Sister Julia Hamilton, of the Sisters of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities in Williamsville, died Aug. 11, 2015. She was 77 years of age.
The former Margaret Theresa Hamilton was born Jan. 3, 1938, in Niagara Falls, to Ellison J. and Margaret (Brown) Hamilton. She was a parishioner of St. Mary of the Cataract and worked at Mount St. Mary's Hospital in Niagara Falls, where she met the Sisters of St. Francis while in high school.
She entered religious life in 1956 and attended Mount St. Joseph Teachers College, now Medaille College in Buffalo, and received a master's degree in education from Buffalo State College.
Sister Julia served in schools throughout the Diocese of Buffalo as a teacher and principal, including Sacred Heart in Bowmansville, St. Agnes and St. Gerard schools in Buffalo, Our Lady of Pompeii and St. Mary's in Lancaster, St. Mary's in Swormville and St. Christopher's in Tonawanda.
After 20 years as an educator, Sister Julia served in pastoral ministry at St. Agnes and SS. Columba and Brigid parishes in Buffalo and St. Mary's Manor in Niagara Falls. She also served in the clinical pastoral education program at Sisters of Charity Hospital in Buffalo.
In 1994, Sister Julia became a certified chaplain and served in this capacity for more than a decade at St. Francis Hospital in Buffalo. From 2006 until her death, she also assisted with the Western New York participants of the congregation's Franciscan Associate Program.
A funeral Mass was held in the chapel of St. Mary of the Angels Regional House in Williamsville, with burial in Gethsemane Cemetery on the convent grounds.