LYN ELIZABETH HAMILTON August 6, 1944 - September 10, 2009 Smart, funny, creative, strong, loyal and brave - Lyn was all these and more. Beloved daughter of John (deceased) and Gwen Hamilton and cherished sister and sister-in-law of Cheryl Hamilton and Michael Cushing. She is also fondly remembered by the Collins family, her uncle Harris (aunt Elizabeth is deceased) Collins and cousins Peter, Kelly and Nicki. Lyn had many friends. A group of the closest helped her celebrate her 65th birthday last month with a party filled with laughter and love. Lyn kept her battle with cancer private, but the few friends who knew provided wonderful support during her illness. She had a great career, moving back and forth between public service and the private sector, working in public affairs, communications and program management. Then at the age of 50, she decided to add a writing career, using her lifelong interest in archeology to create a mystery series. The first of 11 novels, The Xibalba Murders, was published in 1997 and was nominated for an Arthur Ellis Award for best first crime novel in Canada. The eighth, The Magyar Venus, was nominated for an Ellis for best crime novel. These books feature feisty heroine Lara McClintoch, who owns an antiques store in Lyn's hometown of Toronto and travels the world for her business, solving murders along the way. Lyn managed to write and promote most of her novels during vacations, unpaid leaves and weekends. The books reflect her passion for heritage and culture, her sense of humour and her love of travel. She was Director of Public Affairs for the Canadian Opera Company, where she worked with many others to bring a new opera house to reality, an accomplishment that gave her much joy. Before that, she was Director of the Cultural Programs Branch in the Ontario government. In her earlier days in the government, she worked on women's issues and was particularly proud of a ground-breaking public awareness campaign on domestic violence. She was involved in education and mentoring of new writers. Over the years, she worked with over 100 authors on their manuscripts. She was writer-in-residence for the public libraries in North York and Kitchener. She taught a mystery and suspense writing course at the School for Continuing Studies at her alma mater, University of Toronto. Words of thanks to the Princess Margaret Hospital, especially Dr. Jennifer Knox, Dr. Ann Horgan, Heidi, Bettina and Odette for hanging in with us, all the nurses in chemo daycare who always remember names and care how you are doing, and more recently to Dr. John Bryson and Erin for compassionate palliative care. Thanks also to Lourdes Cardano, nursing supervisor at Briton House, who has watched over Lyn's mom while Cheryl supported Lyn. There will be no funeral service, at Lyn's request. A celebration with friends will be held later. Condolences may be posted at etouch.ca. If you wish, a donation in Lyn's name to the Canadian Opera Company or the Princess Margaret Hospital would be appreciated.
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Published in the Toronto Star from Sept. 12 to Sept. 14, 2009