Carol K. Hammitt
December 29, 1927-March 19, 2021
Carol Knoderer Hammitt passed away on March 19, 2021 in Redondo Beach. She was the devoted wife of Andrew G. Hammitt, loving mother of three sons, their wives, four grandsons, and one great granddaughter.
Mrs. Hammitt was one of the founders of the original Palos Verdes Recycling Center and was an intrepid sailor and long-distance voyager with her husband.
Mrs. Hammitt was born December 29, 1927, in Abington Township, Pennsylvania to Claude and Mildred (Cyphers) Knoderer, and was christened in honor of the season. The middle child of three, she excelled academically, particularly in mathematics and German. She received her bachelor's degree in mathematics from Douglass College, the residential women's college of Rutgers University. She was working for the Aerospace Engineering Department at Princeton University when she and Mr. Hammitt met in 1949, and then the Curtiss-Wright Propeller Company in New Jersey when they were married in 1954. They moved to Palos Verdes Estates from Princeton, New Jersey in 1960 before relocating to the unincorporated area of the Palos Verdes Peninsula in 1967, where they lived until moving to Santa Barbara in 2003.
Mrs. Hammitt was a longtime member of the Palos Verdes Chapter of the American Association of University Women (AAUW), serving as chapter treasurer and president, and participated in the incorporation of the city of Rancho Palos Verdes. She was an active partner with her husband in family business interests.
Perhaps Mrs. Hammitt's most substantial contribution to the community was her role, with fellow AAUW members Dorian Dunlavey, Margaret DeChristafaro and Jackie Mason, as co-founder of the Palos Verdes Recycling Center in 1970. After demonstrating successful and profitable operation over several years, the center was taken over by Los Angeles County. Later in life, Mrs. Hammitt delighted in being interviewed by the Palos Verdes News as one of the "four trashy women" who pioneered local recycling.
In addition to her community activism, Mrs. Hammitt was an enthusiastic sailor, long-distance voyager, light airplane copilot, and world traveler. For their honeymoon, she and her husband sailed their 26-foot sailboat from New Jersey to the Florida Keys and Bahamas. Later, they cruised their 50-foot motor yacht from Redondo Beach up the Columbia and Snake rivers to Lewiston, Idaho, then on a prolonged voyage to the eastern United States via the Panama Canal, through the Great Lakes, Mississippi River and the St. Lawrence Seaway, among other voyages. She and her husband were members of King Harbor Yacht Club from 1960 to 2003, and sailed their family sailboat to Catalina and the other Channel Islands countless times. They crossed the United States multiple times in light airplanes, and traveled to every continent except Antarctica, often on rivers including the Amazon, Yangtze, Danube and Rhine.
Family was always Mrs. Hammitt's primary devotion. She supported her husband devotedly, and continuously emphasized the traditional values of love, loyalty, honesty, responsibility, social commitment and grace to her sons. She was predeceased by her parents, siblings Alice Simonsen and David Knoderer, and is survived by Mr. Hammitt, sons James (Susan Klein) of Wayland, Massachusetts, Thomas (Lauren Hassing) of Walnut Creek, California and Andrew (Yvette) of Rancho Palos Verdes, grandsons Erik, Robert, Galen and Duncan, and great granddaughter Luna, in whose hearts she lives on.
Services for Mrs. Hammitt will begin at 12:00 noon on May 3 at Green Hills Memorial Park in Rancho Palos Verdes. Remote attendance is available via Livestream at https://client.tribucast.com/tcid/34304432.