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Thomas Clark Hammond


1928 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
Thomas Clark Hammond Obituary
Thomas Clark Hammond

Memphis, TN

Dedicated family man Tom Hammond passed away peacefully on June 16, 2017, after a lengthy illness. He was a man of courage, strength, honor and wit. Barbara, his wife of 60 years, was the love of his life and he dearly loved his children and grandchildren. Tom was born to John Hays Hammond and Carolyn Clark Hammond on September 6, 1928 and grew up in Memphis and Jackson, TN. He attended Little Flower Catholic School and was educated in the Lasallian tradition, graduating from CBC (later CBHS) in 1946.

Following graduation, he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps at age 17. He graduated from boot camp at Parris Island, SC and served at Camp Lejeune, NC. After active duty he remained in the Reserves and enrolled at the University of Mississippi where he played football on the 1949 freshman team. While at Ole Miss he was initiated into the Sigma Chi fraternity. Noted for his passing ability, he transferred to the University of Houston where he was designated as starting quarterback of the football team until suffering an injury. While at the U of H he joined the Cavaliers fraternity and had the honor of serving as Sheriff of the annual Frontier Fiesta celebration on campus. He deputized friends from the football team and together they placed Mickey Mantle, who was attending the festivities, under arrest since there were "no Yankees allowed after dark". He was activated for service during the Korean War.

He described meeting his wife Barbara as "love at first sight for us, which blossomed quickly into a decision to get married". He once wrote to his children, "She is a wonderful person who has endured the frequent adverse vicissitudes of life with strength of character while remaining devoted to me during our marriage. The depth of our love rivals the trough of a thunderous Hawaiian wave, is as monumental as the edifice honoring the 'Father of our Country' and is as vast and wide as the blue Pacific." They wed on February 2, 1956 and theirs was a story of true love.

After graduation he worked in real estate development in Houston and then for city planning consulting firms in Memphis, Waco, Princeton and St. Louis in advance of receiving a Master's Degree in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Tennessee in 1968. He served as a city planner for the State of Tennessee and for the State of South Carolina before starting his own consultancy and relocating to Franklin, TN.

He was an accomplished author and wrote "Showdown in Memphis" which was published in 1997. The 485-page book uses the 1943 football game between CBC and Central H.S. as the backdrop for capturing life in pre-war Memphis and provides stories of those whose deeds influenced the development of Memphis, a parade of prepossessing personages whose achievements helped shape the persona of the brawling river town and evolved it into the "Place of Good Abode". He left one book unfinished.

He was a proud member of The Marine Corps League, Second Marine Division Association and Sons of Confederate Veterans. He was predeceased by son Thomas Clark Jr. and grandson Thomas Clifford. He is survived by his doting wife Barbara, son Randy (Kaye) of Charlotte, son Cobb of Memphis, daughter Melanie Mendoza (Roland) of Frisco, TX, daughter in-law Carol of Memphis; grandchildren, Grace Skertich (Ryan), Andrew (Natalie), Hays (Elizabeth), Joseph, Katherine, Natalie and Lauren, and three great-grandchildren, Wade and Whit Skertich, and Amelia Hammond due in July. He is also survived by two dear cousins, Ann Finch and Joe Clark, both of Memphis.

A funeral Mass will be offered in gratitude for his life at 10 a.m. on Monday, June 26th at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, 8151 Chimney Rock Blvd., Cordova followed by a reception at 4200 Grandview Ave., Memphis. Family visitation will be at 9:30 prior to the Mass at St. Francis. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Humane Society of Memphis & Shelby County, 935 Farm Rd., Memphis, Tennessee 38134 or online at http://memphishumane.org/
Published in The Commercial Appeal from June 23 to June 25, 2017
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