Margaret (Peggy) Theresa Wymbs Hammer, April 24th 1931 to March 20 2021. Peggy was born in Red Bank NJ, the daughter of Christine and Albert Wymbs. Peggy was an only child but was close with her many cousins. She started dance class at age 5, which began a lifelong passion. Her specialty was tap dancing in toe shoes on point. An excellent student, she graduated from Red Bank High School two years early at age 16 and soon became an executive assistant at Fort Monmouth, where she was involved in the planning of Cape Canaveral Space Station. During World War II she taught the soldiers at Fort Monmouth, NJ to jitterbug, among many other dances. Peggy met J. Paul Hammer when she was 14 years old and they married in 1949. They were inseparable until his passing in 1997, and were the love of each other's life. They moved to Albuquerque NM in 1949, where Paul was enrolled at the University of New Mexico. Peggy managed a liquor warehouse at this time and continued to show off her dancing skills at rodeos. As she said, "We were dead broke, needed the money, but it was all great fun having a cigarette knocked out of your lips with a bullwhip". Peggy became a full-time mother when her first daughter was born in 1952. She and Paul moved to Binghamton, NY, San Jose, CA, and finally Boca Raton, FL in 1968, where they settled with their now four children. Peggy was always active in the social life at IBM while her husband worked there, as well as various church activities, PTA boards and many years as the volunteer leader of the school clinic at Boca Raton Junior High. After her husband retired from IBM, Peggy and Paul took several driving trips across Europe, where they had tons of fun, frequently got lost, and always returned with hilarious stories. Anne Hammer Moore, her sister-in-law and best friend, made many of the trips with them and Paul always said it was a bit like traveling with Lucy and Ethel with all the mischief and antics they caused. Anne and Peggy continued their mischievous ways on many a cruise after Paul passed. Peggy loved bowling, golf, big band music, cooking gourmet meals, and her dogs Meggie, Poochie, Placido, and Lucky. She was also a fantastic bridge player, a member of the altar guild both in San Jose and Boca Raton. Various "Mom stories" collected over the years include the time she cooked bananas flambé and accidentally burned off her eyebrows and bangs, the time she got stuck in a garbage can, and the time she forgot to put the lid on the blender while preparing a graham cracker crust and coated herself and the kitchen in cracker crumbs and butter. Peggy always made sure the house was filled with kids, dogs, laughter, love and the smell of amazing food. Everyone was welcome as long as you didn't hurt a family member, a child or an animal. She would be fierce if you crossed her in that and you did not want to see that coming at you! She had a full and vibrant life, and left behind a legacy of love, kindness, and great fun. She was a much loved mother, grandmother and great grandmother and loved all those roles. She is predeceased by her beloved husband Paul and daughter Nora Patricia. She is survived by her daughters Kristin Hammer, Theresa Groth and her husband Steve, and son James P. Hammer. Her five grandchildren are Rita Verdugo (Richard) and their 4 sons; James Hammer (Danielle) and their 2 daughters, Kyle Groth (Sakina) and their 2 sons; Sean Hammer; and Paul Groth. She is also survived by her cousin Robert Thorpe and her sister-in-law Hannah Martin Hammer. Services will be held at a future date to be announced. In lieu of flowers please donate to the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation or to your nearest animal shelter.
Published in Sun-Sentinel on Mar. 28, 2021.