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Jane Ogden Hamilton

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Jane Ogden Hamilton

Jane Ogden Hamilton of Wilmington passed away on May 2, 2013. She was 93. She was born in 1919 in Baltimore to Harry Ford Ogden and Mildred Broughton Byrd. She grew up in Baltimore and was graduated from Goucher College in 1939.

During her junior year abroad she studied at the University of Heidelberg, Germany. She was 18 years old and eager to learn about Europe. In the event, she learned more than she expected to. The Nazis she encountered could not be ignored. Their anti-Semitism was like nothing she had every known. As the visit unfolded, she was appalled to see how easily people were manipulated to turn blind eyes to wrong-doing. The experience gave her perspective on the subsequent tragic events that few other Americans had when World War II began.

Fortunately, the university community in Heidelberg was still largely untouched by German politics, and its energy, enthusiasm, and intellectual challenge left her with fond memories that never faded. Two of the half-dozen pictures that decorated her bedroom were of pre-war Heidelberg. She said that the operetta, The Student Prince, truly depicted what the student life was like when she was there.

During World War II, Jane volunteered as a Red Cross candy striper. She also married her husband of 51 years, Jefferson Merritt Hamilton, Jr., who, with his colleagues at The Johns Hopkins University, was engaged in classified work on the Manhattan Project. Working together for several years, the members of that group developed a strong bond. Like her 1938 experience in Germany, her close relationships with the people in her husband's research group gave her a heightened awareness of later events that would be of worldwide consequence.

At the end of the war, Jane and Jeff moved to Wilmington, where they lived for the rest of their lives. Jane worked with the blind for many years and as a volunteer at Read-Aloud Delaware, the A.I. DuPont Hospital, and the Wilmington Hospital.

Trained in the use of the Myers-Briggs Type Inventory in 1963, Jane was certified as a Group Development Facilitator and Professional Member by The Association for Creative Change in Religious and Other Social System. For the next 25 years she served as a Senior Trainer and Coordinator for the Mid-Atlantic Association for Training and Consulting (MATC). Representative clients were the National Conference of Christians and Jews, Episcopal Dioceses of Delaware and Bethlehem (Pennsylvania), American Baptist Church National Ministries, New Castle County Department of Public Instruction, New Castle County Presbytery, Human Relations team of the Millersville University Center for Academic Development, Board of Directors of St. Michael's Day Nursery in Wilmington, Planned Parenthood of Lancaster County, and Grace Church Vestry in Lexington, North Carolina. Jane's large file of client commendations of her consulting work brought her great joy.

Jane is survived by her sister and brother-in-law Nancy and William Carson, son and daughter-in-law Ogden and Jo Hamilton, daughter and son-in-law Elizabeth (Lee) Hamilton and Tom Hartmann, grandson Kirk Hamilton, granddaughter and grandson-in-law Amanda and Mike Furlotti, great granddaughter Clara Furlotti, nieces Ann Cooper, Harvey Cooper Preston, and Millie Carson, and nephews Harry and Hugh Carson.

Jane was preceded in death by her husband and her sister, Elizabeth Ogden Preston.

A Memorial Service will be held at Trinity Church on Thursday, May 16, 2013 at 2:30 PM. Memorial contributions may be made to Trinity Episcopal Church, 1108 N. Adams St., Wilmington DE 19801.

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Published in The News Journal on May 12, 2013
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