Percy Walter John was born Thursday October 15, 1959 in Hanover to Harvey Richard and Marie Agnes (Bailey) Hamel. He was the youngest of three boys, with older brothers Ivan (1953) and Ralph (1957). When Percy was born, the Hamel family resided on a farm on the 4th of Bentinck Township and in 1962 they moved to a farm on the 12th of Bruce. It wasn't long before the Hamel family returned to a different farm on the 4th of Bentinck..
Percy, along with his brothers, attended the school in Lamlash and later Elderslie. His high school education began at Walkerton District High School, however Percy left school after grade 10. Once out of school, Percy worked at Sklar-Peppler in Hanover until it closed in the early 90's. He then went on to work at doing renovations with his father-in-law Merle Martin. Following that Percy worked at Goshin Rubber in Mount Forest until they too closed. It was while working at West Bros. in Hanover that his Multiple Sclerosis (MS) flared. Percy was only 38 years of age.
In 1980, Percy married Cathy Martin and the couple lived on the 2nd of Elderslie. From their union two boys were born, Martin (1981) and Steven (1983). Percy and Cathy soon decided to go their separate ways and he moved into an apartment above Beckers in Chesley, which he called home for a number of years. He had a few other stops in Chesley before moving to Hanover where he resided with Wanda Litt. Sadly, Percy’s MS progressed so severely that he was soon forced to move into Parkview Manor in Chesley. The year was 2007. He lived there for about a year and a half, and then moved to the Hanover Care Centre in 2009. At the time of his original diagnosis, Percy was obviously frustrated with the news. In the early years he was given encouragement, as medical professionals felt they were making progress in finding a cure for MS. Sadly, this never developed.
Percy loved to hunt and was a magnificent shot. Ground hogs, deer and rabbits were all fair game! He also loved to collect rifles and was most proud of his 264 Magnum 30-30. It is interesting to note that Percy also reloaded all his own shells, not a task for everyone. Hunting wasn’t Percy’s only passion however. He also loved to golf, play baseball and watch his boys play hockey and ball in their younger years. If the truth be told, Percy favourite sport was hockey, and he loved watching the game on TV. Of course, country music was a favourite, as was reading anything to do with hunting. Percy also enjoyed the odd brown bottle beverage, particularly Labatt Blue back in the day.
Percy was best known as a hardworking, honest family man who loved the outdoors. He was really good at working with his hands. All of which made his diagnosis even more difficult to bear. To Ivan and Ralph, Percy was an excellent brother. If you needed anything, Percy was there.
Percy's battle with MS ended on Wednesday, June 6, 2018 when he passed away at Hanover & District Hospital at the age of 58.
Loving father of Martin of London and Steve (Jenn) of Elmwood. Cherished son of Marie Hamel of Hanover. He will be missed by his brothers Ivan (Janice) of Hanover and Ralph of Walkerton. Percy will be fondly remembered by his niece, nephews and many close friends. He was predeceased by his father Harvey Hamel.
A memorial service honouring Percy's life will be held at Rhody Family Funeral Home, Chesley on Saturday, June 16, 2018 at 11 a.m. with visitation one hour prior to the service.
Memorial donations to the Hanover & District Hospital Foundation would be appreciated as expressions of sympathy.Send to friend