Betty Hamilton

Betty Hamilton, much-loved active community volunteer and mom, grandma, and great grandma, died peacefully after a brief illness in the care of Flagstaff Medical Center on New Year's Eve, 2020,

An Arizona native, Betty was born in Globe to Frank and Ela Coverdale. An only child with a large extended family, she enjoyed exploring the wide-open deserts and fields of crops and attended Globe High School. Betty met her husband, Mike Hamilton, in Phoenix and in the early 1960s they relocated to Pasadena, California, and purchased the home where they raised their four sons.

Always active in her community and local government, and mentored by many well-educated professional women leaders, Betty served her local PTA chapter, and went on to work for Pasadena's mayor as his field representative, organizing and participating in campaigns and events. Betty took active roles in fundraising for her parish, St. Elizabeth in Altadena, and was a dedicated sports mom with Little League.

In the 1970s Betty and her business partner began a neighborhood farmers market in Pasadena giving small-scale local growers in Southern California's farming regions a place to sell their produce. This gave lower-income residents without transportation an affordable healthy foods market within walking distance. Their initiative sparked a movement that gradually spread nationwide, with Betty traveling to advise and assist communities in launching their own markets.

Upon retirement in 2004, Betty the intrepid explorer loaded up her van and traveled all over the west, learning, and enjoying herself. In 2006, Betty settled in Flagstaff, returning to her home state, and serving as caregiver for her mother until her death in 2011. From week one, Betty involved herself as a volunteer with Hodge Podge, Northland Hospice's thrift store, and Sharon's Attic, thrift shop in support of Northland Family Help Center. Betty returned to her life's passion with Flagstaff Community Market, the smiling check-out volunteer indispensable for smooth-running operations.

An avid reader and student of native American cultures of the Southwest, Betty supported native artists through acquiring handcrafted artworks and turquoise jewelry and was a life member of Museum of Northern Arizona. She rarely missed Flagstaff Symphony performances or monthly gatherings of Westerners Flagstaff Corral. March through May found Betty in Taos, New Mexico, an annual visit beginning in 2011 with her dog as companion, savoring the downtime from her usual active lifestyle.

For more than 32 years, Betty participated at every level of the 12-step fellowship that was the foundation of her blessed life, most enjoying answering hotline calls and staffing the local central office. She was respected, loved and a role model to so many who sought the sober life, especially the young people.

Betty is survived by her beloved sons, David, John, and Peter Hamilton, five dear grandchildren (Michael, Alana, Jessica, Alliannah and Joshua), and two precious great-grandchildren, Xavier and Zola. Her treasured youngest son Matthew predeceased her in 2011.

Betty leaves an inspiring legacy of love and service. She was a deeply grateful and strong-willed yet humble independent woman who treated life as a grand adventure. She will be dearly missed by her family and friends.

A mass will be offered on a date to be determined at her family parish in Altadena. An online celebration of life was held on January 11, 2021.


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Published by Arizona Daily Sun on Jan. 15, 2021.
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I met Betty when she began volunteering at The Hodge Podge Thrift Store. We liked to work shifts together. She was very interested in my life as a member of the Hopi Tribe. She would tie her dog outside and I would enjoy going outside to pet and scratch his ears. Betty had great stories and we enjoyed spending time together. I looked forward to the Sunday Farmer´s Market so I could say hi to her and just check in with one another. I will truly miss her and her stories. Thank you for choosing to live in Flagstaff.
Dinah Gillette
January 26, 2021
I `m so grateful to have known Betty. I met her in 2009. She was especially helpful to me in my early sobriety. She was always a concerned about other people´s welfare, no matter how short of time she might of known you. I will always remember Betty and am so sad she has passed.
Rhonda Davis
January 15, 2021