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Talbot Fancher “Tab” Hamlin

Talbot Fancher “Tab” Hamlin of Ipswich, formerly of Wellesley, died Wednesday, June 4, 2008, after a brief illness. A textbook editor with a lifelong love of books, words and music, he was 90 years old.

The son of architect Talbot Faulkner Hamlin and Hilda Edwards Hamlin, Tab was born May 18, 1918, in New York City, where he and his twin brother Wilfrid attended the Horace Mann School and the Dalton School. During the mid-1920s, he spent several boyhood years living in Paris, France, with his mother and brothers, attending Ecole Alsacienne and spending summers in Dieppe, Le Pouldu and Barbizon.  In 1931, they moved to Northampton, where Tab graduated from Northampton High School in 1936; they spent summers in Christmas Cove, Maine, at Juniper Knoll, the family cottage to which Tab returned for visits throughout his life.

Tab enrolled at Middlebury College in Vermont, graduating with a French major in 1940. As an undergraduate, he was involved in theater and glee club, writing for “The Campus” and assisting with the college carillon which he especially enjoyed.  At “Midd,” he developed an enduring affection for the College and for Vermont, and met his lifelong love, Allison Sanford of Hastings-on-Hudson, NY.  Marrying Allison in 1942 was, he said, “the best thing I ever did.”

After two years as secretary for the Vermont Symphony, Tab spent 16 years with the Johnson O’Connor Human Engineering Laboratory in Boston, eventually becoming head of the Boston office.  In 1960, he found his true calling as an editor.  During 23 years with the Allyn and Bacon textbook publishing company, he edited numerous social studies, math and reading series for the elementary/high school division. From 1983 to 1990, he was an editor for Addison Wesley, focusing on English as a second language (ESL) texts.  He officially retired in 1990, but his meticulous and thoughtful editing kept him active as a freelance professional with Heinle & Heinle and Oxford University Press until two years before his death.

Tab was a Boston area resident for more than six decades, including eight years in Auburndale and 48 years on Shadow Lane in Wellesley.  He moved to Ipswich in 2005 where he was lovingly embraced by, and became an active member of, his nephew’s family, the Hamlins: Sam and Eve and their children, Nick and Ali.

Tab’s wife, Allison, died in June 2000 and his younger brother, Norman, died this past October. His twin brother, Wilfrid, survives in South Bend, IN.  He also is remembered fondly by his two nieces, two nephews, sister-in-law Barbara, and their extended families.

A private memorial service will take place June 22. Arrangements by the Whittier-Porter Funeral Home of Ipswich. The family suggests memorial tributes be made to Middlebury College, Gift Administration Office, Old Courthouse, 5 Court Street, 5370 Middlebury College,
Middlebury, VT 05753 to maintain the carillon whose pealing bells Tab liked so well.


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