Charmaine Hamilton, a life-long Philadelphian and faithful church servant, died on Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019, at Penn Presbyterian Hospital. She was 60.
She was born on June 18, 1959, and was the oldest daughter of Ruth and Leon Evans. She was raised in the Mantua section of Philadelphia along with her brothers, and her sister Ruth She graduated from University City High School and was known for her 1000-watt smile and infectious laugh.
Her love for people and her zest for life left its mark. She especially enjoyed festive celebrations with her family and friends, creating beauty with her hands through arts and crafts, knitting, cooking, cheering on her Philadelphia sports teams, and sharing her faith with people through her gifts as a ministry leader, at Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church in West Philadelphia.
She worked as a registrar support specialist at the University of Pennsylvania. Her family noted that during the last days of her life, she left “deposits of grace among those she loved as if she knew her journey here was coming to the end.” Mary Frances McCourt, the vice president for Finance and Treasurer over her department at Penn said, “Your sister’s smile lit up my life. So beautiful. I have a card she wrote me two weeks ago on the top of my desk.”
This month, she would have celebrated 37 years of marriage to her high school sweetheart, Charles D. Hamilton. While she had no biological children of her own, she doted on her parents, siblings, nieces, nephews, godchildren, and families in her church and community. One of her joys in recent years was leading Vacation Bible School Clubs in the summer for neighborhood children. She was known for her boundless energy attending weekly Bible studies, participating in recreational gatherings with co-workers, and going fishing with her brothers along the banks of the city’s streams. The Friday before her death, Hamilton, her sister and brother enjoyed an impromptu “pajama party” together, while working, laughing, and singing until 4:00 a.m., in preparation for a baby shower for her nephew, which took place the next day.
Recently, Hamilton was the Women’s Day speaker at her childhood church, First United Baptist Church in the Mantua neighborhood that groomed her in faith, leadership, and service. She spoke to an enthusiastic audience about the essence of unity among the body of Christ and remarked how overwhelmed she was that her life had come full circle.
Her affection for people was a natural fit for her human services career which spanned more than thirty years supporting adults with disabilities and managing teams at Community Interactions, Inc. in Delaware County, and United Cerebral Palsy of Philadelphia and vicinity. In 2015, she embarked on a new adventure in higher education, joining the staff at Penn where she was recognized for her commitment to students, alumni, faculty and staff in the office of the university registrar. She was associated with many activities including the Women of Color at Penn and the Penn Knitting Circle. In 2018, she was given the department’s best in class award for “Going Above and Beyond.”
She attended classes at Bloomsburg University and Temple University and earned a Master’s of Arts in Human Services, with honors, from Lincoln University in 1994. She received a church leadership certificate from the Lutheran Theological Seminary and served on its candidacy committee. At Grace Lutheran, she was president of the church council. She was a regular speaker who brought commitment, passion, and a sense of humor in her messages.
In 1977, the Philadelphia Boys and Girls Club voted her as the “Girl of the Year for the City of Philadelphia.”
She was preceded in death by her brother, Alexander “Man” Evans, and nephew, Frederick Salters Jr.
Along with her husband and parents, she is survived by: her sisters, Ruth Salters (Frederick), Sarah Evans, and Myra Evans; brothers, James Evans, Leon Evans, Alfonzo Evans, and Anthony Evans; uncle, William Whitehurst (Catherine); aunt, Evelyn Nelson and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, relatives, and friends.
Services will be held on Nov. 16 at Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church, 3529 Haverford Ave. Viewing is at 9 a.m. Services will follow at 11 a.m.
Interment is private.
Wood Funeral Home handled the arrangements.