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Shirley (Shirlea) Hamilton

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Shirley (Shirlea) Anne Hamilton (Armstrong)

February 9, 1928 - February 26, 2017


Shirlea passed away peacefully at her home in Cranbrook BC, on February 26, 2017, aged 89; and will be sadly missed by all whose lives she touched.

Born February 9, 1928 in Cranbrook, Shirlea was the youngest child of Ray and Dorothy (Mackey) Armstrong, and at 6 months; she, her parents, and siblings Bill and Paulie moved to Kimberley.

Shirlea grew up in a tight-knit community surrounded by a loving extended family; which is where she gained the character traits for which she was so renowned and loved – humility, compassion, grace, open-mindedness, curiosity, understanding, sense of humor, honesty, determination and wit.

The Armstrong home was a gathering place for all ages, where everyone was welcomed with open arms. She ventured to Calgary to learn surveying and drafting, then returned to Kimberley to work in the Cominco office as the first woman to hold this position. A young geologist caught her eye and Shirlea and Brian Hamilton were married May 8, 1950. Over the next ten years, they were blessed with six daughters, Leigh Bagnall, Leslie Askew, Beth (Bruce) Reid, Jill DaSilva, Darci Hamilton and Chris Hamilton who died in infancy.

In 1963, the family moved to Cranbrook and Shirlea took a job at the Merc Department Store, then later the Copper Kettle Kitchen Boutique. How she fit this in with sewing circle, golf, bridge, her later volunteer work with the Hospital Auxiliary Thrift Shop and everything else, is still a mystery. Bonds were created with many, and expanded to encompass everyone she came in contact with.

Shirlea had a heart of gold, always saw the good in people and lovingly took on the concerns of everyone she cared about. Through the ups and down of life she was the eternal optimist who had no doubt everything would work out for the best.

Shirlea had a zest for life, fully engaged the lives of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren and was so excited for all their accomplishments, You could always count on Shirlea to be your biggest fan, greatest supporter, a shoulder to cry on, and the one person who would believe you were wonderful when you didn’t think so. Her family included every niece and nephew, for whom she became “their favourite aunt”, and she loved when they would stop in to see her.

The world will be dimmer now that Shirlea has left us, but the light she shone into our lives is reflected in all who met her and hope to be like her, and her legacy will be the years of happy memories she leaves embedded in our hearts.

In addition to her five daughters, Shirlea leaves to mourn her eleven grandchildren, Phillip Blindenbach, Jen Hollick, Kyle Bagnall, Amy Deschamps, Shaun Askew, Cole Reid, Eric Reid, Cara Zeznik, Lisa Warren, Chris DaSilva, and Joel Hamilton; and fourteen great-grandchildren, Bluejean Hollick, Amelie Deschamps, Zoe and Alexa Reid, Noah McFadzen, Harper and Lily Reid, Linden and Jade Zeznik, Jack, Cole and Ben Warren, Abby and Lachlan Martin. She was predeceased by her husband, Brian, daughter Chris, and grandson Ryan Martin.

A funeral will be held at Christ the Servant Parish, 1100 14th Avenue South, Cranbrook, BC, at 10:30 a.m. on Monday, March 6, 2017. If friends desire, donations may be made to the charity of your choice in Shirlea’s memory. Condolences may be left for the family at




Send a condolence, light a candle and/or share a memory, click "Send Condolence". Once your message has been approved by the moderator it will be posted to the website.

From: Mark Memorial Funeral Services Staff

Mark Memorial Funeral Services Staff send our condolences to family and friends.

From: Susan Lloyd
Relation: My friend's mum

Darci, thinking of you and your family as you celebrate your Mum and her memory. I was happy to have met your Mum and spend a brief time with her to at least experience a little of all you had told me about her. Hugs to Joel and Beth.

From: Audrey Mayne
Relation: acquaintance

This news made me so sad. I truly enjoyed interacting with Shirley at the Hospital Auxiliary. She always had a quick comeback, a great attitude towards life, and a mischievous twinkle in her eye. It was a pleasure to have had her cross my path. Rest in peace.

From: Val Migneault
Relation: Relationship - How did you know the deceased?

I met Shirlea years ago when I was a homemaker for her Mom (Mrs. Armstrong) Shirlea was a very caring and compassionate daughter to her Mom. I loved her laugh, and the twinkle in her eyes. May she Rest in Peace! I’m very sorry for your loss.

From: Leanne Egeland(Armstrong)
Relation: Relationship - How did you know the deceased?

My heart and prayers are with you all. So sorry for your loss. In my minds eye from my earliest memories until recent I see your mother’s infectious smile and twinkle in her eye. And to me she always looked the same. She never seemed to get older and she always had a smile and twinkle. Mrs. Hamilton will be greatly missed. I pray for peace and comfort and that you are surrounded by love.

From: Shirley & John Stone
Relation: Leslie's Mom

So sorry for your loss, Leslie. Our sincere sympathy and prayers to you and your family.

From: William and Edward Duhamel
Relation: Relative, Dorothy-Mary Mackey

It’s sad to see love ones go. It’s even harder to watch them struggle!

From: Anne Edwards
Relation: Friend

I met Shirlea soon after we moved to Cranbrook. She was a good friend: thoughtful, generous and fun to be with. Although I haven’t seen her for some time, I remember her fondly and send sincere sympathy to her family. Sincerely, Anne Edwards.

From: Davene (Herman) Bird
Relation: I was Child-minder for Shirley's daughters in 1950's

Dear Leigh, Leslie, Beth, Jill, Darci,
Your Dad and Mom raised you so well, and you were a joy to look after, when I was a teen-ager in Kimberley. Their excellent parenting skills gave you a wonderful foundation and me a splendid example. I loved you and Shirley dearly, and would visit Shirley The Salesperson, occasionally., in later years. She never changed from the modest, well-balanced, REAL person of my youth.I only read of her passing today, March 6, p.m., and would’ve driven to Cranbrook from Castlegar (where I have lived for decades) to attend her funeral had I known earlier.
Your obituary was wonderfully written..:Shirley IS so respected!
God bless you, Dear Daughters, with condolences from
Davene(Herman)Bird, who, with her sister, Bev (Herman)Turner, share in sympathy your loss.

From: Marlene Beugeling
Relation: My husband & Darci worked together

Darci, My thoughts are with you at this time. Hugs to you & Joel.

Service Schedule

  Funeral Service

Date & Time:
March 6, 2017
Beginning at 10:30am

Christ the Servant Catholic Church
1100 - 14th Avenue South
Cranbrook, BC Canada

1100 - 14th Avenue South
Cranbrook, BC Canada

Memorial Gifts

The family has not designated a preferred charity at this time.

Thank You Notice

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Cranbrook BC V1C 2M8

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