Captain Joseph McCager “Joe Mac” Hamilton, age 71 of Battletown, KY passed away Monday, August 10, 2020. He was born August 5, 1949, in Brandenburg, Kentucky.

Joe Mac graduated Meade County High School in 1967 and attended Western Kentucky University. A summer job as a deckhand with American Commercial Barge Line on June 16, 1968 began his river career. Moving up the ranks, he entered the Steersman Program in 1973, at the age of 24, and was promoted to Captain on a tug in Cairo Harbor. Captain Hamilton held a Master of Towing Vessels License for the Great Lakes, Gulf Intracoastal Waters, and Western Rivers, where he has piloted numerous vessels ranging from 800 horsepower to 10,000 horsepower. Captain Hamilton retired after 43 years with American Commercial Barge Line, and then continued his career with Hunter Marine until February 2014.

On May 31, 2006 American Commercial Barge Line recognized his service and reputation, by christening a towboat in his honor, the M/V Joseph M. Hamilton. It still runs between the banks of the Mississippi River today.

Joe Mac was a member of the Harrison Masonic Lodge #122 F&AM, a 32nd degree Scottish Mason and a member of the Order of Eastern Star. He was also inducted into the Meade County High School Alumni Hall of Fame for his lifetime achievements.

Joe Mac and his wife, Kay, were married 51 years. He loved his family, especially the kids, and enjoyed the outdoors. He spent his time hunting, fishing and working his food plots on his farm, in Battletown, Kentucky.

He is survived by his: wife, Kay Hamilton; children, Brian Joseph Hamilton and Sarah Kay (Greg) Dukes; mother, Verda Bennett Hamilton; sister, Barbara (John) Hamilton Moore; grandchildren, Clinton Browning Hamilton, Levi Forrest Hamilton, Samuel Jewel Hamilton, and Cadence Rebecca Dukes; nephews, Lucas Hamilton Moore and Zane Allen Moore; great-nephews, Zackery Cole Moore, Gunner Allen Moore, and Rock Wyatt Moore.

Joe Mac was preceded in death by his father, Ernest Allen Hamilton and brother, David (Ham) Allen Hamilton.

The family has chosen a private funeral service at the Bruington-Jenkins-Sturgeon Funeral Home with burial to follow in Cap Anderson Cemetery in Brandenburg, KY.

Expressions of Sympathy may be made to:

Seamen’s Church Institute

Either online at

or by Mail to:

129 S. Water St.

Paducah, KY 42001

Online Condolences may be left at

26 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All