Nicki Hamilton, 83, Skagit Valley choir singer and women’s rights supporter
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Nicki Hamilton was a pilot, a world traveler, a ham radio operator, a chorale member, and, perhaps above all, a New Yorker. She died of coronavirus on March 21 at the Skagit Valley Hospital in Mount Vernon. She was 83.
Hamilton was among 45 members of her choir who were diagnosed with Covid-19 after a rehearsal together. Victor Hamilton, her husband of 27 years, shared his thoughts about Nicki's final days with KUOW editor Liz Jones.
She was a very strong believer in women's rights, and generally she would voice her opinion rather strongly.
She was a very social type of a person. She volunteered at a lot of different things – at the historic Lincoln Theatre in Mount Vernon, for the Democrats downtown, and she was a member of the local choir, the Skagit Valley Chorale.
We’re not really certain how she got it but many of the members of the choir group down with the virus, and she had gone to each of their rehearsals. It looks like she may have picked it up there. She said she just had a cold and it took a few days for me to convince her that she should go to the hospital. Once we got her there she was already considerably sicker.
We did talk the next morning, on Friday, and she said she felt better. But then when we talked later that day, she said she felt terrible.
The floor nurse called me late that night and she said Nikki was struggling to breathe. They had her on a respirator, and they were pushing it at the highest possible amount but she was still not getting enough oxygen into her blood.
She did not make it through the night.
The last time I saw her was when we put her in the ambulance. I figured she'd be coming home.
There was no funeral. Ultimately, we may have a memorial in New York City - that's where she is from, and she wishes her ashes to be scattered in the Hudson River.
It's been difficult, isolated here in the house all by myself.
It's tough, I'll tell you, I've been very lonely this last month.
Thankfully, now that enough time has passed, my daughter can come over and visit. You know, we're trying to get things wrapped up here. I’ll probably sell the house and move to a smaller facility.
I have a stack of condolences, about a four or five-inch stack, and I need to be able to get to a stationery store so I can send responses. Some are from people who live here or in New York, some from the theater, some from the choir, some from her ham radio group, all people that she had worked with.
But I'll tell you something:
In going through her files—and she kept files after files after files, a lot from her travels—and in going through those things, I realized that she lived a good, full life."
Nicki Hamilton is survived by her husband Victor Hamilton, five stepchildren, 12 grandchildren and two sisters.
KUOW is creating an online memorial to honor the lives lost to Covid-19.
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