Social Justice activist and Mountain Party State Executive Committee member J. Steve Hamilton passed away yesterday on June 15, 2021.
“Steve Hamilton was a valued member of the Mountain Party and a close friend,” said Denise Binion, Chair of the Mountain Party. “We worked together on various political issues for almost 20 years, first in North Central WV Democracy for America and then the Mountain Party. Steve was a kind soul who worked to change people’s lives for the better and equality for everyone. We were blessed to have him with us for as long as we did.”
Steve was born in Fairmont and was raised in the Clarksburg area, where he last resided. A graduate of Liberty High School and Fairmont State University in the 1980s, he was a life-long learner and had recently completed a graduate certificate from Grand Canyon University. Steve was a camping enthusiast who loved the natural beauty of West Virginia.
Steve dedicated part of his life in Cleveland working for a social service agency that was an arm of the Cleveland AFL-CIO. He was elected as a shop steward with the Office Professional Employees International Union serving on two negotiation committees. He soon became an organizer with Service Employees International Union (SEIU) District 1199. Following this he was hired as a contract organizer, where he held management accountable to adhere to the union contracts. He was the lead in several contract negotiations and represented over 1,300 workers.
When Steve returned to West Virginia, he was an avid volunteer for many groups and organizations including Celebrate Recovery, the Clarksburg Mission, Democracy for America, Get Equal WV, and the Harrison County Senior Center. Steve was both a member of the Mountain Party of West Virginia, a former Social Justice Committee Chair, and the Socialist Party USA. In addition, he was a 2020 candidate for the West Virginia House of Delegates.
“Steve was a powerful leader who continuously organized people to create change,” said Sue Thorn, Secretary of the Mountain Party. “I’ll always remember him for his insights and enthusiasm!”
Steve was a Disciple of Christ who believed in Jesus’ instruction to love others. He attended both Centerbranch Church and Rushing Wind Biker Church. He was loved by his community and will be greatly missed.