Alice Dolores Hamilton, 75, worked for two mayors

Posted: October 05, 2012

WHEN MOTOR MAIDS of America dared to kick Dolores Hamilton out of the motorcycle club, she, in her customary way of never taking a setback seriously, went off and founded her own club.

You couldn't keep Dolores down, whether on the basketball court, where she starred for the old Rockettes women's semi-pro team, or on the job as a longtime city employee dealing with the likes of Frank Rizzo.

And lending her spirited voice to the senior choir at her church, Christ Community Baptist, where she earned the nickname "Diva" for hitting the high notes, and any number of volunteer activities that would have tired ordinary folks just thinking about them.

Alice Dolores Hamilton, a 38-year city employee who worked for two mayors, an entrepreneur who ran an ice-cream store and a tax-consulting business, an active churchwoman, a traveler who enjoyed the Bahamas and a beloved family matriarch, died of heart complications Friday in Atlanta, where she was attending the National Baptist Convention. She was 75 and lived in Overbrook.

"Dolores was a positive force in her church and community," her family said. "She was always ready to step in and help with any situation and helped to raise many of her relatives and neighbors.

"Everyone knew that if you had any troubles, you could count on her for some sound advice and support."

A motorcycle enthusiast, Dolores founded Cycle Queens of America after Motor Maids voted her out. She rode with the Queens from coast to coast, and to Canada and Mexico, for more than 17 years.

Dolores was born in Philadelphia to Richmond Hamilton Jr. and the former Rose Boyd. She graduated with honors from Overbrook High School and later studied at Community College of Philadelphia and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

She went to work for the city in 1955 with the job title "assistant community relations and ceremonial secretary" in the Office of the City Representative and Director of Commerce. After several years, she became an administrative assistant in the Mayor's Office, working with mayors James H.J. Tate and Frank Rizzo. She retired in 1993 as a supervising manager in the Department of Revenue.

In 1963, she married the late Jerry M. Davis. The marriage ended in divorce after six years.

Dolores was a founding member in 1972 of Christ Community Baptist Church, where she served as choir director, pianist, and member of the board of trustees. She modernized and automated revenue accounting for the West Philadelphia church.

She also sang on the Mass Choir at Tindley Temple for its annual performance of Handel's "Messiah."

From 1980 to 1985, she owned and operated a Baskin-Robbins ice-cream store in Center City. In 1981, she started another business, D. Davis Enterprises, providing tax and business consulting and notary-public services.

Her volunteer work included the Ronald McDonald House, Big Brothers Big Sisters, the Urban League, Rosemont School of the Holy Child and the Haverford School.

Dolores was the family historian. She would travel the country to track down relatives and would pop in on people unexpectedly to tell them where they fit into the family.

She is survived by her adopted children, Afraizh, Azephra, Kharemah, Kiki and Patrick; a brother, Richard Hamilton III, and four grandchildren.

Services: 10 a.m. Saturday at Christ Community Baptist Church, 1224 N. 41st St. Friends may call at 9 a.m. Burial will be in Mount Lawn Cemetery, Sharon Hill.


Contact John F. Morrison at morrisj@phillynews.com or 215-854-5573.

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