In Memory of




Obituary for Kenneth W. Hamel

On Thursday March 9th, in a pyrrhic victory over his various cancers, Ken Hamel left the planet at the age of 70.

Born in Norwich, Connecticut to the late Lorraine and Francis Hamel, Ken was known in Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Vermont for his expertly honed carpentry skills and cacophonous singing voice. Many were thankful for the time he gave to local sports, his stewardship of the school board in Newport Center, Vermont, and the money he gave to local tavern economies. The ill-fitting cut-off jean shorts, on the other hand, were enjoyed by none.

But Ken’s proudest achievement was not serving aboard the USS Archerfish, nor was it the work he did keeping nuclear reactors running (the family would like to note that while he worked at Three Mile Island, it was the unit that didn’t melt down). It was not his time as a restauranteur, nor teaching chess to rural youth.

No, if one were to ask him, Ken would say he spent his life raising a family. He will be remembered not just as an excellent carpenter and boisterous barmate, but as a devoted father and loyal friend.
Ken’s relentless pursuit of intellect, work ethic, and sustainability live on in his oldest son Caleb and his partner Caitlin, of East Haven, Connecticut.

Ken’s warmth, love, and familial morals persist in the home he built, in the care of his daughter Cassie and her partner Derrick. Ken’s affinity for sports lives on in their son Teegan, and his free spirit endures in their daughter Khionee, all of Newport Center, Vermont.
Ken’s love of camaraderie, affection for all things profane, and pursuit of cold beer, are embodied by his youngest son Dylan and wife Gwendolen, of Fairfax, Vermont.

He is also survived by his sister Carol and her husband Jeff, of Woodstock, Connecticut, by his brother Arthur and his wife Nancy, of Putnam, Connecticut, by his brother Kevin and his wife Wendy of Mansfield, United Kingdom, 13 nieces and nephews, and countless friends. He is predeceased by his brother Robert, with whom he is now sharing the longest motorcycle ride, somewhere on a back road under an eternal summer sun.

No formal ceremony to celebrate Ken’s life is planned at this time. Gaffney-Dolan Funeral Home, 59 Spruce St., Westerly, Rhode Island is in charge of the arrangements. Online condolences may be made at or emailed to
In-person condolences may be made by turning up the music, sharing a round with your peers, and enjoying a long motorcycle ride when the snow is gone.
He loved you all.