Obituary of M. Elinor Hamill

Mary Hamill newspaper picture

Elinor Hamill, 89, of Great Barrington died Tuesday July 7, 2020 at Fairview Commons in Great Barrington. Elinor was born in Hanover N.H. on September 30, 1930, daughter of Floyd and Lillian (Calhoun) Smith. After graduating from Walpole High School in New Hampshire, Elinor chose Boston University to continue her music studies. She met the love of her life, Paul Hamill, during summer studies before freshman year. They were married in December 1952, and moved to Maryland where Elinor worked as a band teacher for elementary and middle school students and she also provided private lessons. Later, Elinor was also the freelance editor and vice president of Gemini Press, a company she and Paul founded in 1976, which published The Church Music Handbook as well as a multitude of Sacred Church Music. Elinor was a communicant of Grace Church, formerly St. James Episcopal Church, in Great Barrington. For many years she sang in the choir as Paul played the organ. During the summer months she attended St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Otis, where Elinor was the treasurer for over twenty years. Elinor also served in the Otis Rescue Squad as an EMT, and was a former member of the Otis Red Hats and the Kiwani-anns. Elinor was a member of the Altar Guild at church, and she was a dedicated companion to both church and local friends in need. Elinor also enjoyed crossword puzzles, reading, and particularly loved to drive all over Berkshire County and beyond. Spending time with her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren was Elinor’s greatest joy. She was an avid volunteer for Berkshire Humane and Purradise, and received the Lynne West Award as Volunteer of the Year. Elinor also volunteered regularly for R.S.V.P. in Pittsfield, where she drove residents to assorted appointments. Elinor’s husband, Paul Hamill, predeceased her on October 13, 2003. She is survived by one son, David and his wife Linda of West Otis, one daughter, Cyndee Garabedian and husband Charlie of Baldwin, New York, three grandchildren, Daniel Hamill and wife Rebecca, Jessie Zwicker and husband Mike, and Michelle Piggott and husband Vince, as well as four great grandchildren, Maxwell Hamill, Kaylee Zwicker, Blake Zwicker and Vinnie Piggott.

Elinor’s family would like to express their profound gratitude to the devoted and professional staff of Fairview Commons, especially Wing Two, and the dedicated and loving members of HospiceCare in the Berkshires.

The interment of M. Elinor Hamill in the columbarium at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church will be private out of concern for the health and safety of her friends and family due to the threat of Coronavirus. Elinor’s family will have a memorial service at a later time. In lieu of flowers expressions of sympathy in Elinor’s memory may be made to The HospiceCare in the Berkshires, Grace Episcopal Church, or Berkshire Humane Society, in care of the BIRCHES-ROY FUNERAL HOME 33 South St. Great Barrington MA 01230. Condolences may be made through

2 Responses to Obituary of M. Elinor Hamill

  1. Dear Cyndee and David,

    Please accept our deepest sympathy on your mother’s passing. We are never old enough to lose our parents. As you had hoped, we love living in where your folks resided. It is easy to imagine your mom as a member of this loving community. Wishing you peace now and joy in the days to come. With Love,
    Maureen & Chris Harper

  2. My condolences and prayers are with David and Cyndee. Elinor was the quiet but ever active and present icon in our church, St. James-now-Grace in Great Barrington. She was ever-ready, ever-practical, and ever-discreet, among her many fine qualities. My husband John and I were blessed to know her.

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