It is with great sadness that the family of Deborah Alford Hamilton, known to all as Debbie, announces her unexpected passing at the age of 67.
Debbie will be forever remembered by her devoted husband and best friend, Rafe, along with an extensive network of beloved family and friends.
Debbie was a proud Delawarean, born and raised in Wilmington, where she resided for most of her life, and a University of Delaware graduate.
She was a trailblazer who truly believed in the power of hard work, and she will be remembered well as a force for change during her fulfilling and impactful career.
In her work in the private sector, Debbie spent over two decades in public relations, most notably in executive roles for Texaco. She was passionate about her years in Delaware government, where she did important work in multiple departments and under governors on both sides of the aisle.
In her government relations and lobbying practice, Debbie was known as a fierce advocate for her clients and their interests. She was one of the first women to establish herself as a power in the lobbying corps, working to create positive change with intelligence and a voice of reason. She shared her experience as a mentor for many younger women in the industry. Most recently, she was a co-founder of Hamilton Goodman Partners, where she spent her time on causes important to both her and her clients, including anti-tobacco legislation, animal welfare, and women’s healthcare rights.
In her rich personal life, Debbie held close and valued friendships. Her favorite things included evenings relaxing in her yard, working in her garden, trips to see family across the pond, beautiful days spent on the beach, spirited conversation over a good meal with her loved ones, and making thousands of Christmas cookies every year. All who knew her will fondly remember her very thoughtful nature and always admire her strong convictions.
Debbie is survived by her loving husband, Rafe Hamilton of Wilmington, DE; her step-daughter, Andrea and husband, Coyle Connolly and grandchildren, Kendall, Aidan and Coyle of Moorestown, NJ. She will be deeply missed by her “second daughter”, Allison (Humphreys) and husband, Joe Honer of Collingswood, NJ, and her extended family in the United States and England.
Funeral arrangements will be private.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Debbie’s name to her most cherished organizations: The American Lung Association (www.lung.org); Planned Parenthood of Delaware (www.plannedparenthood.org/planned-parenthood-delaware) - once logged onto plannedparenthood.org, please select "Specific Giving", which allows for giving to the state of choice, select Delaware; and The Brandywine Valley SPCA (www.bvspca.org).
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Deborah Alford Hamilton, please visit our floral store.
American Lung Association
630 Churchmans Road-Suite 202, Newark DE 19702
Planned Parenthood of Delaware
625 N. Shipley Street, Wilmington DE 19801
Brandywine Valley SPCA
600 South Street, New Castle DE 19720