DeNise Ann Watkins Hamilton of Easton, PA, passed away on January 15, 2020 at the age of 62 after a two year determined battle with cancer.
She lived a full life as a nurse, writer, counselor, mentor, volunteer, wife, mother, and lastly as a grandmother. She loved helping others, caring for her animals, gardening, reading, learning, art and crafting, and the beauty of birds, flowers, butterflies, and the ocean.
DeNise was born to William and Emma Watkins on October 17th, 1957 in Phillipsburg, NJ as one of five siblings. She graduated Warren Hills High School and then earned her LPN certificate at Warren County Technical School in 1979.
DeNise began her varied 24+ year career as a nurse in the Easton and surrounding areas, working in hospitals, nursing homes, pediatric clinics, residential care, medical office, private duty, and home care agency duties. These included Warren Hospital, Easton Nursing Home, VNA of Easton, Rx Home Care, Eastwood, & Praxis nursing homes. She also met Wilson Richard Hamilton and they married on October 15th, 1979. Not long after, they had their daughter Merci.
DeNise continued her education throughout life while always working and being there for her family.
She started with earning her Associates degree in Arts in English in 1988 from Northampton Community College where she was a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. Then in 1997 she earned her Bachelor of Science in Psychology and English from East Stroudsburg University, and continued on to study at Moravian Theological Seminary.
Around that same time, DeNise shifted gears in her career from nursing to counseling. As with her nursing career, DeNise gained expertise in several areas. For instance, she did drug, alcohol, and violence prevention counseling as well as acted as Program Coordinator of such areas as HIV support at the Center for Humanistic Change in Allentown for nearly a decade. She also worked at Liberty High School for a few years as a Crossroads Advisor counseling and mentoring kids who dealt with drug use, violence, abuse, and teen pregnancy issues
DeNise also reached out to her community via Mentor Coordinating with the Greater Bethlehem Council of Churches and volunteering with Community Bike Works.
Denise was a freelance writer and poet throughout her life, often performing tasks of editing, tutoring, performing grant writing, research, and proofreading. Stemming from her desire to heal, she also learned the art of massage and furthered this concept through study of Reiki with the Greenshire Arts Consortium.
DeNise is survived by her daughter, Merci Hamilton and her grand-daughter Tabitha; her sisters DeAnna, Suzette, and Wendy Watkins; her brother William Watkins; and her parents Emma and William Watkins. She is preceded in death by her husband, Wilson Richard Hamilton, who passed in 2001.
A Celebration of Life memorial service will be held from 6-8pm on Thursday, January 23rd at the Bahnson Center of Moravian Theological Seminary located on 60 West Locust Street in Bethlehem, PA with a reception to follow. Parking in the lot across from the Seminary, on Locust Street will be available as well as street parking.
DeNise loved the beautiful colors found in life, so we ask that you add some color to your mourning attire in her honor. Her favorite was any shade of purple, but really, she loved all colors.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations in memory of DeNise to:
Lehigh Valley Sole Sistas (local cancer support)
158 Glenmoor Circle North, Easton, Pa 18045
Animals in Distress
P.O. Box 609
5075 Limeport Pike
Coopersburg, PA 1803
Cancer Support Community of the Greater Lehigh Valley
944 Marcon Blvd, Suite 110
Allentown, Pa. 18109
To send flowers to DeNise's family, please visit our floral section.