IN MEMORIAM: Helen Hayes Hamilton

by Jane Ahrens

Reprinted from the Richmond Times-Dispatch
July 19, 2014

Helen Hayes Hamilton died peacefully at home on Thursday, July 17, 2014.

The middle daughter of Isobel Stewart Bryan Hayes and John Green Hayes Jr., she was born on June 16, 1938, in Richmond, Virginia. She attended St. Catherine’s School and graduated from St. Timothy’s School in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1955. She was on the tennis and field hockey teams while at St. Timothy’s and she sang in the choir. She received a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Smith College in 1959.

She married James C. Hamilton Jr. in December of 1961. She worked in the children’s division at Doubleday Books while they lived in New York and they moved to Richmond with their daughter, Helen Hamilton Horsley, in 1966. A long-time member of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, Goochland, she was a 40 year member of the Altar Guild and one-time head.

She had a passion for flowers and delighted in arranging them. Her home was always filled with flowers from her garden. She was a past head of Historic Garden Week in Virginia, and she was a former member of The Three Chopt Garden Club and the St. Catherine’s School Foundation Board. She also served as past head of the Belle Bryan Day Nursery and the Memorial Foundation for Children and served on these boards for many years.

She is survived by her husband of 52 years, James Christy Hamilton Jr.; her daughter, Helen Hamilton Horsley (John Garrett Horsley); and her three granddaughters, Selina McGill Horsley, Margaret Hamilton Horsley, and Lilian Holladay Horsley. She was predeceased by her sister, Isobel Bryan Hayes Kober; and is survived by her sister, Mildred Boyd Hayes Schoeller Cross. She is also survived by one niece and two nephews, Mildred Boyd Schoeller, Karl Christian Schoeller and Joseph Bryan Kober.

She was a beloved mother and grandmother. She was a tireless cheerleader to our family. She attended every game and recital and always arrived early to save the best seats in the house. She delighted in making candy houses and taking each granddaughter on a special trip abroad. She always encouraged and loved her family. She enjoyed spending time in Richmond, Gulfstream, Florida and Fishers Island, New York. She had a host of dear and true friends in each locale, many with whom she thoroughly enjoyed playing golf and bridge. The family wishes to give special thanks to Dr. Mary Helen Hackney of Massey Cancer Center, Bon Secours Hospice and St. Mary’s Church, for their compassionate care during her illness.

The memorial service will be held on Tuesday, July 22, at 11 a.m. at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, 12291 River Road, in Richmond. Donations in her memory may be made to St. Catherine’s School, St. Mary’s Church, or Massey Cancer Center.

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