Kathryn Louise ‘Kay’ Hamilton, 96, possessed the gift of openness

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Kathryn Louise 'Kay' Hamilton
Kathryn Louise ‘Kay’ Hamilton

Kathryn Louise ‘Kay’ Hamilton, 96, passed away Wednesday, March 22, 2017, in Virginia Beach. She was born Feb. 4, 1921, in Dilles Bottom, Ohio.

Kay was preceded in death by her best friend and husband, John Hamilton; sister, Clara Veneri Price; brother, Valentino Veneri; and mother, Margaret Grove.

She is survived by her two daughters, Rhonda Sonn and Donna Buckley; Donna’s husband, Steve Buckley; three granddaughters and their husbands, Erin and Jason Forsyth, Cara and John Pratt, and Kathryn and Mike Kressel; six great-grandchildren; brother, John Veneri; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Kay was a beauty inside and out. She possessed the gift of openness: a mind open to new ideas, a heart open to love deeply, and hands open to share generously. She had a sweet soul and a sweet tooth.

Kay loved travel and visited Alaska, Europe, Central America and the Caribbean. She had a sharp mind and enjoyed working with numbers and solving crossword and jigsaw puzzles. She cherished time spent with family, and her support of that family knew no bounds. She had a smile that lit up her whole face and made you feel warm inside, as warm as her incomparably delicious homemade vegetable soup.

Kay grew up in Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania, where she graduated from East Pittsburgh High School in 1938. In her younger years, she played the accordion, enjoyed polka dancing and was a spelling bee champion. During World War II, Kay worked in Cleveland as a real-life ‘Rosie the Riveter’ and later worked for the War Board in Washington D.C., where she was introduced to Navy man, John Hamilton, by her friend and his sister, Oma Lee.

Kay and John were married in August 1947 and enjoyed 63 years together until John’s passing in 2010. In 1948, Kay and John were transferred to Norfolk, Va., where Rhonda and Donna were born, and in 1955, she began a successful 26-year career with the Public Works Center. After retiring, she kept two of her granddaughters on a regular basis. She also spent many years actively participating at her church, Thalia Lynn Baptist.

The family will receive friends from 1-2 p.m. Saturday, March 25, at Thalia Lynn Baptist Church with a funeral service to follow at 2 p.m. A reception will take place after the service in the church fellowship hall. Private burial will be held at a later time in Rosewood Memorial Park.

In lieu of flowers, a contribution in Kay’s memory to the American Heart Association would be greatly appreciated.

Please share your love and condolences with the family at kellumfuneralhome.com.