Alice Hamilton, long-time Virgin Islands community activist and philanthropist, graduated from the “University of Life,” on Nov. 26, in Florida, following a long-term illness.
Born August 28, 1928, to Milton and Monica Cousin Marant, Alice spent her early years in New Orleans, Louisiana, and graduated from Dillard University before moving to California. She earned a doctorate in social welfare from the University of California, Los Angeles, and worked as a social worker and child abuse specialist in Los Angeles County. While engaged as a social worker in a War on Poverty-funded program, she coordinated and administered youth centers in Los Angeles.
In the 1970s she began coordinating and presenting workshops on child abuse in California and in various islands of the Caribbean, including Tortola, Dominica, Trinidad, St. Croix, St. John and St. Thomas.
Following many visits, she moved to St. Thomas in the mid-1980s and co-founded the Women’s Resource Center (now the Family Resource Center) of St. Thomas-St. John. During her tenure as director of the Center, from 1986 to 1996, she became well known throughout the territory for her advocacy for battered women and for abused and neglected children. During this time, Dr. Hamilton maintained her private practice as a consultant and therapist, providing counseling to individuals, families and clients of Kidscope Inc., St. Thomas, U.S.V.I., up to her retirement.
She was also active in many other Virgin Islands community organizations, and over the years, she served as a founding board member on the V.I. Institute for Learning, Catholic Social Services/Catholic Charities, the Interfaith Coalition, the V.I. chapter of the National Association of Social Workers and the Council on Alcoholism (COAST), and she was an American Red Cross volunteer. As a Silver Star member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., (one with more than 25 years), she was instrumental in establishing the St. Thomas-St. John Chapter, Sigma Theta Omega, in 1990.
She is survived by a sister, Vernita Marant Jones; niece, Dr. Paulette Metoyer Morady; nephew, Julius Metoyer Jr. ; two great nieces, a great nephew and many cousins and other relatives. She is also survived by her loved ones: Thelma Hart, Althea G. Jacques, Rosemary Jacques Sumas, Gregory J. Sumas, Jr., Seamone W. Sumas, Gianelli S. Sumas, Senia G. Sumas, Monique S. Sumas, Brandon J. Sumas, Zackery Gundal, Alicia Holeman Sproul, Barbara Twine Thomas, Debbie Basemore and many friends too numerous to mention.
Special thanks to those who assisted in providing care for Dr. Hamilton during her illness on St. Thomas and in Florida, including R. Maria Brady, Ronald W. Belfon Esq., David Warner, John Ryan, Cheryl Thompson, Leroy A. Mercer Esq., Eloise Mack, Dr. David Guriguis and the staff of Safe Harbour Retirement Facility, Claude Pamphile, Doris Ingram, Clair Behr, Rev. Paul Pfadenhauer, chaplain, Dr. David and the staff of Hospice by the Sea.
A memorial service will take place on St. Thomas early in 2010 at a date to be announced.