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The Hamlets Celebrated 77 Years

by Bill Tobin
October 9, 2013

HollistonReporter.com ran this story last year as the Hamlets celebrated their 77th wedding anniversary. Kay died on Sunday, October 6, 2013. See obituary for details.


  Photo of Ed and Kay last year at Coffee Haven. 

The Hamlets as they celebrated their 75th wedding anniversary.

Ed and Kay in their home in December 2010.

On December 20, 1935, two honest-to-goodness Holliston Townies, Catherine Demers and Edwin Hamlet were married at St. Mary's by the pastor, Reverend Henry Reardon.  

Seventy five years later, on December 12, 2010, Ed and Kay Hamlet renewed their vows at St. Mary's with pastor Fr. Mark Coiro. In addition to their renewal, Cardinal Sean O'Malley bestowed his blessing on the Hamlets as conveyed by Fr. Mark.

How many couples are able to enjoy such a celebration surrounded by family and friends. This is a first for me.

I have known the Hamlets for over fifty years and now realize that they were newly weds when I met them, then only 25 years married. 

Ed and Kay are true Hollistonians, both born and raised in Holliston. They attended grammar school and high school together and always knew they were meant for each other. Kay lived in down town neighborhoods, on Exchange Street and Avon Street as a child and Ed grew up on the outskirts in the Metcalf/Braggville section of town. Both attended the Andrews School and walked daily to school.

Here they are in 1924 as second graders, Kay (Catherine Demers) is in the first row, second from left. Edwin Hamlet is in row three, third from right. Both remember buying penny candy, one piece at a time, from Annie Fiske.

The Andrews school at the time was a wooden structure on School Street, with the boys' entrance facing Washington Street, and the girls' entrance on the opposite side, a definite gender segregation. This was the location of School House #8, torn down and rebuilt in 1913, as shown above. In 1933, this building, known then as Andrews, was replaced by the now deserted brick building on School Street.

 In 1931 they “graduated” from the eight grade together as shown in the photo taken on the steps of the town hall. Classes were held in the Cutler School, which is currently an apartment building facing Hollis Street. The High School at that time was behind Town Hall, the site of the Cutler Heights Housing project currently under construction.


Ed Hamlet and Kay Demers as teenagers.

The Hamlets, L-R, daughter Shirley (Hamlet) Chipman, Dad Ed, Mom Kay, son Darrell and son Ed.

Ed and Kay have three children, Darrell, Shirley Chipman and Ed, all raised of course in Holliston.  Shirley is still  a resident of Holliston. Ed moved on to Swanton, Ohio, and still lives there. Unfortunately, their son Darrell passed away in June 2012, a victim of cancer.

The Hamlets are proud grandparents of nine, as Darrell has three children, Shirley four and Ed two.  The count goes forward with 25 great grands and three great-great grands, as of this date.  A couple of years after they married, Ed attended art school nights in Boston and commuted by train. His days were spent working at the local Goodwill shoe factory on Water Street where he was a supervisor for fifteen years. Ed Hamlet is also very well-known painting contractor in Holliston, a business founded by his father and carried on by his own son Darrell. During the painting contracting years he operated two paint and wallpaper stores. He noted that he paid rent at a rate of $1.00 a day.


Ed is holding his first painting in Art School.


Ed continues his life long love of painting (not houses), and spends several hours a day in his home studio creating distinctive original art work. He paints from memory and has a collection of varied artwork he proudly exhibits in his impeccable basement studio.

Times were tough in the early years and it was difficult to make ends meet.  They noted that they did not own a car until they were married for 17 years.  Kay was a stay-at-home-mom, which was the thing to do in those days.

The Hamlets celebrated 77 years of marriage but they are not “old” as the years suggest.


Their 77th anniversary was duly noted by the Massachusetts Senate and House of Representatives. 





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Comments (4)

My sympathy to the Hamlet/Chipman family. A true love story.

- Cathy G | 10/10/13 9:21 AM

Thank you for sharing this wonderful article. A beautiful long love story that you think only happens in movies and in books, but it all started here in Holliston.....

- Mary | 10/9/13 5:55 PM

Our sympathy to Ed and the family from two ex Holliston friends.

- Rita and Jerry Ellner | 10/9/13 3:15 PM

Wonderful tribute to two great icons of Holliston. True love was the cement that bonded their life as one.

- Snowy | 10/9/13 8:47 AM



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