Eleanor Elizabeth Hamilton (née Fugger)

June 8th, 2022

Elly was born in Spring Valley, Saskatchewan on March 11, 1931, and passed away in Richmond Hospital on June 8, 2022.  During her last days, she was surrounded by loving friends and family. 

Elly was predeceased by her husband of 59 years, Dick Hamilton.  She will be lovingly remembered and missed by her four children, Peggy (Bernard), Jenny (John), Jim (Sue), Dave (Julie); her eight grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren; sisters Carol Leckie and Jackie Gramlich; brother Bob Fugger; and many nieces and nephews.

In 1934 Elly moved with her family from Saskatchewan to the Okanagan where she lived until she and Dick married in 1953.  Elly earned her Teaching Certificate from Victoria Normal School in 1951 and over the years taught school in the Okanagan; Lincoln, Nebraska; and Richmond, BC.  As Dick’s Plant Virology career progressed, they raised four children together in Nebraska, Montana, Montreal, and finally Richmond.  Family was at the heart of Elly’s life.  She was a devoted Mom for many years, and enjoyed nothing more than gathering with her children and grandchildren.  Elly’s faith was very important to her and she participated in many church organizations including Parish Council, RCIA, Fall Fair Chairman, Retrouvaille, Marriage Encounter, Welcome Home Team, and for 32 years she was a member of the Small Christian Community at St. Joseph the Worker Parish in Richmond.  The support and love from that community meant a great deal to Elly.  Elly also volunteered as a docent at the UBC Museum of Anthropology for ten years, and for many years following Dick’s diagnosis, Elly lead a caregiver support group for spouses of those with Alzheimer’s.  Elly and Dick travelled to many places around the world and enjoyed trips to Europe, Africa, Australia, and Japan.  They especially enjoyed a year’s sabbatical in Scotland with Jim and Dave, but their most favourite place of all was Cox Bay on the west coast of Vancouver Island.  Elly loved birds and delighted in observing them all, from hummingbirds to eagles.  She loved to walk the Richmond dykes and fly kites at Garry Point in Steveston, and shared many happy times there with her family.  Elly lived with enthusiasm her entire life and had a strong sense of justice for people and for the natural world.  She epitomized resilience.

The family is very grateful for the care and comfort provided by the staff at Richmond Hospital, and for the wonderful, caring staff at The Maple Residences in Steveston, which was Elly’s home for the last two years of her life.

There will be a memorial service for Elly in the fall at St. Joseph the Worker Parish in Richmond.  The family will provide details in the coming weeks.  In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Eleanor Hamilton’s name to SOS Children’s Village (https://www.sos-childrensvillages.org/).


Dear Elly's family, I did meet you all at their "wedding" when Father Denis 'remarried' them. It was so touching. Elly and Dick were my sponsors when I was accepted into the church. I cannot describe how caring and knowledgeable they both were during my journey in RCIA. It does not really matter what I say to you in this huge heartbreak moment but one thing that is positive, is that they are together again. My condolences go out to you all. Your parents were very special people and I loved them dearly. Regards, Wilma

Please accept my demonstration sympathy as you mourn your dear mother and grandmother. She was a gem of a friend with such love for everyone. She is dearly missed.

I am so sorry to hear of Eleanor's passing. She and Dick were always great community supporters. In the 1980s and 90s, they helped to save Richmond's Terra Nova lands for public use, and as a result we now have the Terra Nova Rural Park and Natural Area, two key areas of wildfowl habitat. Eleanor may have left us, but we will always have wonderful memories of her.

We are very sorry to hear of the passing of Elly. We were lucky to get to know Elly at several family gatherings with Dave and Julie; and will remember Elly as a very kind, gracious lady. Our thoughts are with Dave, Julie, Danielle, Josh and all of Elly’s family at this difficult time. Elly will always remain in the hearts of those who loved her.

I am so sorry to hear of your mother’s loss! As I think on her amazing legacy, I see your mother and grandmother reflected also in how you see the world. Her gift keeps on giving!!

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