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Ann L. (Lang) Hamilton

January 26, 1940 ~ January 16, 2023 (age 82) 82 Years Old
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Obituary

Ann Lang Hamilton passed away peacefully on Monday, January 16, 2023 after courageously battling Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) as it slowly progressed over the last seven years. She was born January 26, 1940 in Newtonville, MA, the daughter of Ruth Amanda Folsom and George Sherburne Lang, both of Lyndonville, VT. Her father was a graduate of Norwich University and the family lived at a few different military bases including Fort Benning in Georgia before he shipped out during WWII and became a Major in the US Army. She and her mother lived with her maternal grandmother from 1942 until 1945. 

After the war, the family relocated to Keene, NH where she graduated from Keene High School and then attended Centenary College for Women. While she was enrolled in the Jordan Marsh Company management trainee program in Boston, she met her future husband Bob Hamilton, who asked if he could walk her home after their first day of class. Their first date was up the street from Boston Gardens at the Hampshire House (now Cheers).

They were wed in Keene, NH on July 14, 1962 and began their lives together in Old Deerfield, MA as Bob began working at the family shoe business, H.E. Hamilton’s Shoes, on Main Street in Greenfield. Two of her three children were born while living in Deerfield and in 1966 she became President of the Deerfield Women’s Club. She also began her tenure with WGBY-PBS in Springfield, MA where she served two nine-year terms as a Tribune. 

In 1967 they moved to Greenfield and she was appointed to the Greenfield Planning Board which sparked her interest in politics. She was elected the first woman Selectman for the Town of Greenfield in 1980 – SelectAnn! She counts among her major accomplishments improving housing opportunities in the area with the conversion of the Weldon Hotel into elderly housing and the Senior Center and the reconstruction of the Millers Falls Tool Company into senior housing and market-rate housing. She was also instrumental in the creation of the I-91 Industrial Park helping to bring more businesses to the area. 

Ann worked part time for Go-Greenfield while she was selectman, and in 1993 she was appointed by the Board of the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce as the Executive Director; a post she held for over 30 years until 2016. In 1986, with Representative John Olver, she embarked on initiatives to bring together the towns of Franklin County for economic development in tourism, wood production and agriculture which helped launch the Green River Festival, now more than 35 years running. Through this project, Ann made life-long friends with many people, including Michael Kane and Christina Tree.

She was a fierce advocate for the people and businesses of Western Massachusetts. She was a representative on the Franklin County Community Development Corporation, the Western Massachusetts Economic Development Council in Springfield, and the Governors Economic Development Council in Boston. Ann was twice President of the Board of Artspace, a community art center in Greenfield, and has been a Trustee of the Green River Cemetery for over 40 years. She was a member of the Second Congregational Church, and served as a Trustee, Councilmember, and a Moderator.

Ann had the opportunity to represent the Mass Office of Travel and Tourism by making trips to Paris, the Netherlands, and Russia. She also traveled to Mutianyu, China with a delegation of businesspeople from Shelburne Falls while representing the Chamber of Commerce. In 1990, she and Bob traveled to St. Petersburg, Russia with the Small Business Association (SBA) Bridges for Peace delegation. Always passionate about networking and connecting people together, Ann was able to connect with a Russian jazz group that she and Bob had previously seen perform in Deer Isle, Maine. This led to a series of several exchange trips between the US and Russia. As a result of the many connections she made, Ann and Bob opened up their home to students from Russia, hosting Dimitry Baefsky and Marina Blekkar, who with her help, eventually immigrated to the US and Canada, and still consider Ann and Bob their second parents.

Ann was an avid duplicate bridge player with her partner Elaine Dray going to many tournaments in New England and one in Bermuda. Ann had many interests. She was a talented artist and painter, fabulous cook, avid knitter, and always quick to finish the NY Times Sunday crossword puzzle in pen. She was blessed to have so many close friends, but above all, she always put her family first. She and Bob loved visiting their house in Brooklin, Maine where she vacationed every summer until her death.

Ann leaves behind very close family members including her three children, Andy Hamilton and wife Camille of East Falmouth, MA, and their children Marshall and Lydia, Amy Hamilton-Speth of Deerfield, MA and her daughters Celia and Victoria, and Duncan Hamilton of Brooklin, ME; her sister Linda Towle and her husband Michael of Medway, MA, her nieces and nephews Sarah Towle, Charlie Towle, Emily Towle, Catherine Lodge, and Brittany Hamilton, their families, as well as a large number of cousins and extended family. She was predeceased by her parents, her husband Robert DeWolfe (Bob) Hamilton, and her son-in-law Robert Speth.

Visiting hours will be Saturday, January 21 from 1 to 3 pm at the Smith-Kelleher Funeral Home, 87 Franklin St., Greenfield.

A Celebration of Ann's Life will be held Saturday, February 11, at 2:00 pm at the Second Congregational Church, Court Square, Greenfield. A reception will follow at the Pushkin Gallery at the corner of Main and Federal Street.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in her honor to Musica Franklin, (www.musicafranklin.org), who prepare students for the future through music; the Twice as Smart program, a special after-school program, by writing checks to Second Congregational Church noting Twice as Smart in the memo field, or the ALS Foundation (donate.als.org). She would also want you to shop locally, support the arts and live music, protect our planet, embrace your community and do as much as you can for your family, friends and neighbors.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Ann L. (Lang) Hamilton, please visit our floral store.


Services

Visitation
Saturday
January 21, 2023

1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Greenfield funeral home
87 Franklin St
Greenfield, MA 01301

Celebration of Life
Saturday
February 11, 2023

2:00 PM
Second Congregational Church
Bank Row
Greenfield, MA 01301

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In Loving Memory Of

Ann Hamilton

January 26, 1940-January 16, 2023




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In Loving Memory Of

Ann Hamilton

January 26, 1940-January 16, 2023




Look inside to read what others have shared


Family and friends are coming together online to create a special keepsake. Every memory left on the online obituary will be automatically included in the book.   


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