April 15, 1932 — April 15, 2018
BANCROFT — A funeral Mass will be held for Catherine Rachel Hamilton on Saturday at 11:30 a.m., at St. John's Catholic Church in Bancroft with the Rev. Steven McCloud officiating, Burial will be in St. John’s Catholic Cemetery. Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m., on Friday at Oakcrest Funeral Services of Bancroft with an Altar Society Rosary beginning at 4 p.m.
Catherine Rachel Hamilton was born April 15, 1932, on the family farm northwest of Algona. She was the youngest of eight children of Lorenz and Eva (Lentsch) Gisch. She died on her 86th birthday at Accura Healthcare, Bancroft where she had lived for the last two years.
Rachel graduated from St. Cecelia Academy in 1950, and then studied piano and vocal music at Clarke College in Dubuque.
She was united in marriage to Luke Hamilton on Feb. 21, 1955, at St. Cecelia Catholic Church, Algona. They farmed and raised turkeys in the Lotts Creek area until 1961 when they moved to their present farm southwest of Bancroft. Rachel loved country living and being a farm wife. She enjoyed working alongside her husband and raising a family on the farm. Her favorite window was in her kitchen where she had a view to watch Luke and the boys. She nurtured and fueled her family with her home cooking. Every year she tended a large flower and vegetable garden and apple orchard. The abundance of produce was canned or frozen and shared.
She was a member of St. John Catholic Church and Altar Society. Prayer and saying the rosary was a daily practice. She valued and supported Catholic education. Every year she contributed many caramel apples, crafts, and sewing items to St. John Bazaar. She sewed and made quilts for her children and grandchildren.
Rachel researched the family genealogy. Her father, Lorenz Gisch, emigrated to the U.S. from Austria-Hungary through Ellis Island, which she visited in her travels.
She is survived by her 11 children, Jean (Richard E.) Leute of East Dubuque, Ill., Helen Hamilton of Cincinnati, Ohio, Alice (William) Medlyn of Rochester, Minn., Paul (Cheryl) of Bancroft, Leo (Dr. Theresa) of Algona, Mark (Diane) Hamilton of Ankeny, David (Ann) Hamilton of Glidden, John (Angela) Hamilton of Cedar Falls, Philip (Marcia) Hamilton of Bettendorf, Carl (Jodi) Hamilton of Boone, and Jason (Adrienne) Hamilton of Fort Dodge. She is also survived by 29 grandchildren; 5 great-grandchildren; two brothers-in-law, Harold Hamilton of Minneapolis, Minn., and Martin Hamilton of St. Charles, Mo.; and many nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Luke, on Aug. 4, 1983; brothers, John (Mary) Gisch, Larry (Nina) Gisch, and Barney (Irene) Gisch; and sisters Mary (Joe) Lichter, Fern (Bill) Specht, Dorothy (Wilfred) Kohlhaas, and Ruth (Duane) Arend.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made in Rachel's name to St John the Baptist Church or St Cecilia Church.
Online condolences may be made to www.oakcrestfuneralservices.com.