Joan Hammond, daughter of Charles Joseph and Ernestine "Anna" Bamesberger Mohatt was born Jan. 19, 1933 in Custer County, near Anselmo, Neb. the last of nine children. She passed from this life to her eternal blessed home in heaven May 23, 2020, at EnTrust of DeSoto in Dallas, Texas at the age of 87.
Joan spent her childhood in and around Anselmo during the Great Depression, the Dust Bowl/severe drought and World War II (1939-1945). She told us stories of her mother buying the same patterned flour sacks to make dresses, and her stories of churning milk to make butter.
She experienced hardship but she knew faith, love, fun and family overcame everything. Her parents bought a boarding house in Broken Bow so her sisters and she could attend high school in town.
Joan was very active in her school days with lots of friends. She was in several school clubs, Future Teachers of America as an Officer, President of Sioux Club 1950 (prep club), Senior Reporter for "The Indian" (monthly publication), Annual Staff yearbook, Junior Plays, Speech Contest, and Y-Teens!
Her friends called her by many names: Johanna, Jo, Jo Jo, Annie and Joan (pronounced JoAnn)! She was known to us as Mom, Grandma, and Joan.
Jack would call her his "Most Beautiful Lady!" She caught his eyes early on in high school. Our dad was the highest bidder for her box lunch at their school and won the honor of taking Joan out on their very first date!
Jack's courtship of Joan lasted a lifetime. Joan would look forward to every anniversary as Jack would give her an additional rose for every year they were married. During high school, Jack also raised a cow in 4H and named it after Joan calling it Rainbow Valley Joan. True love!
During her school years, she worked at Rexall Drug store as a soda jerk (malt and milkshake maker) and shared many root beer floats with John "Jack" Hammond! She was always quick witted with jokes and considered a "swell gal" by many.
Joan was also in the top 10 percent of her class and on the honor roll! She enjoyed going to slumber parties and to the river with her girlfriends. She also loved watching Jack play football and run track. Her 1950 yearbook has this appropriate quote for Joan: "A mighty spirit fills that little frame."
She graduated in 1950 with her beau, Jack, and they were married August 19, 1952 at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Broken Bow. They shared 59 years of marriage together before he passed away October 12, 2011. Their incredibly loving marriage taught us how to love each other, how to work hard, have fun, and to serve others as Christ did for us! These will be forever some of their greatest legacies passed on to everyone.
Joan and Jack had four beautiful daughters - Catherine (Cathy) born in Broken Bow in 1953, Beverly (Bev) born in Columbus in 1955, Jenifer (Jen) born in Pasadena, Texas in 1965 and Mary Jo (Mary) born in Houston, Texas in 1968. They also had three children that were miscarried that Joan and John are reunited with in heaven!
After they were married, Jack worked on his folk's, William "Bill" and Agnes Hammond, farm in Nebraska. For a short while Joan was a schoolteacher for a one roomed schoolhouse that spanned many grades. Then the folks with Cathy moved to Columbus where Jack helped build grain silos. After which, Joan, Jack, Cathy and Beverly moved to Kansas City and lived-in an apartment for a year or two where Jack learned how to work with electronics. Jack then got a job with Martin-Marietta in Denver, Colo. where they moved to from 1958 to 1964.
Joan worked as a secretary for a trucking moving line company while in Colorado. They were able to buy three rental homes in Colorado which was one of their most successful investments. They had chosen a different life from farming and worked hard as a family to make their dreams come true. They loved exploring and camping in the mountains, going fishing and enjoying God's beauty.
The family moved to Houston, Texas in December, 1964 so Jack could work with the NASA Space program as an electrician. It was an exciting time for the space industry! He was able to be one of the first persons to shake the hands of the Apollo astronauts after they got out of quarantine from a space mission. We were so thankful that during this time she was an amazing mom balancing all our activities well! Joan and Jack attended ballroom dancing at the Clear Lake Recreation Center with their neighbors. They also hosted amazing watermelon neighborhood parties with their friends and families.
Some of their state travels included seeing Niagara Falls for their honeymoon, Yellowstone National Park, the Grand Canyon, the Smoky and Colorado mountains, the east and west coasts and of course the Gulf of Mexico! They also traveled to Canada, Mexico, Hawaii, New Zealand, Ireland and Scotland. Mom especially loved history and reading all the historical markers and visiting the cemeteries during their travels. Their travels often included hanging out and seeing all their siblings, folks and their families creating amazing memories.
