Jan. 21, 1965 — July 21, 2018
Sharon A. Hamister's welcoming personality and infectious laugh often hid the serious illnesses she battled for many years.
Upon meeting her, most people didn't even realize she was sick, because she would be smiling so much and asking about how everyone else was doing, said her husband, Mark E. Hamister, the Buffalo businessman and head of the Hamister Group.
"She was always the first one to express her feelings and love for people. It didn't matter what she was facing herself," he said.
Mrs. Hamister, the former co-owner of a hair and beauty salon in Amherst, died Saturday in her summer cottage home in Ridgeway, Ont., at the age of 53.
Born Sharon Ann White in Buffalo, she grew up in the Cleveland Hill section of Cheektowaga and graduated from Cleveland Hill High School. She earned an associate's degree from Erie Community College in cosmetology.
With a business partner, she opened a salon called Shear Creations, near the intersection of Kensington Avenue and Harlem Road, which she operated for many years. She withdrew from the business after marrying Mr. Hamister in 2002.
Mrs. Hamister enjoyed cooking, and she used her skill in the kitchen to help build menus for restaurants in some of the hotels operated by the Hamister Group. She also did some cooking consulting work for the company.
Mark Hamister said that he put on 20 pounds since he married Mrs. Hamister, who specialized in nouvelle cuisine, but had eclectic tastes in food.
"She was such a tremendous cook," he said. "She loved it. It was a huge part of her world. She loved to mentor other people."
Her zest for cooking stemmed from a desire to bring family together for parties, said her sister, Mary Buckley.
Mrs. Hamister also enjoyed Broadway theater and musicals, and she traveled to Italy, Barbados and France, among other destinations.
She suffered from a condition called brittle diabetes and was the recipient of a dual organ transplant — a pancreas and kidney — about a decade ago at a Miami hospital. She frequently beat back complications from the disease over the years. But Mrs. Hamister didn't let the health issues define her, even in times when she had to rely on a wheelchair to get around, said Buckley.
"You never looked at her ever and saw a sick person," she said. "Everyone else's problems she definitely put above her own."
In addition to her sister and husband, she is survived by her mother, Rose White; two other sisters, Brenda White and Deborah Rosenberry; two brothers, Thomas White and John White; a step-son, Daniel; two step-daughters, Katherine and Nektaria; and four step-grandchildren.
A funeral service will be held at 10 a.m. Tuesday, July 24, in Calvary Episcopal Church, 20 Milton St., Williamsville.