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Annette Coppess Hamilton, 85, of Shelbina and Bethel, Mo., passed away on Tuesday, June 14th, 2022 at her daughter’s home in Bethel.
Annette was born March 9, 1937 in Madison, Ind., just after midnight, her twin sister Collette having been born a few minutes before midnight March 8, 1937. She was born at home to Earl Coppess and Martha Bessie Jane Furnish Coppess.
Annette is survived by her three daughters Fran Laughren and husband Pete of Hampton, Georgia; Sonja Hawkins and husband Dale of Bethel, MO; Karen Nguyen and husband Toai of Southeast Asia and one daughter-in-law Teri Layman Hamilton of Euless, Texas; six grandchildren Denzil (Maddie) Laughren, Jonathan (Maycie), David (Aubrey), Tiffany, Caleb and Joshua Nguyen. She is also survived by one brother, Tom (Mary) Coppess of Elwood, Ind. and several nieces and nephews.
Annette was preceded in death by her husband of 56 years, Albert “Sonny” Hamilton on April 28th, 2014, two sons, John Marshall and Jonathan Lee, her parents, five brothers and two sisters.
She committed her life to the Lord and was baptized at the age of 11 after a neighbor took her and her twin sister to church. She learned from her minister that being a Christian meant signing up to serve the Lord and going wherever He would send her. She was also inspired by the life story of Gladys Aylward and the movie “Inn of the Sixth Happiness”. After graduating from Sheridan High School, she attended Johnson Bible College in Knoxville, Tennessee to prepare for missionary service. She was part of the missions team and sang in a trio during her time at JBC. On October 12, 1957 she was united in marriage to Albert “Sonny” Hamilton in Phoenix, Arizona while working together on a mission ministry team starting a church. When given the opportunity to go to South Africa, Al and Annette went to serve there joyfully from 1960 – 1969. They later went on to serve in Puerto Rico, Uganda, Kenya and Singapore as well as ministering in Bedford Texas, Elizabethton Tennessee, Marceline and Bethel Missouri. They also started the mission organizations: Pioneer Bible Translators, Outreach International and Youth Educational Services. Annette worked at Walsworth Publishing in Marceline, Missouri so Al could travel in the early days of Pioneer Bible Translators and later as a secretary at the VA Hospital in Dallas when Outreach International was getting off the ground. Annette served faithfully “behind the scenes” hosting new missionary recruits around the dinner table encouraging others in their walk with the Lord. She and Al were quick to open their home to refugees, run-aways, interns, college students and others needing encouragement. Annette loved children and believed it was her God-given purpose to help Al fulfill His calling in mission ministry by caring for their children and the home so that he would be able to travel, recruiting workers for the harvest fields. “Home” was never a house, a town or place, but wherever Al was called to serve. Many have called her “Mom”. She was dearly loved and she loved well. She is now truly “home”, walking with her Lord and Savior.
Visitation was held from 5 to 7 p.m. on Friday, June 17, at Greening-Eagan-Hayes Funeral Home in Shelbina. Funeral service will be at 10 am on Saturday, June 18, at Bethel Christian Church in followed by the burial at the Mt. Olivet Cemetery in Marceline, at 2 p.m.
Memorials may be made to Outreach International, Young Educational Services, or Pioneer Bible Translators.