Shirley Ann (Nemmers) Hamilton, 91, of Oak Park, died on Dec. 5, 2022. Born on May 30, 1931 in Portsmouth, Virginia at the Portsmouth Naval Hospital, her family moved to Iowa and around 1937 to North Carolina where she spent the next 18 years. In 1955, she met the love of her life, Robert M. Hamilton, who was serving in the military. After a short few months, they were married in Raleigh, in August of 1955 and moved to Chicago, eventually settling in Oak Park in 1968.
The Maple Park neighborhood in Oak Park, and St. Bernardine Parish in Forest Park became the center of the universe for raising and nurturing their 11 children. She volunteered as minister of communion and served on Mother’s and Women’s Clubs for years. She spent many happy years in Oak Park although they also experienced the loss of son and brother, John, in a tragic accident.
In the next phase of her life, she became mother in-law, grandma, and great grandma to many. She loved the baptisms, communions, birthdays and weekly visits in her home from her new extended families.
She came from a large family of nine, and she maintained relations through long, long-distance phone calls and occasional visits. They shared a sense of humor and the ability to tell a story. She often referred to North Carolina as home.
In later years, she became secretary at St. Bernardine Grade School. She felt fortunate to be able to positively impact many children and their family’s lives.
She made friends easily among neighbors, fellow parishioners and those at work.
Shirley leaves behind her children, Mary Griffith (Robert), Catherine O’Leary (John), Margaret Barry (Jack), Elizabeth Allabastro (Paul), Robert Hamilton (Bridget), William Hamilton (Gretchen), Peter Hamilton (Laura), Ellen Hamilton (Steve Glinke), Michael Hamilton (Lisa), Matt Hamilton (Jackie), along with 31 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren. She is survived by her brothers and sisters, Robert Nemmers, Raymond Nemmers, Catherine Booth, Karen Jackson and Michael Nemmers, and she was preceded in death by her husband, Robert M. Hamilton (2010); her son, John Stephen (1975); her brother, Peter Nemmers; and her sisters, Elizabeth De Angelis and Evelyn Szuchan.
Visitation was held on Dec. 10 at St. Bernardine Church, 7246 Harrison, Forest Park IL 60130, followed by the funeral Mass and interment at Queen of Heaven Cemetery.