Late mother of three honored at Brookline tree lighting

BROOKLINE – It was a bittersweet tree lighting ceremony on Sunday as the town honored a young mother who died on Christmas Eve 2013.

Each year, a resident is chosen to pull the switch that lights the giant evergreen tree outside Town Hall.

This year, the three young children of Katie Whitcomb Hamilton – Madalyn, Lillian and Caleigh – did the honors.

After the ceremony, families visited Santa and others gathered in the warmth of the Town Hall meeting room.

Hamilton, 30, was killed after a vehicle hit her vehicle from behind on Route 13 near the Brookline Safety Complex. A judge last month agreed to drop charges against the Milford man who hit her.

“It puts a lot in perspective,” said Jodie Tochko, who, with fellow members of the Friends of the Brookline Library, sold candy and cookies after the tree lighting as a fundraiser.

Along with Hamilton, she said, three other people from ages 21-51 died recently, and the townspeople took all of those deaths very hard.

These kinds of tragedies remind us “to have good times and be kind to our neighbors,” Tochko said.

Down the road from Town Hall at the Brookline Chapel, Cornerstone Bible Church held a Living Nativity, with donkeys and an infant, Taylor Legrow, as Jesus, and shepherds and wise men dressed in colorful gowns.

Hannah Thomas, playing Mary, checked regularly to make sure the baby in swaddling clothes stayed warm in the biting cold.