James Carlton Hamre

April 10, 1963 - September 13, 2022


Obituary For James Carlton Hamre

Madison – James Carlton Hamre, age 59, passed away on September 13, 2022, at his residence at the Bay at Belmont Health and Rehabilitation Center. James was born on April 10, 1963, in LaJolla, California to parents Carlton and Jacqueline (Buchanan) Hamre.

Despite the challenges of a 22-year battle with Multiple Sclerosis, James aspired to live a full life. To James, no idea was too large or unachievable. He enjoyed sailing, rock climbing, skiing, and swimming with sharks all while being in a wheelchair. He was grateful for the opportunities provided by the UW Adaptive Fitness program and championed the organization to others with disabilities. Furthering his education, he attended MATC and participated in student government.

From tie-dye t-shirts to his notoriously expressive facial hair, James was unapologetically himself. You never knew how he would style his beard next–short, long, braided, or the time he wore it in beads handmade by his children for the American Birkebeiner. He was an emotional man, often the first to tear up at sad moves, or throw his head back with the loudest laugh in the room. He also loved to experiment in the kitchen creating new dishes, especially spicy ones. He particularly enjoyed using fresh produce from his garden, even picking dandelion leaves for salads. Best put in his own words, “I’m not normal. Normal is boring!”

Constantly seeking new passions, James had many hobbies from scuba diving to making essential oil bath salts. Some of his favorite pastimes included cheering for all Wisconsin sports with a special shout out to the Packers and the Badgers. He nostalgically watched cartoons from his childhood like Mighty Mouse, and his favorite, “Not plane, nor bird, nor even frog, it's just little old me–Underdog.” He was fond of family game nights, his competitive side resulting in dangerous games of spoons as well as hours strategizing over Abalone or Chess.

James’ happy place was at Moon Beach in St. Germain, Wisconsin where him and his family would vacation each year. He was incredibly proud of all his children, whom he loved deeply. He was looking forward to attending his oldest daughter’s wedding, and dancing to Jimmy Buffett’s ‘Delaney Talks to Statues’ during the father-daughter dance.

James is survived by his daughter Madison (fiancé John); 3 stepchildren Dustin, Jarod, and Brenna; mother Jacki; sisters Karleen (Brian) Hunter and Heather (Brent) King; nieces and nephews Colton (Rachel), Dillon, and Wren. He was preceded in death by his father Carlton.

The family would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to all the friendships that James formed through the staff and residents at the Bay at Belmont.

In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation. A Celebration of Life will be held on October 1st from 11am – 3pm at Rex’s Innkeeper, 301 N Century Ave, Waunakee WI, 53597. Guests are invited to honor James by wearing tie-dye, Badger or Packer gear. To view and sign this guestbook, please visit:

Ryan Funeral Home & Cremation Services Windsor/DeForest Chapel 6924 Lake Road 608-846-4250


1 Oct

Celebration of Life

11:00 AM - 03:00 PM

Rex's Innkeeper 301 N. Century Ave Waunakee, Wi 53597 Get Directions »
by Obituary Assistant

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  • December 21, 2022

    I'm so sorry to hear of Jimmy's passing. We were good friends growing up spending many hours together getting into trouble at the farm. He was always my tent buddy at any Boy Scout outing. We won the Nature Award at week long camp 4 years running! We spent the whole week in the swamp catching turtles and snakes. We'd go around at night to the other troops campsites and bet guys a dollar Jimmy would eat an onion whole....he always did! Made some extra cash at camp that way! He was a good friend. May he now be at peace. God rest his soul.

  • October 01, 2022

    My deepest sympathy to Jame's family. I am so sorry for your loss.

  • September 22, 2022

    Deepest sympathy to James's family and friends. I'm so blessed to have been in his authentic essence while being in church. I can hear him say "amen" when he was moved by what was said. He truly was a gem and will be missed.

  • September 19, 2022

    I would like to offer my heartfelt sympathy to James Hamre family .we will miss your smile that lit up the room. Your positive vibes .you enjoying listening to your favorite music ,and sharing many wonderful stories of your family with us .On behalf of The Bay at Belmont staff and myself Katrina , we will miss you .

  • September 15, 2022

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what our families say

Tiffany Foster went out of her way to fulfill all my requests, talked me through problems I was facing, and tried to make me feel as comfortable as possible when I was a wreck, totally crushed, and I thank her with all of my heart for that.

James S. | July 2020

The professional manner of the staff made a difficult time a little easier.

Lynda R. | July 2020

Services provided for both parents were perfect, on time, and no issues. Brenda is awesome and strong!

Michael M. | July 2020

Skyler was absolutely amazing. She was so caring and helpful through this whole process. She even went above and beyond to meet with us in DeForest and even to make a stop at our home to drop off or pick up anything needed. While it was a small gesture, it was so helpful and greatly appreciated.

Brooke S. | Dec. 2020

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