Audrey Ann Hamilton
Audrey Ann (McIntyre) Hamilton, age 86, passed away at home Sunday, June 10, 2018 in Santa Barbara. She exited this life peacefully of natural causes while gardening under the blue sky and swaying green trees in her serene creekside backyard, surrounded by birds singing. This exit was emblematic of how she often lived her life – spontaneous, joyful, open and free.
Born in Davenport, Iowa on June 3, 1932 to Kent and Jane McIntyre, Audrey and her older sister Jeanne spent early years in many cities following their father’s work. As a child and teen she was athletic, and was proficient in basketball, tennis, bowling, and dance. She earned her bachelor of arts from the University of Michigan in physical education, and Master’s degree in dance at the University of California, Los Angeles in 1962. A devoted student of the modern dance pioneer, Mary Wigman, Audrey found great meaning in creative dance and taught modern dance at UCLA from 1956 – 1964. Her assistance in dance therapy research was highly praised by the lead researcher. The professor wrote that her sensitivity and understanding of the children was critical to the success of their study.
She married and divorced twice, first to Lee Robinson (1962-63) and then to Brett Hamilton (1964-66). Afterward, she devoted herself to being the best mother possible for her young daughter.
A resident of Santa Barbara since 1968, Audrey taught social dance at UCSB and the YMCA for many years. She was one of the stalwart forces in Santa Barbara keeping the foxtrot, waltz, and mambo alive during the disco years. She was also a legal secretary, an avid commodities day trader and would-be architect, always fascinated by home design. She loved to cook and try new recipes through Adult Education, which was also where she took some music classes. She had a strong sense of design and loved to sew – prom dresses, gardening shirts, wedding dresses, and even little outfits for her granddaughter’s pet rat!
Whimsy and spontaneous fun defined her. Want to explore the Bacara before it opens and ogle movie stars? Crash a New Year’s Party at the Red Lion? Visit Buckingham Palace and try to get the Sentry of the Grenadier Guards to crack a smile? She had no problem adventuring into officially forbidden territory, as long as there was potential fun. She had no understanding of society’s sophistry, pretenses or formalism, and experienced life with the innocent heart of a child. This is the great gift she brought this world – a living example of deep joy in the little things of life, spontaneous compassion for people and animals that revealed a fundamental purity of soul.
Our beloved Audrey is survived by her sister Jeanne and brother-in-law Jack, cousin Mary, daughter Kim and son-in-law Joseph of Santa Barbara; granddaughter Nari and grandson-in-law Wing; nephews Eli and Jack and their families.
Her ashes will rest next to her parents and grandparents in Acacia Park Cemetery in Franklin, Michigan. A private memorial service will be held September 8; contact email@example.com for details.