Mary Jane Hamilton was a woman of strong convictions and a loving heart. She had a zest for living and truly made the most of every minute she was with us. It is unmistakable that Mary loved helping others. Mary helped those in need in so many ways, which is evident in her contributions to public education, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, and the PSH Foundation.
Mary was an elementary school teacher for seventeen years in the Houston Independent School District. She worked as a classroom teacher and as the Sights Coordinator for the gifted and talented program on her campus. But Mary wasn’t content with just serving her students. She truly wanted to help children all across Texas and give back to the city she so dearly loved.
Mary wanted to serve others in her community. Her belief that all children deserve a college education made the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo dear to her heart. She joined the Steer Auction Committee in 1993. She enjoyed the opportunity to meet the students who bring their steers to the Livestock Show. Mary loved raising money for the students so much that she was often heard saying, “I wish I could do charity work full time.”
Mary got her wish to do full time charity work in 2001. Mary left the classroom but she didn’t leave teaching or learning behind. She was honored to be the first Executive Director of the PSH Foundation and she was instrumental in its creation. The PSH Foundation was created as a grant-making foundation to promote health, well-being, independence, public welfare, and emotional stability in primarily Texas communities. Mary put forth so much effort into everything she did and this foundation proved to be no exception. She sought out experts in the field in order to be as effective as possible in her good works. The PSH Foundation continues to carry Mary’s commitment to education still today.
Mary was taken from us after a battle of cancer shortly after the 2003 Steer Auction. She was 43 years old.