Joan and Jack loved their children and supported them in so many wonderful ways. Joan loved to cook, and we loved eating what she made! We learned how to make pies and raisin cookies which was passed down to Jenifer to do for several years until Jen went to college. Mary took over that tradition ever since and has been making them every Christmas! Joan attended almost all our activities growing up including being a 4-H leader for Cathy and Beverly. Cathy was active in the pep squad and Spanish club in high school. Beverly was a Flair/high kicker and participated in high school theatre plays and a member of the student council. Mom was a co-leader for Girl Scouts and attended lots of soccer games for Jen and Mary. They went to choir functions for Cathy, Beverly and Jen. The folks went to swim meets, volleyball tournaments and band for Mary. Joan, being a former teacher tutored us with our math and English needs, reviewed our research papers, and drilled us in math flash cards to make sure we excelled! They strongly encouraged us to be our best.
We were going to attend church and learn about Jesus. No questions about it. The folks taught us how important it was to have a relationship with Christ. We nearly sat in the front row or near the front of the church all the time. As a child, it seemed embarrassing, but then grew to know they were teaching us to be bold in our faith and in our lives. In Clear Lake area, they attended St. Paul's Catholic Church in Nassau Bay, then helped build St. Bernadette's church in Clear Lake. They attended the Catholic Charismatic Center for several years while in their 60s and became born-again Christians at that time. Joan in her later years also attended St. Clare's Catholic Church in Clear Lake. While in Dallas, Jenifer and mom attended the Holy Trinity Catholic Church along with attending Trinity Church – Fairmeadows. She knew Jesus as her Lord and Savior and exuded His love to everyone she met!
They were socially active in politics worked together as a team! That included when they went on buses to Austin when the city of Houston had annexed Clear Lake City to protest the annexation. Joan and later Jenifer with her worked at the voting/polling locations. They were real-estate investors and owned and rented homes and apartments which the family helped support. Joan was President of Quality Home Inspection and translated all of John's reports and she worked with the clients.
In 2002, the folks had a large 50th Wedding Anniversary celebration where they renewed their vows with family and friends and a great fun dancing party!
Along the way, grandkids were born. Babies were kissed and loved! The grandkids have been so very loved by their grandmother and grandfather over the years. Joan tried to also attend as many activities for them as they did for us girls growing up. This included many birthday parties, family holiday gatherings, lots of memorable food that Joan made that we couldn't wait to eat. In 2016, Joan came to live in the Dallas area with her daughter, Jenifer, to help her due to Alzheimer's. She got to continue living by attending the Texas State Fair, symphonies, the zoo and botanical gardens along with seeing her daughters, grandchildren and friends. Joan never stopped living life! The assisted living center staff said she was the happiest and most joyful person to be around!
Joan was preceded in death by her husband John "Jack" Hammond; her parents Charles and Anna Mohatt; her eight sisters and brothers Ernestine (Cecil) Hickey, Frances (Neil) McCarthy, Mary (Lawrence "Bus") Schmitz, Charline Bendig (Willard Garner and Art Bendig), William "X" (Mary) Mohatt, Carl (Alta) Mohatt, Anastasia "Ann" Gates and Patricia "Patsy" (Bill) Dworak.
Joan is survived by her brother-in-law Dillard Gates; four daughters and seven grandchildren - daughter Cathy and her husband Greg Akromis, children Hilary and Preston and wife Shannon Akromis; daughter Beverly Hammond, children Rachel Hammond and wife Brooke Logan and Joshua Hammond; daughter Jenifer Hammond; and daughter Mary Wells, children Austin, Hailey and Chloe Wells; and many cousins, nieces, nephews, and friends.
Visitation was June 19, 2020 at Forest Park East Funeral Home at 21620 Gulf Freeway, Webster, Texas 77598 from 5-8 pm.
Visitation, eulogy, Christian service and burial was Saturday, June 20, at Forest Park East Funeral Home chapel starting at 9 a.m. for visitation in the chapel and 10 a.m. for church service with the Pastor Paul Kenney officiating. The graveside burial was at 12:20 p.m. with Father Bob Barras officiating.
If you would like to give a donation in Joan's memory, the family suggests Williams Syndrome to honor Joan's granddaughter Hailey Wells - https://williams-syndrome.org/
; Alzheimer's Association
; or St. Bernadette's church in Houston, TX for Helping Hands/Christian Action that provides support for local families during times of crisis in the Clear Lake area. Pleas note Christian Action in Giving https://www.stbchurch.org/christian-action https://membership.faithdirect.net/givenow/TX631/17359
Thank you for all your love and support for our beautiful mother, grandmother, aunt, cousin and friend!