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Published: Friday, 9/1/2006

Mississippi native was active in church

Malinda Hamer, 92, a teacher in her native Mississippi who became a mentor to young people in her church and neighborhood, died Aug. 24 in her South Toledo home.

The cause of death was not known, her daughter, Grace Pritchett, said. Mrs. Hamer had been in ill health the last year and had a stroke in April.

She was known by a wide circle through her community work and her 49-year membership in New Home Missionary Baptist Church. She and her late husband, Preston, also owned a carryout at Pinewood Avenue and Hawley Street from about 1960 into the 1970s. She was the store bookkeeper and worked behind the counter.

People now know her as Ms. Hamer from Hamer s Carry Out, her daughter said. The business is still called Hamer s, though the couple sold it about 30 years ago.

In her church, Mrs. Hamer was general superintendent of the Sunday school and began the Girls Guild for 12 to 18-year-old girls in the congregation. She also was Northwestern Association Guild Supervisor for more than 40 years.

She was president of the Missionary Society and president of the Mothers Board. She was president of an organization for church ministers and trustees wives that had members from much of western Ohio.

She was a natural-born leader, her daughter said.

In 1977, she was honored as woman of the year by the Zeta Phi Beta sorority.

Mrs. Hamer was a retired secretary for the Mercy School of Nursing and for the House of Day Funeral Service.

Born Malinda Tyson in Sweatman, Miss., she was the youngest of 11 children. She was a graduate of Winona, Miss., High School and Rust College in Holly Springs, Miss.

She taught in a one-room schoolhouse before she and her family moved to Toledo, where they d been told there were good jobs. Her husband worked at Unitcast Corp. for 29 years.

The family formerly lived on Hamilton Street and took in roomers, many of whom moved from the South because they d heard of jobs in Toledo. She was a poll worker most election days for 30 years, her daughter said.

Her husband, whom she married March 13, 1935, died Sept. 4, 2000.

Surviving are her daughter, Grace Pritchett; a granddaughter, and a great-grandson.

Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. today in New Home Baptist Church. Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. tomorrow in Indiana Avenue Missionary Baptist Church, where a family hour begins at 10 a.m. tomorrow. The House of Day Funeral Service is handling arrangements.



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