Norma Anne Waddell Hamilton, “Nona” to her family after she had grandchildren, passed away on the morning of March 16, 2023, at her home in Walnut Creek, California. She was with her son Ian and soon attended by her other son Kevin, his wife Connie Poulsen Hamilton, and her grandchildren Ben Hamilton and Rose Hamilton.
Norma's final years were happy, surrounded by family and friends. We celebrate her life as the head of our family and a lifelong friend to so many. We miss her already but are happy to report that her death transition was graceful, auspicious, and swift.
Born to Alan Waddell, a minor league baseball player, professional golfer, veteran of the U.S. Marines, and later CEO of a tire manufacturing company, and Irene Johnston Waddell, one of the most delightful personalities this earth has known, Norma received an AA from Stephens College and then attended Stanford University, where she met her husband, Bruce Hamilton. They travelled to Europe and settled first in Hawaii, then Stockton and Palo Alto in California in the 1960s, and relocated to Pennington, New Jersey in the 1970s where Bruce became a leader in higher education academics. Norma raised her family until Bruce’s untimely death, after which she held her family together, putting two sons through college as an office manager working for several small consultancies during a career that spanned 35 years.
Norma is survived by her sons, daughter-in-law, and grandchildren as well as her brother Norman Waddell, a retired professor at Otani University in Japan and noted translator of Zen texts into English. Her family will lay her ashes to rest where her late husband Bruce’s ashes were scattered in 1978.
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