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Hans Howard Estin, 83, of Hamilton, MA, passed away on May 4, 2012, after a long illness. He lived a full and generous life and was a loving husband, son, father, brother, grandfather, uncle and friend.
He was born in Prague, Czechoslovakia, on September 8, 1928. His family left Prague in 1938 and emigrated first to London, then Montreal, and finally settled in Boston. Hans graduated from Tabor Academy and earned a BA in economics from Harvard College. He was captain of the lacrosse team and on the varsity soccer and ski teams. Hans served in the United States Air Force as a pilot in the Korean War from 1951 to 1955.
After the war, Hans worked with his father, George Estin, in the investment business. He spent most of his adult life living on Blynman Hill in Manchester-by-the-Sea, MA. Hans played a role, with his brother Peter, in the founding of the Sugarbush Ski Resort and was a cofounder of Ski Club 10 in Warren, Vermont.
Hans was an avid skier and won many top honors. Hans was appointed in 1970 as the honorary consul for Belgium in Boston. He served on the board of trustees of Boston University where as chairman he led the search that culminated in the selection of John Silber as president. In 1974, Hans joined North American Management Corporation in Boston, where he served as vice chairman and on the board of directors.
Among his many business accomplishments, he helped to found the Sundance Ski Resort in Utah. He also served as a director or trustee of the following corporations: Harbor National Bank, Putnam Group of Mutual Funds, Boston Safe Deposit and Trust Company, The Boston Company and Yellowknife Bear Resources.
Hans’ philanthropic efforts included serving as a trustee of the New England Aquarium, a member of the corporation Massachusetts General Hospital, a trustee of Tabor Academy, a corporation member of the Schepens Eye Research Institute, a member of the Harvard Committee on University Resources and a member of the board of Overseers of the Boys and Girls Club of Boston.
He received an honorary doctor of law from Merrimack College and Boston University. Hans was a proud, card-carrying member of the 100 Club, an organization dedicated to the families of fallen police officers in Massachusetts.
Hans was predeceased by his parents, George and Mary Estin, and by his brother, Peter. His survivors include his wife, Claudia, of Hamilton, MA; a sister, Helenty Homans, of Santa Fe, NM; two daughters, Hilary Hood of Mill Valley, CA, and Alexandra Estin of Andover, NH; three granddaughters, Whitney, Siena and Lila Hood; and seven nieces and nephews.
Funeral services will be private. A memorial celebration of his life will be held at the Essex County Club at noon on Saturday, May 12. In lieu of flowers contributions can be made in his memory to Haiti Projects, Inc. 136 Rantoul Street, Beverly, MA 01915.