Tim Hamilton

Tim Hamilton, a deep hearted and colorful spirit, passed away on April 22, 2023 in his home with family holding him close.

Tim Hamilton, a deep hearted and colorful spirit, passed away on April 22, 2023 in his home with family holding him close. He died of bile duct cancer which was discovered only two months prior, in February. Other than being at Providence in Anchorage for a few weeks, Tim was able to live the remainder of his life at his home of thirty-four years, the place he most wanted to be. Tim was born February 19, 1960 in Oakland, CA and grew up in nearby Piedmont. His father Lloyd was an accountant, his mother, Donna a homemaker and he has one older sister, Lori. Tim’s family was a close knit, idyllic unit. His grandparents and cousins lived nearby and most holidays were celebrated together. Entire summers were spent at the family’s cabin on the Russian River in Sonoma County. Tim’s fondest childhood memories are from that time period. He and his buddies spent their days in the water, playing along the river bank, doing pranks and daring each other to jump off the Hacienda Bridge.

Tim’s father died from a heart attack when Tim was 12. His passing was especially hard on the family and it left a hole in Tim’s heart that never went away. Tim’s teen years at Piedmont High provided endless stories that shocked his sons. People really got away with stuff like that back then?? It was the 70’s and California. He and his friends knew the back roads of the East Bay and every weekend was a chance to get rowdy. Tim took up golf, backpacked in Yosemite and went on a high school European bus tour that included 8 countries in ten days. While traveling through Germany and knowing that Oktoberfest was in in full swing, Tim was responsible for persuading the bus driver to drop all 30 minors off at the beer garden for a few hours of Bavarian culture. The close relationships Tim forged in junior and high remained intact his entire life. Also in that time period, Tim’s life-long love of Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead was sparked; he saw them play a hundred times at various, now historic Bay Area venues. Tim went to college at Chico State University, studied painting and art history and faced life with gusto. He lived in a space aptly named Happy Acres that included a house band, a VW, two shaggy Newfoundland dogs and an open door that all the most fun characters came through. Chico was a vibrant college town at that time and Tim was a big part of it. His signature fashion style of bright button downs downs and mixed patterns began. He liked clothes and was a flashy dresser leaning grunge or preppy on a whim. Tim worked his way through school doing various jobs. He got hired at Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.’s first employee party to carve thirty turkeys and got paid by the owner with a case of stout. He and his best friend Chris created the first of Tim’s many businesses a window washing company named Squeaky Windows of Chico and their company car was a 1962 Plymouth Fury convertible. In 1982, Tim worked as a gift wrapper during the holidays at a popular homewares store where he met his forever girl and wife Annie. They had their first kiss under the mistletoe that Christmas Eve and were together ever since. The couple had both spent summers working various jobs in Alaska prior to meeting one another but in 1984 they made their first trip north together, spending six months in Kodiak, in a tent, in the rain. At the end of that glorious time, they rode the Tustumena ferry to Homer and realized they had found a new place to call home. The following summer they got jobs at Icicle Seafood and lived on the spit. For the next seven years Tim and Annie were either working at Icicle, going to college, or traveling the world. They drove the Alcan Hwy thirteen times and made repeat trips to Nepal, Thailand, Greece and Amsterdam, spending months at a time in each destination. In 1989 they got married, bought their Diamond Ridge property and started to build the beloved home they never left Tim was employed at Icicle for 15 years, working his way up to the position of Production Supervisor. During the busy summer salmon season, Tim would have up to 100 employees that he was responsible for to keep safe and motivated through the long sixteen hours shifts. His enthusiastic pep talks that he delivered every break became legendary. He cared deeply for his “slime line.” Managing employees became Tim’s greatest ability. He went on to supervise at other Homer processors throughout his life. Nobody was better suited to find workers, encourage them to keep returning day every day despite the harsh work and have empathy when they felt overwhelmed. At the end of his life, Tim was immensely proud of the messages he received from those same workers from long ago that reached out to let him know what a positive impact he had made on their lives.

During those Icicle years Tim and Annie had two sons, Lloyd and John, named after their two grandfathers. Being a kid at heart, Tim’s parenting although unconventional was loving and playful. He embraced all the stages of fun: dinosaurs, trucks, knights and pirates, Legos, Yahtzee, frisbee, Rock Band and ping pong. Later on, Tim shared his love of music, impressionist art and the game of golf. His mind held a vast amount of golf knowledge and his couch commentary was as entertaining as any professional announcer. Tim passed onto his boys the values of honesty, authenticity and creativity all of which Lloyd and John possess and the pride he felt for them only grew stronger as they aged.

After Tim’s icicle career ended in the late 90’s, he and Annie owned Latitude 59° where he perfected his espresso and sandwich making techniques and treated early Homer coffee drinkers to his genial personality and loud rock music permeating the café space. The Latitude years were a blast. His fellow workers became like family and there was a lot of laughter behind the counter. Keeping up with the morning coffee rush and noon lunch crowd was a feat. Tim’s portions were comically large and his pasta salad, Smokey Bird and Vege Dagwood had people hooked. His motto was that every ingredient needed to be in every bite and he went as far as to draw blueprints for the proper sandwich construction. Tim’s other noteworthy Homer endeavor was Big Dipper Spas which was in business for only a few years. In that short time span though, he managed to sell an average of one hot tub per week for four years straight. Tim’s showmanship and his immense passion for golf shown through during a Winter Carnival Parade. The float he created carried both a hot tub full of warm water and a putting green. When Tim made it to the judge’s station he announced to the crowd that if he failed to make a hole -in-one he would jump in the tub. His aim was off that day and in he dove; loud clothing, putter and all. Tim had a reputation for wearing many hats. He never settled on one path; enthusiastically making plans for each new pursuit and had ideas for more ventures right up until he became diagnosed with cancer.

In 2021, Tim survived a car crash on the Sterling highway. It was a head on collision that he had no part of other than being in the wrong place at the wrong time. The physical injury he endured was a crushed sternum but the PTSD it created in him was life changing. Over the course of the next two years Tim sought therapy and made progress in dealing with both the crash and other earlier life events that had caused him pain. He grew emotionally and was making steps to be a more grounded, present person.

The grace and bravery that Tim faced his illness and knowledge of impending death with, was a culmination of his self-work. Tim’s humor, patience and kindness made it a gift for his family and others to care for him. No matter who came through the door, either at home or in the hospital, they could not leave without Tim saying he loved them. He truly believed God and love were one and the same and that all you need is LOVE. Tim will be greatly missed and forever in the hearts of those whose lives he touched.

Tim followed and admired the efforts of Lucid Wilcox of Homer to help the people of Ukraine and Turkey affected by war and disaster. It was his wish that those who want to remember him make a donation to Altruist Relief Kitchen. altruistrelief.org