FULTON, NY – Mary A. Hamer, formerly of Fulton, died at Oswego Hospital on Sunday, September 20, 2015, at the age of 96, leaving her husband of 69 years, Ernest A. Hamer; children, Melodye Pompa (John) of Palm Coast Fla,, Lorelee Lamb of Fulton, Bradford Hamer (Shannon) of Jordan, NY and Debra Rogers (Chris) of Winchester, Mass.
Mary was born in Washington, DC, in 1919 to Russell L. and Flora Roberts Alexander, the middle of five sisters.
After graduating from Oswego Teachers College in 1940 and teaching in various schools for several years, Mary joined the Navy, serving as a Link Flight Instructor/Specialist First Class.
While in the Navy, she met Ernie, while both were stationed in Key West, Florida.
Following discharge from the Navy, they came to Fulton and Mary resumed her teaching career, starting more than 1,000 kindergarten children through the Fulton School system.
She received many honors and recognitions from local organizations and businesses for her volunteer activities and touched many lives.
Mary was a longtime member of the Bowens Corners United Methodist Church where she served as organist and choir director for 49 years.
After retirement from that role, she continued to play praise songs for the congregation before Sunday morning services.
Mary served as secretary for the Enoch J. Thomas Cluster of churches and treasurer of local Church Women United chapter, on the board of the Fulton Community Music Boosters and was a member of the Fulton Women’s Chorus under the direction of Richard Swierczek.
She was a cast member of many community musicals, including “The Music Man,” “Kiss Me Kate” and “Oklahoma.”
Mary was also active in Crossroads District UMW, the BCUMC Bible study and Prayer Partners, Family Life Weekend at Camp Aldersgate (in various roles for more than 60 years), 1909 Shakespeare Club, the local chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma (national sorority for retired educators), the Fulton Women’s Club, the Oswego County Visually Impaired and as a leader, organizer and accompanist for more than 40 years of the Hamer Singalong group, which visited local hospitals and nursing homes each week.
She and Ernie were longtime members of Pairs and Squares.
Mary leaves, in addition to her husband and their children, two sisters, Jane Cook of Saratoga Springs, NY and Nancy Shea of Montgomery, Ala.; eight grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.
She was the greatest example of someone who gave unconditional love throughout her lifetime and will be missed by hundreds of former students, friends and admirers.
A memorial service will be 1 p.m. Saturday at Fulton First United Methodist Church, 1408 State Route 176, Fulton.
Those attending are asked to wear something purple.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial donations be made to Fulton Music Association, c/o Stephen Chirello, 38 W. End Ave., Oswego, 13126 or Aurora of CNY, P.O. Box 591, Syracuse 13209, www.auroraofcny.org.
Arrangements are in the care of Foster Funeral Home in Fulton.
“When I’m an old woman, I shall wear purple…”