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This is not an obituary but a celebration of the life of William “Billy” G. Hamilton Jr. and the way he lived that life, in the short time he had, to the fullest every day.

William “Billy” G. Hamilton Jr. of Townsend passed away Sunday, March 4, 2007, after a heroic battle against pancreatic cancer. Billy passed away the same way he had lived his life, with family and friends by his side.

Billy was born on June 12,1952, in Groton, Mass. He was the son of Loretta (Chester) Hamilton and the Late William (Cab) Gordon Hamilton Jr.

Billy was raised in Groton and attended the Groton public school System. Not only did Billy attend school but integrated himself into every facet of school life. Billy loved to attend school and the challenges it presented. Billy loved to learn and found joy in all the friends he would make along the way. During Billy’s younger time in Groton he found Scouting, first as a Cub Scout then as a Boy Scout, where Billy earned the rank and honor of Eagle Scout — the highest rank awarded to a Boy Scout.

Billy continued to make friends as he grew up and involved himself in sports in Groton in Little League, then through school sports Billy would really come into his own during this time in his life. Billy related all things to school: He was voted Most School Spirited and it was evident. Behind every class function or reunion or party, Billy was always the driving force in bringing friends back together again. Billy could not only tell you the name of all his classmates, he would relate to other friends or siblings or even the children of friends by the year their class graduated.

After Billy graduated from Groton High in 1970, he joined the Groton Fire Department. This would be the beginning of a lifetime dedication and love of the fire service. Billy joined the West Groton Fireman’s Muster team and as usual Billy threw himself into this new role full-steam.

At that time, musters would be held every weekend from early May until the season-ending muster on Labor Day weekend in West Groton. Every year, the West Groton Muster team would be in the hunt for another championship. The competition was always fierce but the camaraderie was even greater. As always, Billy would not only participate as fireman but, as with all of the organizations that Billy belonged to, he would become an officer, volunteer and champion for the cause, becoming an officer of the Mass. Muster League.

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