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Obituaries » Patricia Jane Hamilton

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September 26, 1932 - October 26, 2023

A memorial celebration will be held on Saturday, March 9, 2024 at 1:00 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church of Kalamazoo, 321 West South St., Kalamazoo. The service will also be live-streamed on the church's YouTube channel (FPC Kalamazoo Events.) In lieu of flowers, please consider a memorial contribution in her honor to the Hearts-to-Hands Card Ministry at the First Presbyterian Church of Kalamazoo, Michigan ( ); the PEO Program for Continuing Education (, or to the charitable organization of your choice.

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Patricia Jane McMichael Hamilton died on October 26, 2023, at Brookdale Memory Care Center in Portage, Michigan. Jane was born on September 26, 1932, in Wampum, Pennsylvania, to Elmer E. (Tim) McMichael and Nell Hooton McMichael. She was the youngest of eight children, preceded in death by her seven siblings: Bob, Sis, Betty, Alene, Frank, Joe, and Shirley. Her husband of 56 years, Joseph L. Hamilton, also preceded her in death. She is survived by daughters Margaret (Margie) Hamilton, Melinda (Mindy) Hamilton, and Elizabeth (Beth) Hamilton, son-in-law Rod Carpenter, grandson Elliott McMichael Hamilton, and many generations of nieces and nephews. Jane graduated from Grove City High School in 1950, excelling on the academic track and in music. The first in her family to go to college, she earned a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education in 1954 from (then) Slippery Rock State Teachers College, now Slippery Rock University. Jane taught elementary school for 31 years, primarily first grade, in the Wissahickon and Hatboro-Horsham School Districts in southeastern Pennsylvania. After retirement from public school teaching, she taught for six years at the Ambler Weekday Nursery School in Ambler, Pennsylvania. She instilled in her students a love of reading and singing. Jane counted herself “a lucky duck” to be a teacher, and her students in turn called themselves “the lucky ducks” to be in her classes. Parents and colleagues recognized her great skill, creativity, love, and impact as a teacher. Jane was a leader in the Hatboro-Horsham Education Association and the Pennsylvania State Education Association, where she and colleagues successfully advocated for improved contracts and benefits for teachers in public schools, both in active service and in retirement. In 2003 Jane and Joe moved from suburban Philadelphia to Kalamazoo, Michigan, and were active in the Newcomers Club and the First Presbyterian Church of Kalamazoo, where she and Joe were recognized for their service with the “Chip Off The Old Block” award. She was active in the Kalamazoo Association of Retired School Personnel (KARSP). She founded and wrote award-winning newsletters that strengthened the community of active and retired teachers. Jane was also a member of the Philanthropic Educational Organization (PEO), committed to helping women pursue higher education. At home she cherished her time with family, friends, and neighbors, nurturing warm and lasting relationships through shared love of good food, books, music, cats, dogs, flowers, and laughter. Jane loved to travel and especially loved visiting friends and family. Throughout her life, Jane Hamilton was a good friend to the many people who called her friend, touching many lives through her unique gifts.