HAMMOND, Frank G
1921 to 2013
After a short illness, the family of Frank Hammond is deeply saddened to announce his passing.
Frank was born October 4, 1921 in Montreal into a large bustling family. He was the second youngest in a family of seven and is survived by his sister Myrtle and many wonderful nieces and nephews. His childhood, by all accounts was filled with mischief and fun. His passion, however was sports, and he played baseball all summer and hockey all winter. He even had the opportunity to play against the great Rocket Richard while growing up. He was drafted by the Montreal Junior Canadiens, but he decided on joining the armed forces, following in his older brothers' footsteps. Although his first attempt was thwarted by a pound of weight, after a month of potatoes he was enlisted into the R.C.A.F. much to his Mother's chagrin in August 1942, and was posted overseas.
The War years dragged on, but he and his squadron still found time to play baseball, and even a bit of hockey when they had reached Holland. Sometimes playing baseball became dangerous as playing it instead of digging a fox hole meant diving into someone else's when an air raid occurred. Frank stayed in the Air Force after the War and became a Career Soldier. In 1947 he was invited to the Olympic Hockey team camp. Sometimes looking back we wonder if he got payed to be in the Armed Forces, or to be an amateur athlete, as it seemed all he did was win baseball and hockey championships on many different teams. He met his future wife at a dance in Toronto, with the debonair line of "Hey Blondie want to dance?" After a long courtship, which included his hitchhiking across the country to meet her family in Saskatchewan, where his future brothers-in- law Adam and Wes decided to put the city slicker on a horse named Blackie, who didn't really like being rode and took off straight to the barn, (he bailed just before the closed top of the barn door ejected him off), Frank married the love of his life, Iona Prohor (Jean) in 1953 while posted in North Luffenham, England.
They had two sons Craig (Anna) and Grant (Bernadette) and one apple of his eye, grandson Jason. Frank was a great husband, and an even better father and grandfather. He was loving and caring, generous and fun, although he did have a habit of loving to argue, and would sometimes take an opposing side even if he didn't believe in it, just to get things going. As aggravating as that could be, as you knew he might not truly believe in what he was saying, it certainly kept you honest, and is something that will be missed. After retiring from the Air Force a well decorated soldier in 1972, he moved for a short time to Lloydminster, before settling in Edmonton for the rest of his life. His hockey playing and refereeing and baseball days behind him, Frank put his energy into golf. He blamed his inability to become a scratch golfer on his baseball swing, however that did not stop him from golfing his age into his eighties. After spending wet summer holidays in the mountains, his golfing really took off after a time share was purchased in Las Vegas, where there was no more rain during his summer vacation, only hot days with blue skies, and plenty of golf as there were still three courses on the strip at that time. His final retirement, after doing building maintenance left him plenty of time to golf, and start his new hobby Sports Card collecting. Once again he did it with full force, and became well knowledgeable in the ins and outs of sports cards. After his family begged him to slow down due to space issues, he narrowed his collecting to hockey cards only.
March of 2011 dealt a great blow to Frank. He lost his dear wife Jean. Frank continued to remain active, but was visibly lonely without Jean. His attention turned even more to being involved in all that was his grandson. They were pals, they hung out, Jason called him Frank, and Jason could do no wrong while he was around. After he drove for a routine blood test in May, Frank ended up in the hospital. After moving then to the Kipnes Center for Veterans and not without a fight that would make Dylan Thomas proud, Frank succumbed to this Mortal Coil. He will be dearly missed by all, and remembered with fondness and love. There is some peace in knowing that he really did have a wonderful life.
Published in The Edmonton Journal on July 27, 2013