Obituary: Gary Hamblin, 1955-2024

Nantucket Current •

Gary Hamblin Obituary Photo
Gary Hamblin

Gary Hamblin, 69, a native of Nantucket and longtime pillar of the community, passed away June 15 in his home, after a lengthy battle with cancer.

Gary was born on February 15, 1955 to the late Donna and George and grew up in their home on Delaney Road. He was an only child, but Gary lived a life that was anything but lonely, warmly welcoming scores of people into his heart. He attended Nantucket schools and after his graduation, began dating Roberta Caton. Four years later, they were engaged, and were married at St. Mary’s in 1980. They were nearly inseparable ever since.

Gary followed in his father’s footsteps and joined the fire department, first as a volunteer, before being hired full-time in 1975. He rose to the rank of captain and for many years was President of the Fireman’s Association. Gary proudly served the community for three decades before retiring from the fire department in 2003.

Gary had several other jobs that strengthened his connection to the island. He spent much of the 1970s working at Poet’s Corner, and was on Mike Lamb’s construction crew for 14 years. In 1988, Gary started a caretaking and pool-cleaning business, Grey Lady Maintenance Service. He and Roberta ran the business for more than 30 years. With his gift of gab and affable personality, many of Gary’s co-workers and customers become close friends.

While he was a tireless worker, the job Gary valued the most was being a dedicated husband, father, and grandfather. He spent countless hours behind the wheel, bringing his family everywhere from Fenway Park to Florida, and many points in between. But Gary was much more than a chauffeur. He and Roberta were actively involved in many of their children’s and grandchildren’s activities and were fixtures at the school’s athletic fields, pool, and auditorium.

Gary also enjoyed many hobbies, most of which took him to all corners of his beloved hometown. He loved boating and fishing and cherished summer days relaxing at Coatue with his family and friends. Throughout the years, he could also be found piloting model airplanes in Miacomet, flying stunt kites at Tupancy Links, racing his ice boat on Hummock Pond, throwing horseshoes in Quidnet, shooting skeet in Madequecham, and watching movies at the Dreamland.

He and Roberta went on several Caribbean cruises and enjoyed memorable trips with friends to Aruba, Tortola and Vieques. One of Gary’s bucket list destinations was Alaska. He and Roberta visited the Last Frontier on their last vacation together in 2022.

Gary was a skilled craftsman and helped build the Surfside home where he lived for the last 44 years. In addition to the countless home-improvement projects he completed, Gary also had an artistic side. He spent thousands of hours in his workshop turning bowls, Christmas ornaments, pens, jewelry, and other handmade crafts on his lathe. Some were sold and many were gifted to family and friends. Gary would be happy to know that so many people whose lives he touched own something to remember him by.

Gary is survived by his loving wife of 44 years, Roberta; son Steven and his fiancee Jessica Freistat; daughter Natalie Thompson, her wife Cassie, and their sons Tobin and Gus; and his sister-in-law Carol Caton. The family would like to extend their gratitude for the overwhelming love and support they received from Gary’s friends and caregivers over the last several months.

Gary will be honored in a graveside service at St. Mary’s cemetery on Monday, July 1 at 12:30pm, followed by a reception at The Faregrounds. All those who wish to celebrate Gary’s life are welcome to attend.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to: Swim Across America Nantucket - PO Box 3271 - Nantucket, MA 02584; PASCON - 57 Prospect St - Nantucket, MA 02554; Marla Lamb Travel Fund - 57 Prospect St. - Nantucket, MA 02554.

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