Mrs. Ruth Hamilton, age 99 of Abbeville, Alabama departed this life on Tuesday, June 30, 2020.
Drive-thur viewing will be Saturday, July 4, 2020 3:00-5:00 PM at the funeral home;
Graveside service will be held on Sunday, July 5, 2020 11:00 AM at the St. Peter Church Cemetery, Highway 10 East, Abbeville, AL; under the direction of the caring staffs of Scott's Chapel Hill Mortuary. "Because We Care"
Ruth Culver Hamilton was born November 21. 1920 in Henry County, Alabama to the late Henry and Teresa Culver. She was the eighth of nine children.
She was a lifetime resident of Henry County and attended Abbeville Junior High School where she completed the ninth grade. At the age of 19, Ruth entered and won an oratorical contest in which she recited the 23rd Psalms. She was awarded first prize, which was a bible. It was her first bible, and the one that she cherished and kept the remainder of her life. Ruth was 21 when she completed the ninth grade and began working for Mrs. Claudia Wood who was the Abbeville High School Home Economics teacher at the time.
In 1946, at the age of 26 Ruth married Henry Hamilton Sr. To that union three children were born. During the early 1950's, Ruth was one of the first seven black Henry County residents registered to vote. She always had a desire to expand knowledge. After her children completed high school, she went back to school herself. She worked days and took adult education classes at night. After receiving her GED, she enrolled in Wallace Community college, where she earned her associates degree. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Social Rehabilitation Services from Troy State University May 17th 1983 at the age of 62. At the time, Ruth was the first black woman in Henry County over the age of 60 to earn a college degree.
She joined Union Grove Baptist Church at the age of 10 and was baptized in a branch behind the church. She attended Sunday School at Union Grove prior to moving from the country to Abbeville. Soon after, Ruth united with Mary Magdalene Baptist Church where she sang in the choir for more than 50 years. She took some beginner piano lessons at Wallace College, but was a self taught pianist. Putting her musical skills to good use, she served as Sunday school pianist for a number of years. The song she played most often was her favorite hymn and first learned song, "Oh How I Love Jesus".
She became choir president and served under the leadership of Reverend P.A. Boykins, Reverend O.L. Gamble, and Revered Eddie W. Thomas. Ruth worked faithfully until she resigned the position after serving 11 years. During her presidency, she was responsible for full administration of the choirs, while under the direction of Mrs. R.T. Jones. She also influenced the decision to add Mrs. Shannon Thomas and Mr. Henry Murry to the church's music department. Ruth continued her membership in the choir for a number of years. She loved the choir and always showed continuous support to thechurch's music ministry. In addition, Ruth served
as president of the Missionary Society and chaired the Pastor's Anniversary Observance for a number of years.
She was responsible for the observance of Senior Citizens Day at Mary Magdalene, which she chaired the first two years before taking a seat amongst the seniors to be honored herself. She also can be credited with the church's first copy machine purchase, she loved all sorts of gadgets.
She always had a desire to better herself and took advantage of every opportunity to learn what she could about cooking and housekeeping from Mrs. Wood during her 50 years of employment with her. Ruth put her own twist on what she learned and became one of the best cooks in Abbeville. In fact, her home became a standard place for Sunday dinner after church.
During her lifetime, Ruth counseled many young people and families. She never missed an opportunity to share God's word with anyone who would listen. At the age of 93, when asked what she attributed to her longevity, Ruth responded, "My mother's teachings about the love of Jesus" and" My faith in God and belief that he truly does love me just as I am". Her belief in God's love was strengthened by two of her favorite bible verses, Ephesians 4:32 "And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you" and Proverbs 3:5-6 "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him and he shall direct your paths."
Ruth was preceded in death by her parents, Henry & Teresa Culver; her husband: Henry Hamilton Sr.; and seven siblings: Ida Cummings, Mittie Alice Peterman, Ethel Wilcoxson, Marigold Culver, Eunice Reeves, Edgar Culver and Earlie Culver.
She leaves to cherish her memories and carry on her legacy: two sons: Henry Hamilton Jr of Alex City, Alabama and Harold (Annette) Hamilton of Headland, Alabama; one daughter: Maggie (Thomas) Bulger of Roselle, New Jersey; one sister: Sallie Womack of Detroit, Michigan; five grandchildren: Kimberly Brown of Abbeville, Alabama, Laverne Hill of Abbeville, Alabama, Toni Bulger of Roselle, New Jersey, Christen Hamilton of Headland, Alabama and David (Cynthia) Cochran of Louisville, Kentucky; four great grandchildren: Shaniya and Shamiya Singletary of Abbeville, Alabama, Lashonda (Milton) Brown of Atlanta, Georgia and Jada Cochran of Louisville, Kentucky; seven great-great grandchildren: Monae, Jaylen, Antonio, Promise Brown, Kennedy Hill, Hayden and Ziah Adams; a special niece: Mary Peterman of Abbeville, Alabama; special friends: Dot Porter, Katherine Patterson and Annie Mcnair who was her special caregiver all of Abbeville, Alabama; and a host of nieces and nephews, family members and friends.
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