Hilda Eileen HAMILTON (née Foster)
d. 16 Feb 2003  

Bexhill-on-Sea Observer, Thursday February 20, 2003

A great zest for life, even in her 80s

The death has occurred of a lady who spent almost her entire married life in Bexhill, through "thick and thin" - Doodlebugs included.

Hilda Hamilton died at Grosvenor Park Nursing Home on Sunday. She was 89.

She was born at Seven Kings near Ilford in Essex where she was to meet her husband, Donald. The couple married in 1936, moving to Bexhill where Donald had started his accountancy firm Hamilton & Co shortly before.

Bexhill was in "Doodlebug Alley" in 1944, one of Hitler's "vengeance weapons" crashing only a couple of houses away from their home.

Hilda will be remembered for a great joie de vivre and in her youth was an accomplished singer, winning many medals in solo voice competitions.

She was also a competent pianist, ballet dancer and artist and an excellent cook and leaves many examples of her beautiful embroidery.

In latter years she became a keen gardener and on fine Summer days in Cooden she could often be found out in the garden at 5:00 am!

Her son, Anthony, recalls: "She also used to enjoy decorating the inside of the house and was meticulous in her finish --- it was no M.D.F. for her !

"She had a wonderful rapport with children and after selflessly nursing her beloved Don through his long illness, she undertook voluntary work in the children's ward at the local hospital where she would read to and play with the children whose families could not visit.

"She loved this work and it was obviously so appreciated that the hospital managed to keep her on beyond the official retirement age of 80 !!"

She was a much travelled lady and she and Don saw a great deal of the world. She always did the driving and had covered most of western Europe, South Africa and North America. After her husband's death she continued to travel and enjoyed a cruise in the Caribbean - not in the luxury of a super-liner but by banana boat !

At 80, she travelled alone to Australia to visit long lost cousins.

Her son recalls: "Not only did she fly by conventional means, she also enjoyed a spot of hot-air ballooning with her grand children!"

Hilda Hamilton a grandmother and great-grandmother, also leaves a daughter Patricia, and another son, David.

A family funeral will be held privately. The family are inviting donations in lieu of flowers to Kipling children's ward at the Conquest Hospital.