Joseph John Hamlin III

Published 4:17 pm Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Joseph John Hamlin III, 69, of Mill Spring, passed away Friday, Jan. 20, 2012. Joe was born in Rutherfordton, N.C., on Oct. 7, 1942, to Lucille Burgess Hamlin and the late Joseph John Hamlin Jr.
Joe grew up in Rutherford County on his family’s dairy farm, Willow Run. He was a 1961 graduate of Rutherfordton High School, where he served as student body president, and attended UNC-Chapel Hill. After 10 years in the family dairy business, Joe moved his family to Alaska, where he was the manager of drilling operations for ExxonMobil on the North Slope of the Alaska Pipeline. In 1987, Joe returned to his beloved property at Hawk Circle in Mill Spring. He was an owner, with his wife Krysti, of Carolina World Travel in Tryon. Later he founded Green River Cabins in Campobello, and ran its day-to-day operations until the company was sold in 2006.
Following retirement in 2006, Joe devoted his time to Hawk Circle, his mountain farm, and to friends and family. A lifelong hunter and fisherman who loved the great outdoors, Joe enjoyed farming, nature photography and observing mountain wildlife. He cherished the land and had an artist’s eye for enhancing its natural beauty. He pursued many creative building projects and enjoyed making rustic furniture. Joe followed his adventurous spirit, leading a big game tour to Africa in 1990, attaining his pilot’s license for small aircraft and, recently, enjoying S.C. shark fishing.
Quick witted and an excellent raconteur, Joe’s storytelling skills and poetry recitations were the highlight of many gatherings. He will be fondly remembered for his love of old-time music and for his performance as Hector Nations in the Tryon Little Theater production of “Foxfire.”
Joe is survived by his wife, Kristina R. Hamlin; his children, Joseph John Hamlin IV of Raleigh, son of Jo Anne Knott Whitt; Josh Hamlin (Stephanie) of Gastonia, N.C. and Janine Hamlin of Raleigh, son and daughter of Jane Simmons; his grandchildren, Peyton and Cooper Hamlin of Gastonia; his mother, Lucille B. Hamlin of Rutherfordton, N.C.; his sister, Merrill Carayol of Littleton, Colo.; his brother, Newt Hamlin (Susan) of Ukarumpa, Papua New Guinea; his nieces, Miriam Juzyk (Buck) of Aurora, Neb. and Allyson Sudborough of Denver, Colo., and his nephew, Nate Hamlin of Bennettsville, S.C. Also surviving are Paul and Jane Ray of Arden, N.C. and special friends Joel O’Quinn and Nicole Holt of Ridgeland, S.C.
Joe was a loving husband and father, a proud grandfather, a dutiful son, a wonderful brother and a great friend. Joe’s Hawk Circle property is home to many animals, including the deer and Canada Geese he so loved to feed. The loss of Joe is felt by all his human and animal friends.
A memorial service will be held at First United Methodist Church, 264 Main Street, Rutherfordton, on Saturday, Feb. 4 at 3 p.m. A visitation will be held from 2-3 p.m. in the fellowship hall. Memorial contributions may be made to: The Pacolet Area Conservancy, 850 North Trade Street, Tryon, N.C. 28782.

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