James (Jim) Michael Hamel, age 69, of South Hadley, died Monday September 7, 2020 at Holyoke Medical Center. Jim was born in Holyoke, son of James Q. and Phyllis (Blanchette) Hamel, and was a graduate of Holyoke High School. Jim was a talented carpenter, working for many years in the area, including as lead carpenter at Holyoke Community College, where he was also the Union Steward. For years, Jim was a staple at Gramps Restaurant in Holyoke, family owned and operated, which he had renovated along with the entire building. Jim enjoyed landscaping, working on his home, and spending time with family. His greatest joy was giving his grandchildren nicknames, cheering at their sporting events, and bringing them to McCrays to see the animals and get ice cream. Over the last several months he enjoyed meeting new neighbors, cruising the neighborhood on his scooter and spending time on the deck admiring his view with his mother-in-law, Stella. He is survived by his wife, Donna M. (Gajda) Hamel; two sons: Justin Hamel and his wife Gretchen of Colorado, Michael Hamel and Lisa Hilt of Hyde Park; and a daughter: Laurin Kofidis and her husband Harry of Belchertown; his beloved grandchildren: Emma (aka “Emma Bemma”), Lucas (aka “Skywalker”), Eli, and Jacob; two brothers: Thomas Hamel of Holyoke and John Hamel and his wife Sue of Granby; and a sister, Melanie Smith and her husband David of Holyoke; his mother-in-law: Stella Gajda; and brother-in-law: Paul Gajda; and numerous other relatives and friends. A Celebration of Jim’s life will be held on Friday, September 11th from 4:00 to 7:00pm in the Barry J. Farrell Funeral Home, 2049 Northampton Street, Holyoke. Burial will be held at the convenience of the family. In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation or NAMI-Western Massachusetts.
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