Edwin Lincoln Hamlet

April 20, 2011

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Ed died on Palm Sunday morning, after a brief illness, at the age of 82. He was born February 27, 1929, the son of the late Ralph Edwin and Alice (Goodhue) Hamlet. He spent his entire life living on the four corners of Beautiful Downtown Sheridan. He attended Silver Creek School, graduated from Deveaux in 1946, graduated with distinction from Cornell University in 1950, and did his graduate work at Purdue University working as a graduate assistant in Ag Economics

Ed married Joanne Ruth Pettit on September 13, 1950. She preceded him in death on August 8, 1999. He is survived by 3 children: Andrew (Theresa) Hamlet, Joel (Cathy) Hamlet, Suzon (Frank) Testa; and eight grandchildren: Edwin (AnnMarie) Hamlet, Frank Testa, Elizabeth (James) Tytka, Brian (Emily) Testa, Daniel Hamlet, Rebecca (Marc) Kapple, Jeannette (Dustin Delaney) Testa and Ryan Hamlet. Great-grandchildren include: Andru, Ethan and Gabriella Testa, Eva Tytka and Olivia Kapple. He was impatiently awaiting the arrival of two more. He was preceded in death by a son, William Ralph Hamlet in 1989.

Like his father and grandfather, Ed was a farmer all his life and took great interest in the past, present and future of the agriculture industry, actively serving on the Extension and Farm Bureau. He and his wife Joanne built and operated a farm store and green houses, Hamlet Farm of Sheridan.

Ed was knowledgeable in every aspect of agriculture and horticulture. He was widely read on the subject, maintaining an active correspondence with leaders in the industry, expressing his concerns and solutions to present problems.

Ed was a member of the Sheridan Volunteer Fire Company since 1952 to present, in active duty for 52 years. He served as Chief from 1964-1966. He dropped everything to respond to situations of need for his neighbors and responded to more calls than any member past or present.

Ed was an active member of the Sheridan Grange #235 (now Fredonia #1) joining in 1952 and served as Master from 1958-1959. He was a 55 year member of Hanover Lodge F&AM 152, served on the Red Cross board, and was active with the United Way of Chautauqua County. He belonged to the Sheridan United Methodist Church, serving as trustee and teaching Sunday school. He was a charter member of the Sheridan Historical Society, serving as a trustee until his death. He was an active member of the Sheridan Memorial Field Association and was a trustee.

Ed helped to set up and enact the zoning law for the Town of Sheridan in 1972 and was a member of the Planning and Zoning Com-mission, serving as chairmen since 1985. A member of the GOP all his life, he was appointed by Mario Cuomo to serve on the College Council of SUNY at Fredonia in 1991.

Service to others and especially the youth of Chautauqua County started early in life as a Cub/Boy Scout. From 1950 until the day he died, he was a member of the Boy Scouts of America. He actively served as a Cub Master for 12 years, Scout Master for 15 years and for over 20 years as both Assistant District Commissioner and Commissioner. He was a member of the Chautauqua District Commission and the District Roundtable Commissioner. He was awarded the Silver Beaver award in 1976 and was a vigil member of the Order of the Arrow. Ed was an active Gilwellian and enjoyed the annual Blue Springs reunion.

Ed joined the Girl Scouts of America in 1962 and was a member until his death. He was Vice President from 1984 to 1990, and President of the Chautauqua County GSA in 1990. For years along with Camp Fire USA and the Camp Gross Board, Ed wrote to every political leader in our area to celebrate Absolutely Incredible Kids Day. He was gratified at the response he received from all elected officials who supported this initiative.

For the last 21 years his great passion was making Camp Gross available for the youth of Chautauqua County and beyond. He was President of the foundation at the time of his death. With many others, he worked tirelessly raising money, overseeing projects and promoting the Camp.

In 2009 he received the George B. Weaver Jr. Foot-prints Award from the Northern Chautauqua Community Foundation, for all of his efforts to make Chautauqua County a great place to live, work, and raise your children.

Ed dedicated his life to serving numerous other organizations throughout the county and the state. He gave away thousands of dozens of ears of corn, and always arrived at a meeting with a basket of apples or melons under his arm to share.

Ed encouraged everyone, young and old, to be all that they could be. Throughout his life he always put other people first, never afraid to speak up for a cause he thought was right or to speak out when he thought something was wrong.

Ed donated his body to the U.B. Medical School. A memorial service will be held at a later time. If everyone whose lives he touched would send a donation large or small to the Northern Chautauqua Community Foundation (212 Lake Shore Dr. W., Dunkirk, NY 14048) for Edwin L. Hamlet Fund dedicated for Camp Gross, it would be deeply appreciated by his family and friends.