Celebrating the life of local Hardware Pioneer


from the Kemptville BIA

Harold Hamilton

It’s both difficult and tragic to try and summarize a well-lived human life in a few lines. Especially one lived the way Harold Hamilton did up until his passing on August 21. Born in 1931, Harold was one of four siblings and seemed destined to live a life in hardware. Born in Merrickville, he began working for Howard Hardware at the tender age of 12, making regular deliveries to Merrickville icon Harry McLean. He would later move to Ottawa, and lived there from 1951 to 1966, managing a store for the legendary Ottawa hardware magnate, George Nelms.

He returned to the area and bought the original hardware store in Kemptville from the Kennedy family in 1966, and became one of the original eight Home Hardware franchisees in Eastern Ontario. He later sold the store in 1986 to his 24 year-old son, Blair, who operates it in the same building on Prescott Street in Downtown Kemptville.
Blair recalls warmly the lessons learned from his Dad, who was not only his father, but his mentor and hero. Harold was known for his sense of humour, sharp mind, and determination. He was a pillar of the local business community and his kindness to others was legendary.

As a community volunteer, he was very active in the local Rotary Club, at his church, and loved to play a round of golf, when he could squeeze it in. He was actively involved in minor hockey, including girls hockey, where, if a player needed equipment or was short on money to register, the money or the equipment would appear without any fanfare or credit taken.

We want to wish Blair, his son Michael, and the rest of the Hamilton family, peace during this difficult time and want them to know that we join them in celebrating Harold’s remarkable life.


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