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William Hammond

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William Hammond Obituary

PEORIA - William "Bill" Marion Hammond, PhD, 83, of Peoria, Ill., passed away unexpectedly of natural causes on Monday, Feb. 10, 2014, at Bickford Cottage in Peoria.

Bill was born Nov. 24, 1930, in South Bend, Ind., to Frank Wilbur Hammond Sr. and Johanna Zimmer Hammond, both deceased.

He was preceded in death by seven siblings, Edmund, Pauline, Loretta, Jack, Patricia, Frank and Chris; and his eldest son, Timothy Scott Hammond.

He is survived by his wife of 26 years, Nanette T. Hammond of Peoria; his daughter and son-in-law, Lynda Sue Gilles and Mark E. Gilles of Groveland; his son, Thomas William Hammond of Peoria; and four grandchildren, Melissa Lyn Hammond, Joshua Scott Hammond, Ashley Kay Gilles and Chelsea Marie Gilles, all of Peoria.

Bill was proud to be a self-made professional, earning his Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering at Purdue University in January of 1957. He achieved his master's degree in 1960 from Bradley University, and his doctoral degree from Purdue University in 1967.

Previously, he served in the United States Air Force for four years, three years in Japan during the Korean Conflict. During his service, he taught courses in Advanced Radar Electronics for the U.S. Air Force. During that time, he realized that education was the key to success, and set his goal to obtain his PhD in electronics at Purdue University.

Dr. Hammond, along with Dr. Phil Weinburg and Dr. Tom Stewart, established the Department of Electrical Engineering at Bradley University. In 1957, Dr. Hammond served as the first faculty member of this fledgling department, and for nearly 50 years, passionately touched the lives of his many beloved students. He led the development of the electronics curriculum at a time of rapid change, moving from vacuum tubes and transistors to complex integrated circuits. He was widely respected for his educational leadership while challenging students to master these emerging technologies. In addition to his many electrical engineering courses, he taught Microelectronics (junior level courses, which he started), Technical Math, VLSI (very large scale integration) and Power Surveying and supervised more than 200 student projects. He also served as director of The Technology Commercialization Center and Incubator over a four-year term at Bradley. He served on numerous university committees and consortia, and was instrumental in the electrical engineering student exchange program with Samara State Aerospace University, Samara, Russia, which he visited five times. During his career, Bill created two corporations, Computer Corporation of America and a real estate company. He owned and managed about 100 homes and apartment complexes over 40 years with his distinguished friends and partners, Robert Kaiser, CPA, and Alan Campbell. Full-time during summers, and part-time during the academic years, between 1976 and 1992, Bill worked with International Tapetronics Corporation and Microprocessor Control and Electronic Communication, and in 1979 to 1980, Caterpillar Tractor Company Research Department/Computer Aided Electronic Circuit Analysis-SPICE2. He was also engaged in various consulting activities, involving all phases of electrical engineering. One project, of which he was particularly proud, was the ERS-Tech Anaerobic Bicycle, which he partnered with his good friend, Dr. Bernard Cahill, and others.

Dr. Hammond received many awards and honors including Tau Beta Pi (engineering honorary society) Outstanding Instructor Award at Purdue University in 1965, and was a member and faculty adviser for Tau Beta Pi during the years 1973 to 1997. Other honorary societies include Eta Kappa Nu and Sigma Tau. He was always involved in research and wrote numerous publications. After retirement, he was awarded Emeritus status.

Bill was an avid fan and supporter of the Bradley Braves basketball team. When he first came to Bradley, he worked as a ticket agent, but soon decided he wanted to watch and participate in the games, so he purchased season tickets, which he renewed every year. He rarely missed a game. He truly loved Bradley University, and all it stands for.

Bill's passion was teaching, but his love was his family. He was determined to see that all his grandchildren would receive a college education, for which he provided. His faith was very strong and he preached that one should always put God first, then family, then work, and everything else would fall into place. Bill's faith in God, his church and the church family were of prime importance throughout his life. His lineage included American Indian, and he valued that heritage, saying that when his time came, he would "walk off into the sunset," which he has finally accomplished.

Please join us in celebrating Bill's life. Visitation will be from 4 to 6 p.m. Friday, Feb. 14, 2014, at Davison-Fulton Woodland Chapel, 2021 N. University St., Peoria, IL 61604, as well as one hour prior to the funeral service, which will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014, at the New Apostolic Church, 5341 N. Sheridan Road, Peoria, IL 61614, with the Reverend Paul Wurst officiating. Entombment will be following the services at the Resurrection Mausoleum, 7519 N. Allen Road, Peoria, Ill. Military rites will be accorded at the mausoleum.

The family suggests those desiring to send memorials may do so to Bradley University to the "William M. Hammond Endowed Scholarship Fund" for Electrical Engineering Students, The New Apostolic Church or The of Central Illinois.

Online condolences may be made at www.davison-fulton.com.

Published in Peoria Journal Star on Feb. 13, 2014
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