Virginia “Ginny” Mayo Hamel passed away September 22, 2019 at her home in Silver Spring, MD, where she lived with her husband, Mike. Ginny was born January 10, 1957, the second child of Maralyn (Walton) and James Mayo, of Needham. She graduated from Needham High School ('75), North Adams State College (’79), and Suffolk University Law School (’82) , and was admitted to the Massachusetts Bar in 1983. Ginny and Mike Hamel, originally from Methuen, MA, were married in 1986 at The Congregational Church of Needham.
They settled initially in Fairfax, VA, where Mike was then stationed as a junior officer in the U.S. Coast Guard. Their lives together would see them relocate eleven times, across the United States, from New York to Miami, and Maine to Seattle, and to other East Coast locations over the course of Mike’s Coast Guard career. Ginny completed two additional bar exams and practiced law in Washington, DC, Rhode Island, and New York, where she realized a life-long dream to advocate on behalf of the aging, as an attorney on the staff of Queens Legal Services for the Elderly, a unit of the Jewish Association Serving the Aging.
She suspended her professional career in 1990 with the birth of her son, Matthew and later began a “second career,” volunteering as a teacher’s assistant, when Matthew entered primary school in 1995. She served in that position at public schools in Virginia, Seattle, and South Berwick, Maine, making a difference in the lives of all she touched and forging lifelong friendships with the elementary school teachers she supported.
Upon returning to the National Capital Region in 2008, Ginny resumed her professional career and re-doubled her dedication to the needs of seniors as a Geriatric Care Manager and fiduciary assistant to Buckley Fricker, owner of Buckley's for Seniors. Upon Buckley's untimely death, Ginny helped run the business, in addition to providing exceptional care to her clients. She was known for her dedication, compassion and sensitivity to those most marginalized. She endeared herself to coworkers and clients alike with her spirit of generosity, evidenced by her many acts of kindness on their behalf.
Her generosity of spirit was evidenced in her many friendships as well. Ginny had a wonderful gift for making people feel special, and loved, and accepted. She celebrated their joys and successes with them and supported them through their trials and sorrows. As a result, her friends regarded Ginny as their very dearest friend and “sister from another mother”.
Ginny has been aptly described as a “pearl beyond price.” Ever the giver, ever the one who recognized and served the needs of others, ever the one who bore her own disappointments quietly and bravely, ever a beautiful soul among us. She is sorely missed by her husband, Mike, son, Matthew and his wife, Samantha, of Needham, parents, Jim and Maralyn, of Needham, and brother, Rick and his wife, Rose, of Candia, NH, and the many friends and professional acquaintances whose lives she touched along the way.
A memorial service in celebration of Ginny’s life will be held Saturday, December 14, 2019 at 10am at Carter Memorial United Methodist Church, 800 Highland Avenue, Needham Heights, MA 02494.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Virginia Mayo Hamel Memorial Fund, c/o Cathy and John Hamel, 1 Emery Street, Methuen, MA 01844, or on-line at GoFundMe.com. Proceeds will fund a scholarship in Ginny’s name at Suffolk University Law School.
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