SAVANNA – Liena A. Hamilton, 93, passed away Sunday, Jan. 21, 2018, at home in Savanna, with her loving family by her side.
Liena was born June 1, 1924, in Glidden, Iowa, the daughter of Max and Anna Janssen Pahnke. She was a 1941 graduate of Gllidden High School. After going to work in an ammunition factory, Liena and her cousin, Leona, decided to join the service. They chose the Navy because they liked the uniforms. She attended basic training at Hunter College, New York, and graduated from the U.S. Naval Hospital Corps School at Bethesda, Maryland. She then proudly served at the Great Lakes Naval Station near Chicago in the Medical Department as a Hospital Corpsman 1st Class during World War II. It was there that she met her husband, Bob. On January 18, 1950, Liena married Robert T. Hamilton. They raised six children and celebrated 54 years of marriage before Robert’s death in 2004.
Liena was a homemaker and sold Avon for many years. She was a member of the Community United Church of Christ, where she was a member of the Women’s Fellowship and the Country Store Circle. She taught Sunday school for several years and was an active member of the Savanna Wa-Tan-Ye group for many years. To honor her service during World War II, Liena is listed in the Women’s World War II Memorial in Washington D.C.. She also was a member of the American Legion. She believed in serving her country, and helping her fellow man. Liena volunteered for many years locally at the Savanna Food Pantry, Carroll County Help Center Thrift Store, and Meals On Wheels, and helped with the Christmas Basket Fund.
She loved her all her flowers especially gladiolas, hollyhocks and yellow roses. She enjoyed feeding and watching her white-bellied squirrels, playing cards, playing with and making clay with her grandchildren, growing milkweed for the monarch butterflies and was also known for her popcorn balls at Halloween. She loved to laugh, collected angels, glass slippers and bells. She loved reading – including cookbooks and anything health related – and in fact regularly gave her children suggestions for all health concerns – take vitamins, eat wheat germ, garlic, put Vicks or onions on your feet. She quoted Prevention magazine a lot and had cures for everything. She loved music and listening to her “Saturday Night TV concerts” of Lawrence Welk and gospel music. When she was unable to attend church she loved listening to the local services on WCCI every Sunday morning.
“Liena was everyone’s Mom,” treating all her nieces and nephews as her own children. She enjoyed raising her kids, then later enjoyed all of the time that she spent with her 14 grandchildren, 20 great grandchildren and 5 great-great-grandchildren.
She will be dearly missed by her children, three sons, James (Yvonne) Hamilton of Davenport, Iowa, Jeff (Cathy) Hamilton of Byron, and Dr. Kevin (Kathy) Hamilton of Bettendorf, Iowa; three daughters, Cathy (Don) Nichols, JoAnn (Marty) Rubio, and Julie (Ray) Skiles, all of Savanna; and a daughter-in-law, Dianne (Dave) Buglass of Argyle, Wisconsin. She is also survived by a sister, Grace (James) Perkins of Holden, Missouri.
Liena also was preceded in death by both parents; a son, Robert D. Hamilton; and 13 siblings.
The funeral was Saturday at Community United Church of Christ in Savanna. Burial was at Spring Lake Cemetery in Savanna.
Memorials may be made in Liena’s honor to the Carroll County Help Center Thrift Store, the Savanna Food Pantry, or Mercy Hospice.
Go to lawjonesfuneralhome.com to send condolences.
Liena’s family wishes to give a special thanks to Amanda, Diana, Gwen, Minerva, Sandy, and the Mercy Hospice caregivers for their wonderful care of their Mom.