Obituary of John W. Hammond
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John (Jack) Hammond, 85, of Chapel Hill, NC, passed away on January 15, 2023, after a brief illness. He was the loving husband of 53 years to Sally (MacDonald) Hammond, devoted father to Alison McMahon (Jay) of Midlothian, VA, and Ashley Clarke (Hamish) of Chapel Hill, NC. One of Jack’s most treasured roles was grandfather to Alina and Luke McMahon, Maisie, and Meridie Clarke, and Katie and Marcus Hammond. Jack is also survived by his sister and brother-in-law Noreen and Howard Agnew, niece Pam Lawrence, and nephew Bill Agnew. Jack is pre-deceased by his sons William (Buddy) and Wayne Hammond.
Jack was born in Philadelphia, PA, where he attended Lincoln High School and was proud to have competed gymnastics on the Varsity team. As a result of his impressive athletic and academic endeavors, Jack went on to attend the University of Pittsburgh on a full athletic scholarship. As a part of the team, he achieved multiple national honors, including an NCAA Championship for his individual performance on the rings. He earned a Bachelor of Science in 1959 and was a brother of the Phi Delta Gamma fraternity. After college, Jack began a 40-year career at IBM where he worked in programming, sales, marketing, and several executive management roles. Prior to retiring, Jack developed and launched IBM’s first Customer Executive Education learning center in Palisades, NY.
Jack and Sally met in Cleveland, OH where Sally was an accessories buyer at Halle Brothers. They were married in Erie, PA on October 25, 1969. After practicing parenting on a puppy, they welcomed their girls and raised their family on Ryders Lane in Wilton, CT. They retired to The Landings in Savannah, GA in 1997, where they created wonderful memories for 20 years. A move to The Cedars in Chapel Hill in 2017 brought Jack and Sally closer to their grandchildren.
Jack instilled a love of reading in his children, and a favorite author of his was O’Henry, with every story ending with an unexpected twist. A lifelong puzzle enthusiast, Jack not only could solve any given New York Times crossword puzzle (in ink!), he wrote and published over 500 puzzles in his retirement. His puzzles were published by Simon & Schuster, The Chicago Tribune, and for the communities at The Landings and The Cedars. He delighted his fans with clever, often humorous themes and always two sets of clues, leading with Challenger, following with Standard.
As a Pitt Panthers fan, his weekend schedule typically revolved around watching every football and basketball game. Jack treasured time with his children and grandchildren, spending family vacations on the beaches of New Jersey and Virginia. They provided the perfect backdrop for Jack to show his love of twists and trickery, like an elaborate treasure hunt he staged for the grandkids that started with a message in a bottle washing up to shore.
Jack was loved by all, his vibrant presence will be deeply missed by our family and our friends.
The family will be hosting a tribute service in the Magnolia Room at The Cedars of Chapel Hill on March 4th, 2023 from 4-4:45 pm. A reception will follow until 6 pm. Friends are welcome to join the service or drop in for a glass of wine during the reception to toast Jack’s life well-lived.
If you would like to honor Jack with a donation, please do so at your alma mater, as he often credited his beloved Pitt for his bountiful life.