album
 
Subscribe To Obituaries


alt

We appreciate your support
In accordance with the wishes of the family, this
message has been declined.
Loading...