Carolyn Holmes Hamilton, 87, of Augusta, Illinois died Monday January 14, 2019 in The Manor at Lake Jackson in Sebring, Florida.
She was born January 29, 1931 in Shelbina, Missouri to Viola and Bernard Decker, where she enjoyed growing up on the farm with her younger brother, Bob Decker, who survives.
As a young girl she competed in many “acrobat” competitions in state and local fairs. She graduated from Shelbina High School and moved to Quincy, IL where she attended Gem City College. Carolyn pursued a career as an airline reservationist working for both United and Ozark Airlines in Chicago, Illinois.
Carolyn’s love of music and art became her true passion in which she shared with so many people. She was an avid self-taught painter and is well known for her design and artwork on the mural in the Augusta Pitney Park in 1980 and again in black and white in 2000. Later in life she helped found and organize the Western Illinois Tole Society (WITS) in which she and local artists would gather, share and learn Tole painting techniques. She was very well known for her love of oil paintings depicting farm sceneries from both rural home life in Missouri and Illinois.
Music was a natural talent for Carolyn and she had a true gift of playing by ear. Carolyn enjoyed sharing her music with anyone that would listen and was well known for playing the piano at weekly church services, weddings, funerals and various state and local events. She also shared her music with many local nursing homes by playing both the piano and accordion daily in multiple locations. On the weekends she enjoyed attending jazz festivals with her late husband, Robert Hamilton, and friends.
Carolyn was an active member of many local organizations, some of which included Illinois Tole Painters Society, Illinois Federation of Republican Women, PEO Chapter AQ, the Rebekah’s Lodge, Eastern Star, and the Methodist church. She was a long time member of the Tri County Country Club where she enjoyed years of fellowship on Tuesday Ladies League in pursuit of perfecting her drive. She was also well known for her love of “tatting,” in which she tatted and gifted thousands of bookmarks and snowflake ornaments, logging each recipients name in her book.
She is survived by her three children, Alan Holmes (Nancy) of Sebring, FL., Ray Holmes (Janice) of Clayton, IL., and Jill Steiger (Raymond) of St. Louis, MO.; five grandchildren, Alana Murphy (Sean) of Houston, TX., Ross Holmes of Tampa, FL., Grant, Brock and Sadie Steiger of St. Louis, MO.; five great grandchildren; three stepchildren, Eric (Suzanne) Hamilton of Burnside, IL, Becky Goodman of South Lake, TX and Susan (Curtis) Eddington of Augusta, IL, six step-grandchildren, Nicole (Kyle) Huppe, Jacquelyn Haschemeyer, Colton (Ashley) Eddington, Brodie Eddington, Thomas Hamilton and Maggie Goodman, two step great-grandchildren and one brother, Bob Decker (Kate) of Shelbina, MO., In addition to her parents and husband of 40 years, Robert Hamilton of Augusta, she was preceded in death by her daughter, Jan Holmes of Augusta, IL.
Services will be held at 7 p.m. Friday, January 18, 2019 at the Hamilton Funeral Home in Augusta, IL with Rev. Patsy Spratt officiating. Visitation will be held from 5:00 pm until the time of services at 7:00. Memorial contributions may be made to the Woodlawn Cemetery or the Southeastern Food Pantry in Bowen IL. A private burial will be held at Woodlawn Cemetery in Augusta. The Hamilton Funeral Home in Augusta, IL is handling arrangements.