Cheryl Ann Keating Hamilton, 78, a longtime resident of Pacific Beach, died April 20, 2022, at her home.
Cheryl was born Oct. 8, 1943, in Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia, the eldest child of John and Beryl Keating. Her father was stationed in Gatton, Australia during WWII where he met Beryl. When she was a young girl, the family came to reside in Moclips, Washington, where her father worked for his uncle Oscar McCloud in Taholah. As a 12-year-old, she worked in a local cannery, the Mohawk Packing Co., alongside older ladies from the area, and would accompany her father to Taholah to pick up Blueback for the cannery. This environment sowed the seeds for all the great story telling Cheryl would become known for.
In her teen years, she was a skilled commercial razor clam digger and was the first employee hired by the Curtwright family at the Ocean Crest Resort.
In 1961, Cheryl graduated from Moclips High School and moved to the Renton area to attend ITT business school, while working for Boeing.
She came back to the beach to marry her sweetheart, James Hamilton, in 1962. Jim and Cheryl met at a dance hall in Copalis Beach, where he taught her to dance to big band music. Cheryl and Jim raised their eight children in Pacific Beach, Washington. Cheryl instilled a strong work ethic in all her children, patiently teaching them life skills.
Cheryl had a love for spiritual truths. After a thorough study of the Bible, she became a dedicated baptized Jehovah’s Witness. She loved to share Bible promises with others. Two favorite scriptures that brought her comfort and hope are Revelation 21:3, 4 “God … will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more … the former things have passed away”; and 1 Corinthians 2:9 “Eye has not seen and ear has not heard, nor have there been conceived in the heart of man the things that God has prepared for those who love him.”
Traveling to Australia throughout the years with her husband, children and grandchildren was dear to her heart. She treasured the abundance of unique animals and birds — a delight to her ear was the laugh of the kookaburra, the warmth of a koala’s hug and even the “salties” crocodile.
Cheryl had an entrepreneurial spirit. She owned several businesses around town — notably, the Hamilton House (aka old Emerson House) on Joe Creek and the Zany Zebra, a burger joint, loved by tourists and locals alike.
She enjoyed the rewards of harvesting, beginning with raspberry picking alongside her beloved grandmother Marie Keating, in the fields of the Puyallup Valley.
Some of Cheryl’s favorite pastimes included sewing, wallpapering, baking, furniture refinishing and walks on the beach. Although all her baked goods were delicious, she was known for her Kansas Cockle cookies, brought to many on special occasions.
As a Puyallup Tribal member, Cheryl had a deep love for the Native community, especially the people of the Quinault Nation whom she grew up with, went to school with and worked alongside in the beach community.
Cheryl was a beach girl to the core, through and through, forever.
Cheryl is survived by her husband; eight children: Lisa Speers (Jeff) of Patterson, Missouri, Julie Hamilton of Tacoma, Greg Hamilton (Jane) of Aberdeen, Janel Stoken (Larry) of Buckley, Michelle Rivera (Dan) of Tacoma, Tiffany Harrison (Randy) of Tacoma, Tammy Scroggs (Jay) of Kirkland, and Heather Wright (Chad) of Tacoma; 12 grandchildren: Jeffrey Hamilton, Rachael Kruse, Alex Harrison, Caitlin Harrison, Kelsey Meier, Genevieve Harrison, Emma Harrison, Brooklyn Speers, Sydney Speers, Ella Wright, Paris Speers, and Tessa Wright; two great-grandchildren: Garth Kruse and Wesley Meier; and siblings: John Keating Jr, Patricia Bryant and Gary Keating. Preceded in death, a brother, Barry Keating.
A private committal service was held at Hoquiam’s Sunset Memorial Park.