Obituary: Charles Francis Hamel, 93, WWII Veteran

Charles Francis Hamel, 93, of Southborough, died May 14, 2013. Born June 9, 1919 in Somerville, MA, he was the son of Arthur and Alma (Descoteaux) Hamel.

As a small child he attended a French-speaking boarding school in Lowell, MA after which he attended St. Charles Grammar School and St. Mary’s High School in Waltham. Charles graduated from New England Aircraft School in East Boston attaining his aircraft and engine mechanics certificates and worked at what was then East Boston Airport (Logan). Even though he could have deferred being drafted into the service after Pearl Harbor due to his aircraft mechanic status, he opted to attend Flight Training School. He was commissioned as a Navy pilot in 1944 and was transferred to the Coast Guard to fly PBY planes on enemy submarine patrol over the North Atlantic.

He worked for General Motors in Framingham for 30 years retiring to become Southborough’s Animal Control Officer for another 25 years. Charles was an avid outdoorsman and an expert in antique firearms. He was a Charter Member of the Southborough Rod and Gun Club, a member of the Worcester Dog Officer’s Association, a special police officer in Southborough, and was a life member in the Southborough VFW and a member of the American Legion. He maintained a small antiques and sundries shop at his home.

He is survived by his wife, Eleanor (Onthank) Hamel and six children: Carol Long of Southborough, William Hamel of Bedford, Stephen Hamel of Falmouth, Christopher Hamel of Southborough, Charles Hamel, Jr. of Southborough, and David Hamel of Brazil, 15 grandchildren and step-grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren and step great grandchildren. He was predeceased by his sisters, Clara Cahill Cohen and Lillian Hurley and his grandson, Nathan Long.

Following cremation, funeral services will be held at 6:00 p.m., Monday (May 20, 2013) in the John P. Rowe Funeral Home Inc., 57 Main Street, Marlborough, MA preceded by calling hours from 3-6 p.m. Burial will be private at the Rural Cemetery in Southborough. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to V F W Post 3276, 28 Main St., Southborough, MA 01772.

(Obituary via

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Steve Whynot
11 years ago

I’ll miss you my friend. I’ve missed having coffee every Wednesday, sharing and listening to the history of Southborough with your bride. I really enjoyed that those times.

When I became Commander of VFW 3276 some 12 years ago – Charlie was ALWAYS there….someone I could depend on at anytime to help. Whether it be putting flags up at the All Wars Memorial – or holding honors for one of our fellow Veterans that rec’d his final orders. You asked – He was there.

Monday – I welcome ALL my fellow Veterans to join with the members of the VFW and Legion – to past our final honors and respects to Charlie at the Rowe Funeral Home at 1715.

Good bye my friend!!!!!!

Amy Metcalf
11 years ago

Soldiers of my generation continue to respect and look up to the real Soldiers, those of WWII. Charlie’s caliber of courage and commitment to his nation will never be forgotten and their legacy will continue for many years to show us what strength really is. Rest in peace, Charlie.

“And When he gets to heaven,
To Saint Peter he will tell;
One more Soldier reporting, sir.
I’ve served my time in Hell!”

Barbara Jandrue
11 years ago

Charlie was a fantastic “Dog Catcher”. I swear he could talk to the animals. He picked up so many strays and injured animals on my street and never had them growl at or bite him. He supplied food to all the cats, dogs etc. of families that needed a little help. He also made trips to Foxboro to pick up food for the Pantry. He did that for several years until he fell in the truck and we wouldn’t let him do it again. He felt so compassionate about helping others. R.I.P. So many people will miss you.

mike fuce
11 years ago

Charlie was a great “true”environmentalist who I learned from when I first started hunting and walking Southboro 20 years ago. What a “gentle”man and very honarble man of integrity. Few are found today of this stature and reputiation. Charlie was one of them and he will be missed. Charlie always knew where he was going and I am sure he is there now. I am sure he is with his Savior in heaven sharing stories and loving the rest of eternity. See you one day my friend. Best to Charlie’s family.

Chris Hamel
10 years ago

Thanks to all the Southboro vets for a touching tribute to my dad and all your visits over the past months. He was proud to be a vet and I will miss seeing him at the Memorial Day ceremonies. Last year he could only hold down the fort until everyone came back ,but still took the duty with the pride and grace. Thank you again !

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