Nina Lamoreaux Hamilton, age 100, of Missoula, passed away the evening of July 21, 2023, encircled in the love of her devoted family, at Riverside Health & Rehabilitation in Missoula.
Nina was born on April 19, 1923, in a log cabin in Paragonah, Utah, to Lenora Huntsman and Archie Messinger Lamoreaux. She was the eighth child of nine and a second-generation daughter of Utah Pioneers.
Nina attended high school in Parowan, Utah, active in music, drama, and student leadership, and then graduated from Brigham Young University High School in Provo.
In 1943, she met James (Jim) Leslie Hamilton of Missoula, who served as a U.S. Air Force crew chief on B-class bombers during WWII. Friends introduced them, and a pen-pal relationship struck up between Nina and Jim led to love. They were married December 12, 1943, in Coffeyville, Kansas. Their marriage was later solemnized in the LDS Salt Lake City Temple.
Nina and Jim settled in Missoula and lived there for 33 years, raising three children. Nina earned a B.A. degree in primary education at the University of Montana in 1963. She taught in the Missoula School District for 22 years, retiring in 1985. Jim retired after 26 years in the Missoula Fire Dept., and they bought 42 acres in Corvallis, MT, built a home, and ranched for 14 years.
Nina adored her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and she and Jim often stepped in as parents to care for them. She loved cooking for family, who relished her rhubarb pies and huckleberry pies. She was a skilled pianist and accompanist with a lovely singing voice. She wrote and self-published two songs. Keen on card games, she was nearly impossible to beat at Canasta. Nina was tenacious, loved life and everyone in it.
A faithful member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints, Nina filled many positions in teaching, music, and Relief Society leadership. She took the directive to compile family genealogy seriously and spent countless hours researching Lamoreaux family history.
Nina and Jim celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary surrounded by family on Dec. 12, 2003; on Dec. 23, 2003, Jim passed away in his sleep. Nina moved to Hamilton and enjoyed adventuring with her children and grandchildren to visit family members across the U.S. Cognitive decline prompted a move to a Missoula independent-living community where she enjoyed puzzles, musical events, and making new friends. Nina returned to live with her youngest daughter at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic to keep herself safe and engaged with family. In April, while in hospice, she joyfully celebrated her 100th birthday with her adoring family.
Nina is survived by her family who miss her dearly: children, Steven James, Carolyn Rae Gumbiner, and Mary Lou de Roulhac; eight grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren; one great-great-grandchild, and one on the way.
Nina was laid to rest next to Jim in a graveside service held Wednesday, July 26, 2023, at Missoula City Cemetery.
To honor Nina’s life-long care for others, the family kindly requests donations be made to the Missoula Food Bank (missoulafoodbank.org) in lieu of flowers.