Mary Lou (Bergstrom) Hamlin (1943 - 2016)

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RIO RANCHO, N.M. – Mary Lou Hamlin, 72, died on Thursday, April 28, 2016, in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, following an extended battle with cancer.
She was born in Independence, Iowa, in 1943 to Orville and Bernadene (Zimmerly) Bergstrom, and graduated from Independence High School in 1962. Following high school, Mary Lou completed her nursing degree at St. Luke's Methodist School of Nursing. She married Robert Hamlin (d1994) in 1966, and the couple moved to Boulder, Colo., shortly thereafter where they raised their two children, Deborah (d2015) and Timothy.
The majority of Mary Lou's career was spent working as a paraprofessional in various Colorado public schools, where she gave passionately and selflessly in the assistance and teaching of mentally and physically disabled children. After her retirement from Fairview High School, Mary Lou moved to Loveland, Colo., and then to Norman, Okla., where she lived for several years up until just before her death.
Mary Lou was an extremely kind and warm person, who always went out of her way to help others. She was a talented artist and hobbyist, and possessed an incredible intellect and associated quick wit. She never stopped learning, and attended numerous classes at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, University of Oklahoma.
Mary Lou is survived by her sister Doris and brother-in-law Bob; son Tim; son-in-law Bruce; grandson Carter and his wife Emily; granddaughter Calli; and a legion of loving and devoted friends.
We are all heartbroken at the loss; it was far too soon. So true to her nature, Mary Lou simply wished for those who knew and loved her to find their own best way to celebrate and remember her life, rather than having a formal service. Those wishing to honor her memory by helping families in similar circumstances are encouraged to consider donations to Hospice de la Luz (, their own local Hospice organization, or the .

Published in Independence Bulletin-Journal from May 19 to May 28, 2016
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