Robert Kempson Hammond Age 71, died peacefully April 25, 2014 in University Place. Born in Quincy, MA on July 3, 1942 to Charles John Kempson Hammond and Dorothy May Estelle Coy, Bob spent his boyhood in Quincy and North Weymouth, graduating in 1960 from Weymouth High School. He studied engineering at Northeastern University in Boston, worked a co-op internship at Ford Motor Company in Dearborn, MI, and then transferred to The University of Michigan, where he met his wife, Mary Ellen Ward, also a UM student. They were married in December 1966. In 1967 Bob graduated from UM with his B.A. in Psychology, then returned to UM earn his Secondary Teacher's Certificate in 1968. Bob taught chemistry and physics at Adrian (MI) High School until 1970, when he and Mary moved to University Place, WA, where for the next 20 years he taught math and physical science at Curtis Jr. High. Bob was an active member of the Tacoma Mountaineers, summiting three of the six major peaks in WA. He also took up whitewater kayaking, serving as president of the Washington Kayak Club in the mid-1970s and lobbying the WA State Legislature for the preservation of Wild & Scenic Rivers. On Sundays, he began crewing for sailing races. He loved being outdoors, especially on the water. In 1978, Bob was diagnosed with polymyositis. Despite debilitating muscle weakness and permanent damage to his lungs and heart, he continued to teach for another 10 years before retiring to his garden in 1988. Bob is survived by his wife Mary, daughter Jennifer Hammond (Pat Skipper), and grandchildren Jack and Amy Skipper. Bob is also survived by his brother David J. Hammond, in MA. A private memorial service is planned.
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Published in News Tribune (Tacoma) on May 4, 2014