HAMILTON, JULIA PEARL A distinguished educator, Social Worker and community activist, Dr. Hamilton dedicated her life to helping others. She entered into rest on August 3rd in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. A resident of New Haven, Connecticut, Dr. Hamilton grew up in Augusta, Georgia under the loving guidance of her late parents, Evie Lu and Lonnie Hamilton, a former administrator for the Augusta Public Housing Authority. She attended Lucy Laney High School and went on to pursue her studies at St. Paul's College in Lawrenceville, Virginia where she received a BS degree in Sociology/Psychology. She earned her Master of Social Work degree from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio and furthered her studies at Columbia University School of Social Work in New York City and the Yale School of Public Health in New Haven, Connecticut. She received her Doctor of Philosophy degree in Social Work from Yeshiva University School of Social Work in New York. Her career at Yale New Haven Hospital began in 1970 when she worked as a Pediatric Social Worker. In 1975 Julia became Chief Social Worker and Manager of the Ambulatory Service and Manager and Chief Social Worker of the Emergency Room Service, where she started a parent and child program that focused on parent education and child development. She also served as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics. In 1980 she was named Social Worker Co-Director of the Yale Medical Center Child Abuse Program. Based on her distinguished academic and community service accomplishments, Julia was invited to join the faculty of Social Work at Southern Connecticut State University in 1986. Her exemplary achievements as a social work educator and community advocate led to her appointment as a tenured Associate Professor of Social Work. In recognition for over 30 years of professional practice, she was named Social Worker of the Year by the National Association of Social Workers, Connecticut Chapter. "My father wanted all of his children to be successful," she said of her dad when she received the honor. She credited both her parents for her desire to succeed. Indeed, Julia's career was stellar; her community activities and professional honors and recognition, numerous and impressive. But above all, her sensitivity and deep commitment to helping people, particularly children and parents in need of guidance, as well as those persons seeking to improve their skills as social workers, truly set her apart. Julia was a phenomenal woman. It is impossible to say how many lives she affected positively, or how many students benefited from her training and teaching over the years. Her colleagues estimate that 2,000 to 3,000 of her patients obtained GEDs in her years with the Parenting/Play Program. She is also credited with having trained countless Yale New Haven Hospital social workers over the years. Her community activities ranged from serving on the New Haven Board of Education and the City's Special Commission on Infant Health to serving on the Connecticut AIDS Task Force and the Board of Commission on Welfare for the City of New Haven. She served as a Senior Management Consultant for the Washington, D.C. based Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Special Project called Open Doors, a Federal project focused nationally on diversity in health and community care. Dr. Hamilton served on the board of directors for the Connecticut Child Welfare Association, the Association of Black Social Workers of New Haven, as well as the New Haven Black Family Round Table on Infant Mortality at Yale New Haven Hospital. She was the author of several articles and book chapters on child abuse and social work practice in dealing with the underserved populations and was senior co-editor of a textbook titled, Diversity, Oppression and Social Functioning. The textbook has been so well received within the social work community that it is now in its third edition. Julia was a member of The Links, Inc. and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. She was brilliant and engaging, open and honest, and always spoke her mind. Julia loved being near the water, a source of beauty, healing and spirituality. We will miss her smile, her wit, and her contagious laughter. Passionate about her work, she was an advocate for those in need; a beacon and a role model who dedicated her life to helping others. And she did so with little fanfare. She leaves to cherish her loving memory, her brother, Clark Hamilton M.D. and sister-in-law M. Fanchon Rouce Hamilton, Ph.D., Oklahoma City, OK; brother, George W. Hamilton and his wife Bernice Hamilton, Augusta, GA; nephew, George W. Hamilton of Durham, NC.; nieces Leah Hamilton of New York, NY, Cheryl Strobridge of Augusta, GA, and Lonna Hamilton of New Haven, CT; Leah's mother, Alnisa Barbara Banks of Buffalo, NY; grand nephews, Trey Strobridge and Israel Hamilton of Augusta, GA; cousin Penny Taylor-Brown of Youngstown, OH; a very special friend, Valerie Boyd, and daughters Teandrea and Tiana Cornelius of New Haven, CT.; and a host of relatives and friends. "Julia's passion for helping children and families and addressing social inequities, was equaled only by her boundless humanity and sense of humor. With her passing, the world is a less spirited and sadder place," stated a close friend and colleague. The Lucy Laney High School Class of 1960 served as Pallbearers and Flower Attendants. May her beautiful, caring soul rest forever in the Eternal Fields of Peace. Funeral services were held for Dr. Julia Pearl Hamilton, Ph.D., of Augusta, Georgia on Friday, August 12 at St. Mary's Episcopal Church, 1114 12th Street.
Published in the New Haven Register from Aug. 27 to Aug. 28, 2011.