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J. Dean Hammond Jr.

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J. Dean

Hammond, Jr.

1943 - 2014 SALISBURY, CONN. J. Dean Hammond, Jr. of Salisbury, died peacefully on Aug. 10, 2014, surrounded by his family and friends, after a brave battle with cancer. Dean was born in White Plains, N.Y. on Jan. 12, 1943 to J. Dean Hammond and Marcia Prendergast Hammond. The Hammonds lived in Scarsdale, N.Y., where Dean attended The Immaculate Heart of Mary and Our Lady of Fatima schools until the family moved to Salisbury in 1955, where Dean's parents owned and operated The Ragamont Inn. He finished elementary school at Salisbury Central and then attended Housatonic Valley Regional High School graduating in 1961. Dean went on to earn a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science from East Carolina University, returned to Salisbury, and married Gail Neville in August 1969. Shortly thereafter, Dean completed training at the Connecticut State Police Academy and began his career as a State Trooper in 1970. He was the Resident Trooper in Salisbury from 1979 until 1986. The commendations received during his tenure include a Citation for Bravery in 1983. In 1984, Dean began his second career when he and Gail formed the J. D. Hammond, Inc. school bus company and The Lakeville Auto Center. He retired from the State Police in 1986, and he and Gail expanded their transportation business by forming Lakeville Taxi Company. After selling the bus and taxi businesses and "retiring" in 1992, he continued as a much-loved school bus driver for the children of Northwest Conn. until 2014. Dean's retirement was anything but sedentary. He and Gail traveled extensively, successfully completing their quest to travel around the world, on a leg-by-leg basis, visiting 45 countries on all 7 continents in the last 20 years. Dean gave generously and freely of his time to friends, family, and local organizations. He was a member of The Knights of Columbus, The Rotary Club, The Connecticut State Police Academy Alumni Association, the Salisbury Board of Assessment Appeals, and the Salisbury Zoning Board of Appeals. He also volunteered much of his time and energy to the Connecticut State Police Museum. Dean took great pleasure in the research and restoration of a 1941 Ford Tudor, a replica of the Conn. State Police cruiser made famous on the cover of The Saturday Evening Post in March 1945, which he donated to the museum. He was a lifelong parishioner of The Church of Saint Mary in Lakeville, and a member of the church's finance committee. Above all, Dean's greatest source of pride and joy was his grandchildren, Jace, Drew, Abby, and Griffin, and "Pop" was also the light in their lives. Dean is survived by his best friend and devoted wife of 45 years, Gail (Neville) Hammond; his adoring daughters and their families; Laurie and Mark Grusauski, Beth, Joe, Drew, and Abby Vernali, Deana Hammond, Mitchel Conlogue, Jace and Griffin Tomaino; his sister Trudy McArdle of Montpelier, Vt.; his brother and sister-in-law Jim and Louise (Winters) Hammond of Poughkeepsie, N.Y.; his sister Peggy Hammond of Denver, Colo.; and many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his sister Marcia Gillcrist, of Bethesda, Md. FUNERAL NOTICE: Calling hours will be on Aug. 13 at The Church of Saint Mary, 76 Sharon Road, Lakeville, Conn. from 4 until 7 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. on Aug. 14 at the Church of Saint Mary, with burial immediately following at the Saint Mary's Cemetery in Salisbury. NEWKIRK PALMER FUNERAL HOME is in charge of arrangements. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Salisbury Visiting Nurse Association or to the Yale-New Haven Smilow Cancer Hospital "Closer to Free" bicycle team of Dr. Harriet Kluger http://www.rideclosertofree.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=donorDrive.participant&participantID=2106
Published in The Berkshire Eagle on Aug. 12, 2014
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