Many parents try to instill good values in their children, but Sharon and Dale Hamilton didn't have to try hard with their daughter Tiffany Hamilton.
" I'm very thankful that after she left home for college she remembered the teachings of her parents," her mother said.
The oldest of 13 children, Ms. Hamilton, 22, of Evans, was a senior at Abilene Christian University in Abilene, Texas, where she was six credit hours away from graduating with a degree in business and interior design.
Ms. Hamilton died Sept. 3 at Hendrick Medical Center where she was being treated for mycoplasma pneumonia.
Mrs. Hamilton said her daughter suddenly became ill after returning from Army reserve duty, which forced her to stay in bed all weekend.
"Her younger brother Jared took her to the hospital and the doctors did an X-ray on her and said she had pneumonia, so they gave her some antibiotics and sent her home (back to school)," she said.
But Ms. Hamilton quickly returned to the hospital when she was having trouble talking and breathing.
"The doctors put her in the intensive care unit, where she was on a ventilator for 10 days," she said. "We saw her take her last breath.
"She was trying to come back, but her body wasn't strong enough; she wasn't able to recover because of the damage the virus caused. She suffered for a short while, but I'm glad she's at peace now."
Mrs. Hamilton said that although her daughter is gone, she feels good in knowing that her daughter exercised good Christian values she and her husband tried to teach her.
"I wanted to raise my children up for the Lord," she said. "I did that with Tiffany. Her life exemplified that in every way."
Mr. Hamilton said he will always remember his daughter having a "sweet personality," and constantly "encouraging people in their walk of faith."
"She was a good example to other young Christians in college," he said.
While in college, Ms. Hamilton was involved in several clubs and organizations in and out of church that focused on helping people in the community such as Love Your Neighbor As Yourself and Essence of Ebony, which helped minority students adapt to school. She was also a volleyball player and a lover of music, her mother said.
"She loved to sing," her mother said. "Her favorite song was My Soul is Anchored in Jesus."
Ms. Hamilton also is survived by her brothers Derrick, Gavin, Kirk, Adam, Bryce and Neil Hamilton; and sisters Chastity, Paige, Katherine, Erin and Chelsea Hamilton.
Services will be at 2 p.m. today at D'Antignac Street Church of Christ.
"Tiffany set the example for her friends and family to follow by living an abundant life," her mother said.