Josiah T. Hammer, a lifelong fisherman who lived in Springs for most of his 36 years, died there on Saturday. The cause was not known, his family said.
Known as Si, Mr. Hammer began fishing at a young age with his father, Capt. Edward Hammer Sr., on a dragger out of Montauk, and continued to work the waters in his adult life. Captain Hammer had his younger son and his siblings, Edward Jr., Michele, and Kerri, fishing and clamming from the time they were children, Mr. Hammer’s sisters said.
Although Mr. Hammer made some attempts at other career choices, “the saltwater in his veins could no longer keep him from the sea,” his family said, and eventually he returned to fishing. “He loved what he did and was damn good at it,” they said.
He worked for several years with Mitchell Lester, who became like a brother to him, aboard his boat the Bottom Dollar out of Three Mile Harbor. “They had a great friendship that others could only envy,” his sisters said.
Mr. Hammer was born on Jan. 8, 1976, in Southampton to Edward Hammer Sr. and the former Sallie King. He attended the Springs School and the East Hampton Middle School, then moved to Florida for high school, but eventually he came back to his hometown to stay.
“He was a true Bonacker, through and through,” his family said. He was also “a true good guy,” they said. “Anyone who ever came in contact with him would tell you how respectful, understanding, and funny he was.” He was “known for his ability to make people laugh, even in the toughest situations. . . . They don’t make them like Josiah anymore.”
Mr. Hammer is survived by his parents, who live in Jonesville, Va., and by his brother, Edward Hammer Jr. of Jonesville, and sisters, Kerri Hammer of East Hampton and Michele Hill of Vestavia, Ala. He also leaves two nieces, Olivia and Abigail, “whom he adored,” his sisters said.
The family will receive visitors tomorrow from 2 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. at the Yardley and Pino Funeral Home in East Hampton. A burial at sea is planned for a later date.