Obituary of Mary Duffus Hamilton
Mary Duffus (Farquhar) Hamilton was born in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia to Rev. George Farquhar and his wife Rubie (nee Duffus) on November 13, 1923. The family moved to Halifax in 1925. She was educated at the Morris Street School and Halifax Academy, and took a secretarial course at the Halifax Business College, becoming a stenographer at Pier 21 for most of WW II. As such she had a ring side seat to the results of many of the dramas of the war, including doing interviews with torpedoed refugees, seeing the first German prisoners-of-war arrive, and meeting Churchill on his way to the Quebec conferences. After the war, she studied at Nova Scotia College of Art and Design and Dalhousie University, graduating with degrees in Arts and Education. She taught school for a year in the LaHave Islands and in 1949 she married Ross Hamilton, who was attending Pine Hill Divinity College.
She was the minister's wife in United Church charges in Norton, West Saint John, Winnipeg, Halifax, and Margaree. At that time, a minister's wife was an essential but officially unrecognized part of a ministerial team, thus she was actively involved in the life of those congregations: in Sunday School, UCW, CGIT, various choirs, and other cultural organizations. This, as well as bringing up five very independent children with a view to expanding their intellectual and philosophic horizons!
In 1967, the family returned from Winnipeg to Halifax to Bethany United Church and subsequently the Atlantic School of Theology, where she was able to resume many old friendships. While in Halifax, she became active in many of the national and UCW committees of the church. She also resumed painting, which was a profound joy in her life. Many treasured hours were spent with a painting group at the IWK, creating work in support of their annual Kermesse fundraising event.
Throughout her life, she was a keen reader and always up for speculative discussions on virtually any topic from Aristotle to zydeco. She engendered and encouraged this spirit of intellectual curiosity in all her children.
She is the last surviving member of her immediate family, being predeceased by her brother Gordon Ian Farquhar, her sister Margaret Jean (Farquhar) Cameron, and her husband Ross Hamilton. She is survived by children Dr. John Hamilton (Dr. Minoli Amit, Antigonish); James Hamilton (Gantsetseg Rentsendorj, Vancouver); Sheila (Hamilton) Tucker (Porter's Lake); Neil Hamilton (Juliet Hamilton, Ottawa); and Dr. Andrew Hamilton (Dr. Joanne Nicholson, Kingston, Ontario). As well, she will be missed by her twelve grandchildren, six great-grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews.
The family would like to express deep gratitude for the devoted love and care Mary received at Green Meadows Community Residence for Seniors over the last four-and-a-half years.
A memorial service will be held at St. James United Church in Antigonish on Friday, May 6, at 1:00 p.m., with the Reverend Peter Andrew Smith officiating. Reception to follow. Committal will take place at a later date in New Campbellton, Nova Scotia. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Mission and Service Fund of the United Church and to Saint Martha's Hospital Foundation, or to a charity of choice.