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Gene Hamm

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Gene Hamm Obituary
Gene Hamm

Black Mountain

Eugene Perry Hamm, Jr., age 93, who was a resident at the North Carolina Veteran's Home in Black Mountain, died on December 10, 2016.

Gene Hamm was born in Henderson, North Carolina to Eugene P. Hamm, Sr. and Cleo Beatrice Williams Hamm both now deceased. Gene was also preceded in death by his son Gary and his siblings Billy, Jerry, and Peggy. Gene is survived by his wife, Mary LaRue; his son Rodney, and his wife, Phyllis; their three children, Tiffany Hall, and her husband, Ken and their children Webber and Virginia, Andrew Trent Hamm, and his sons, Alex and Aiden; Leslie H. Mauldin, and her husband, Doug; and their children, Dane and Sarah.

Gene was married to Mary LaRue Britt Hamm for 70 and a half years. They lived in Raleigh North Carolina from 1971 to 2014 in a home that Gene designed and built himself—with some help from electricians and plumbers, he might add.

Gene grew up in Raleigh, North Carolina where he graduated from Broughton High School before entering the U.S. Navy to serve in World War II. As a young man he was a multi-talented athlete--AAU champion diver, professional boxer, professional golfer and then golf course architect. He was an excellent racketball enthusiast and once bowled a perfect 300. As a member of the PGA since 1954, he contended in the 1958 National PGA tournament and 1960 US Open. He won the NC Open in 1966. Gene often said that he was a better golfer after age 65 than he was as a younger man. At age 67 he shot his own age and duplicated that feat for the next ten years. He won the1977 and 1978 Carolinas Senior Opens. As a golf course designer, he honed his natural aptitude and developed expertise under Ellis Maples and famed designer Robert Trent Jones. On his own, Gene designed seventy-seven courses mostly in North and South Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee and New York. Gene was inducted into the Carolinas PGA Hall of Fame in 2001.

Gene was baptized at Immanuel Baptist Church in Durham, North Carolina and was a life-long faithful Baptist. His testimony to the grace of Christ in his own life was significant in the conversion of his parents and many professional golfers. In his final years as Gene suffered from the life-robbing complications of Dementia, he would wonder why Jesus had not already come for him. On December 10, 2016, by the grace of God, Gene went to be with the Lord.

A lesson that my father modeled for us is this: when he was of sound mind, he retained excellent counsel to establish for himself and my mother General and Health Care Power of Attorney documents, wills, declaration of Desire for a natural death and all things legally necessary for his family to act on their behalf when his mind, spirit, and body failed. This is love.

A memorial service will be conducted at a later time.
Published in The News & Observer on Dec. 18, 2016
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