James Anthony Hamlin Walsh, 44, died suddenly and unexpectedly on April 20, while on a business trip to China.
James was a true child of the Vineyard whose passion for the environment was developed and nurtured here. He spent every summer of his childhood here and as much time as possible thereafter. He was a founding partner of a company devoted to new environmental technology, Sinova Capital LLC, and, when he died, he was working on a plan to develop clean energy from waste in China.
He was the beloved husband of Colette Dumont, the proud father of Ella Claire, 13, Henri Elliott, 10, and Audrey Hamlin, five. He leaves his grieving parents, Cynthia Hamlin Walsh of West Tisbury and Jerome K. Walsh of New York, as well as his sisters, Lawler Walsh Parker, and her husband, Terry, and their children, Maddie and Aidan; and his sister, Katherine Walsh, her husband, Bruce Fernie, and their daughters, Bowen and Avery.
A popular classmate at St. Bernard’s School in New York, James went on to Exeter Academy in New Hampshire, where he played varsity lacrosse and made lifelong friends, his “band of brothers.” On hearing of his death, they traveled to the Island to grieve and reminisce with his family. They, too, are his survivors.
James was a happy, gregarious man. A talented athlete, he enjoyed and participated in many sports. At his death, he was the coach of his son Henri’s lacrosse team. In the fall, he coached Henri’s football team, and he had been his son’s soccer coach as well. He was an accomplished skier, surfer, and sailor.
James thrived on a challenge, the bigger the better. “Let’s do it! It will be fun!” he would exclaim to wary comrades. In addition, he was a competent carpenter who reconstructed part of the family home on Old County Road and built an addition to his own house, when he and Colette lived in Seattle.
They moved to Rye, New Hampshire, in 2005, because their parents and siblings lived on the East Coast, and James wanted his children to grow up with their grandparents and cousins close by.
He is missed by many aunts, uncles, and cousins. Jaime Hamlin of Vineyard Haven, who lived with Cynthia’s family, was both aunt and sister. His paternal aunt, Michaela Walsh, was his mentor in developing his interest in environmental technology, the field in which he received an MBA from the University of Washington.
James was a gentle and good man whose absence is a lifelong sorrow for all those he left behind. A memorial service in West Tisbury will be held this summer at a date to be determined.