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Elizabeth Jean "Betty" Hamilton

1936 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
Elizabeth Jean "Betty" Hamilton Obituary
Hamilton, Elizabeth Jean "Betty",

81, of Richmond, VA and Bremen, ME passed away peacefully at her residence in Virginia on July 3rd. She was born on January 29, 1936 in Louisville, KY to Earl and Imelda (Mattingly) Thompson. Betty grew up in the Louisville's West End, where she graduated from Loretto High School, St. Anthony's Hospital School of Nursing, and Catherine Spalding College. In 1958, she married the handsome young man who had grown up across the street from her, Joseph "Fred" Hamilton.

She worked as a nurse and also taught obstetric nursing at Catherine Spalding College for several years, while raising three young children and stylishly hosting many company dinner parties. She served as an early role model for her beloved sisters, daughter, and nieces through balancing work and family with generosity, kindness, and elegance. In support of her husband's career, she moved her family to Potomac, MD; Kenilworth, IL; and then back to Louisville in 1981.

Betty possessed a keen intelligence and quick wit. She had an enormous love of classical music, American antiques, and the beauty of nature. She began spending summer family vacations in Maine where she developed a fascination with bird watching and sailing. The latter leading her to take adventurous sailing trips to the Caribbean, Puget Sound, Sweden, and Tahiti. She retired to her beloved Maine in 1994 where she developed an interest in nature photography and served as a volunteer with the Hog Island Audubon Camp in Bremen, ME. She and Fred enjoyed the beauty of Maine together until his passing in 2012.

She is survived by her sons, Kelly Hamilton of Washington, D.C., and David Hamilton (Sandra) of Richmond, VA; daughter, Leigh Anne Bresnahan of San Diego, CA; sisters Mary Joan Burke (Joe) of Albany, NY; and Jenny Ellen Wilcox (Bill), of Naples, FL; grandchildren, Andrew Hamilton, Christopher Hamilton, Ryan Bresnahan, and Kiera Bresnahan; nieces, Maura Burke-Weiner, Colleen Rein, Kristin Kelly, Carey Wilcox, Mary Ann LaFollette, and Martha McMahon; and nephews Richie Steltenpohl, Mike Steltenpohl, Perren Cobb, Greg Cobb, and Brett Cobb.

Expressions of sympathy in Betty's memory may be made to Maine Audubon, 20 Gilsland Rd, Falmouth, ME, 04105 or at

A memorial service will be held on September 16, 2017 at 10:30 a.m. at Duncan Memorial Chapel: 5600 Old Floydsburg Rd, Crestwood, KY, 40014
Published in The Courier-Journal on July 23, 2017
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