Ten-year-old Matthew Hamilton enjoyed Saturday’s sunshine and cool breeze as he played a game of catch at the Sixth Street beach in Greenport. It was the ideal weather his father, Jeremy, an outdoor enthusiast, adored.
For the past four years, the Hamilton family and Greenport High School’s Class of ‘93 have hosted an annual pig roast in Jeremy’s memory. He died March 15, 2010 at the age of 35 after battling brain cancer for more than six years.
“He was a good dad,” Matthew said as he held a baseball glove to his chest before the pig was carved and served along with all the traditional fixings.
Jeremy’s mother, Joann Hamilton, said one of her fondest memories of her son is the annual pig roast he held at the end of the summer season. She said Jeremy would host the event at his business, Coastal Plantings, an 8-acre property in Peconic he had owned for 10 years.
“He’d let everyone camp out back,” she said. “Family, friends. They could even bring their dogs. It was a lot fun.”
Jeremy’s brother, Christopher, said while his brother was sick, he asked that the annual event continue.
The brothers grew up on the water alongside their father, longtime Greenport fisherman Robert Hamilton.
The family has said Jeremy enjoyed snowmobiling, skiing, scuba diving, landscaping and traveling as much as possible. He was also a committee chairperson for the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life of Southold.
Jeremy’s family and classmates determined at his wake that his spirit would not be forgotten. They created the Jeremy Hamilton Scholarship Fund and hosted the first pig roast that year in his memory. Since then, the award have been given yearly to a Greenport High School senior who demonstrates educational ability, involvement in extracurricular activities and a strong sense of career objectives.
Christopher Hamilton said the memorial barbecue is more than an annual fundraiser — it’s about remembering Jeremy and spending quality time with the people you love.
“Everyone is so busy,” Christopher said, as he held a baseball glove and stood on the beach with his nephew. “It’s an opportunity to reconnect with family and friends.”
If you’d like to contribute to the scholarship fund you can make checks payable to: GHS Class of ’93, Jeremy Hamilton Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 481, Greenport, N.Y. 11944.