James W. “Walt” Hammond, 89, of Devils Lake, N.D., passed away on Tuesday morning, September 24, 2013 at Mercy Hospital, Devils Lake with his loving family at his side.
Mass of the Resurrection for Walt will be held on Saturday, September 28 at 9 a.m. at St. Joseph Catholic Church, Devils Lake with Fr. C.F. Wilhelm celebrating the Mass. Burial will be in St. Joseph’s Catholic Cemetery with Military Honors accorded by the Neathery-Simensen Post #756, Devils Lake Veterans of Foreign Wars and the North Dakota Military Funeral Honors Team.
Visitation will be held at St. Joseph Catholic Church on Friday, September 27 beginning at 6 p.m. with a Rosary and scripture service at 7:30 p.m. Visitation on Saturday will be one hour prior to the funeral Mass at the church.
Casket bearers for Walt will be his grandsons. Walt’s granddaughters will be carrying up the offertory gifts. Reading the Scriptures will be Jeanne Hammond. Music will be provided by Taylor Ternes, Marla Luehring, and Patty and Jeff Cote.
James Walter, son of Hal Lamont and Esther Maria (Clopper) Hammond was born on November 26, 1923 on the Kargel place just a mile south of the Huron Stock Farm, (near Clyde, N.D.). He grew up on the Huron Stock Farm and was educated in Clyde, graduating in 1942.
Walt attended the North Dakota State School of Science, studying aviation mechanics. He helped his dad on the farm, operated filling station for Johnny Bruers one winter, and then Walt entered the United States Army in February, 1946. He took his basic training at Fort McClellan, Ala. and was sent to Washington for embarkation to Korea, but orders were changed. He was then sent to Camp Carson, Colo. where he was attached to the 38th Regimental Combat team. There he was trained in mountain warfare, climbing the high peaks of the Rocky’s. He later transferred to the Military Police detachment. Walt was to be going home to marry his hometown sweetheart in December of 1946, but all furloughs in his unit were frozen due to the breakdown of the Army at this time so Jean Joyce Morris went to Colorado and they were married at the Camp Chapel at Camp Carson on Christmas Day, December 25, 1946. Colorado was their home until Walt was discharged from the Army in August 1947 and they returned to Clyde. After farming for a few years Walt went to work for the McCabe Co. for a year until they decided to move to Devils Lake, N.D in 1955.
After moving to Devils Lake, Walt worked at C&G Hardware Store for a year. He then began as an apprentice electrician for the Electrical Service Co. Soon after Walt received his journeyman license, he became part owner in the company and was named the vice president when they formed a corporation. Walt worked for over 31 years at Electrical Service until he retired in December of 1987.
Page 2 of 2 - Walt was confirmed a Catholic in 1965 and has been a faithful and active member of St. Joseph Catholic Church serving as an usher for many years and in many other capacities within the church over the years. He became a member of the Knights of Columbus in Feb. of 1965 and served in several offices of Council 1779 including Grand Knight for the year 1981-1982. He was chairman of the KC Scholarship Committee for many years, served on the Degree Staff for several years and was appointed District Deputy by the State Deputy in July 1984. Walt received the Knight of the Year Award in 1991 at the State Convention that year.
Walt was also an avid supporter and leader of the Boy Scouts for over 25 years serving not only with the boys, but also on the district level, mostly in training other leaders. He was very active in scouting on the national level and was the recipient of the Silver Beaver Award on April 24, 1966.
Walt served his God, his country and his family with dedication and devotion. He will be missed by all who knew him and were fortunate enough to share in his life.
Walt is survived by his wife of nearly 67 years, Jean; children, Carol Kuntz, Michael (Carolyn) Hammond, Diane Hill, Penny (Dwight) Keck, Bradley Hammond (Jan Solway), Roger (Jeanne) Hammond and Patty (Jeff) Cote all of Devils Lake; 22 grandchildren; 38 great grandchildren; one great great grandchild; brother, Charles Roy Hammond of St. Cloud, Minn. and sister, Esther E. Downs of Black Hawk, S.D.; sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law Dennis (Eileen) Morris of Linton, N.D., Sandra (Jim) Melville of Alamo, Tex.; many nieces, nephews and their families.
Walt was preceded in death by his parents; one child; six grandchildren; three great grandchildren; brother, Robert Bruce Hammond; brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, Vernon Downs, Jim and Algie Morris, and Violet Hammond.
Friends may sign the online register book and share memories of Walt at www.gilbertsonfuneralhome.com
Gilbertson Funeral Home, Devils Lake, is in charge of arrangements