Justin Blake Hamilton
June 29, 1997 – September 24, 2019
It is with great heartbreak and sorrow we share the news of the passing of Justin Blake Hamilton, aged 22, on September 24, 2019. He was born the morning of Sunday June 29, 1997 in Indianapolis, IN to the great delight and wonderment of his parents, who adored him without end. He moved with his parents to Novi, MI in 1998 where he attended school at Parkview Elementary and was also a member of Cub Scout Pack 375 until February 2006, his second grade year. It was at this time his family relocated to Dexter, MI. He joined the loving and supportive community within Dexter Community Schools and finished out second grade at Cornerstone Elementary. He continued on the standard track in Dexter schools, and upon entering the fifth grade at Creekside Intermediate School, he, to his mother’s great delight, decided to give the trombone a try. He progressed through the excellent band program all the way through high school, where once again much to his mother’s delight, he was a member of the Dexter High School Dreadnaught Marching Band for four years. His mother and little brother Wesley took great joy in supporting his hard work and accomplishments in band by enthusiastically attending his many performances on the field and the stage, frequently to his great embarrassment. Thankfully he was able to escape their enthusiasm during the band’s trip to Walt Disney World, where he only had to put up with his mother’s daily text messages requesting selfies. Despite his typical teenage attitude regarding practicing his instrument, he buckled down his senior year and earned a chair in the trombone section of the top Symphonic concert band. This is when he discovered that all those years of his mother annoyingly telling him, “you get out of it what you put into it” was actually true and he was provided the opportunity to perform ‘the good stuff’ like Bernstein and Shostakovich. He also continued his participation in the scouting program through middle school in Dexter Troop 442 where he was able to experience many fun adventures, including summer camp and a trip to Washington, D.C. At one point he declared that he enjoyed Boy Scouts because he “got to use sharp objects”, among other more mundane things, like hanging out with friends. Justin struggled with learning disabilities all through his school years, but he never gave up despite many frustrating, maddening, and discouraging incidents with the likes of fractions & algebra, and he graduated from Dexter High School on June 5, 2016. It was no shock that he decided to take a non-traditional path after graduation. He got his first job at Wendy’s on Zeeb Rd. in Ann Arbor, where he worked for approximately one and a half years. He also worked at DiBella’s in Ann Arbor and in the produce department at Busch’s in Dexter. He used the funds he earned from these jobs to take flying lessons in Ann Arbor. It was during this time he decided he wanted to pursue a bachelor’s degree in aviation from Western Michigan University, and he began planning his move to Kalamazoo. He plowed head-on with his plans by renting a storage unit which he used to stash the furnishings he purchased from local resale stores, leasing his first apartment, renting a truck, and enlisting the help of his family to move into his first grown-up residence in Kalamazoo in February 2019. He quickly found a part-time job doing freaky-fast delivery at Jimmy John’s, which provided surprisingly sufficient income, much to his mother’s great relief. He enrolled at Kalamazoo Valley Community College for the Summer 2019 term, in which he earned a perfect 4.0. He had just begun his second term at KVCC at the time of his death. Justin leaves behind to cherish his memory his mother Patricia & brother Wesley of Dexter, and his father Blake & his family of Cumming, GA and Midland, TX. He was preceded in death by both grandparents on his mother’s side and grandmother on his father’s side.
His ridiculously vast knowledge of obscure Jeopardy! categories, his talent for whipping out hilarious one-liners, his mischievous little grin, his preference for jazz, classical music (especially Mahler’s Second Symphony), NPR and his deep passion of video games will be so, so greatly missed. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Dexter Band Boosters, PO Box 174 Dexter, MI 48130.
- Memorial Visitation Saturday, October 5, 2019
- Memorial Service Saturday, October 5, 2019
Justin Blake Hamilton
October 9, 2019
Justin was a neighbor in my subdivision and a fellow member of the DHS marching band. While I was never close to Justin, I always noticed his spirit. He always showed a great enthusiasm for life on the bus, walking home from the bus stop, and in marching band. I am so sorry and my deepest condolences go out to the family and friends of Justin.
October 2, 2019
Patty, I pray that God will wrap you and your family in his warm comforting arms and give you the peace and understanding that you need, love ya girly and thinking about you guys❤️🙏🏾
September 28, 2019
Justin was one of the smartest and genuine people I have ever encountered. Growing up through grade school he was shy, but always willing to help me on homework and classwork I didn’t understand and never once made me feel dumb for asking questions. When classmates picked on me, he was always kind and accepting. May he Rest In Peace and God be with his family through this hard time. I know Justin is in a better place and his pain has been taken away.