Howard R. Hammond, age 88, of Slater, Iowa, passed away at Mary Greeley Medical Center on July 23, 2018, due to complications from a heart attack, Guillain-Barre Syndrome/Acute Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyradiculoneuropathy and West Nile virus. A gathering of family and friends was held Friday, July 27, 2018, at Grandon Funeral and Cremation Care, Ames, Iowa. A celebration of life service was held July 28, 2018, at Heartland Baptist Church, Ames. Immediately following, burial was at the Slater Cemetery, Slater.
Howard came into the world on March 11, 1930, in Odebolt, Iowa, to parents Ray and Hazel Hammond. He spent his first five years there, and after a short time in Storm Lake, Iowa, and Florida, the family moved to New York. Howard returned to Iowa at 14 and the family soon settled in Slater, where he graduated from Slater High School in 1948. He was united in marriage to Maralyn J. Severson, also of Slater, on June 11, 1950. To this union was born three children, Marsha, Alan and Mark, and with the exception of the time he served in the military in Colorado, Oklahoma and Korea, Slater was home to the Hammonds for their 57 year marriage.
He earned bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees in education from Iowa State University. His career as an educator began in Des Moines Public Schools in 1954 as a junior and senior high school teacher, and in 1965 he transitioned the Iowa Department of Education and later the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners, where he stayed until he retired in 1992. Howard also had the spirit of an entrepreneur and was a business owner in Slater. For 48 years’ Howard and Maralyn co-owned and operated Hammonds’ Mobile Home Park. He also owned a storage facility called The Depot and a café called The Creamery.
In addition to his professional life, Howard had a servant heart and many passions. He was a dedicated family man who loved spending time with his children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and other family members. A tireless volunteer to his country and his community, Howard served on many national, state and local boards and committees, generously giving to causes for which he cared deeply, including the AIDS Project of Central Iowa (now the The Project of Primary Health Care). He was a Slater city councilman, Slater’s mayor, and life-long advocate for “Greater Slater,” always looking for ways to improve the quality of life the city offered its residents through his work on many projects like the Heart of Iowa Nature Trail and getting a new swimming pool built. In fact, Howard was recently named as a 2018 Iowa State Fair Iowan of the Day as recognition for individuals “who personify the greatness of Iowa with a strong work ethic, loyalty to helping others, and an exceptional sense of Iowa pride.’
Howard is survived by daughter, Marsha and husband John Lindahl (Polk City); son, Mark Hammond and wife Ellen (Johnston); grandchildren, Michael Ray and wife Nicole (Slater) and Amelia and Greta Hammond (Johnston); step-grandchildren, Sarah and husband Matt Celski and Annie and husband Brad Mohns; great-grandchildren, Blake Stephens, Trent Ray, Emma and Ellie Ray; sister-in law Martha Severson (Slater); and cousins, nieces and nephews; and his special friend and dance partner, Janis Sobotka.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Maralyn; son, Alan; grandson, Jorgan Hammond; sister, Nettie Hammond; half-brothers, Dean (Dorothy) Hammond, and DeWitt Hammond; sister-in-law, Katherine Olson and her husband Robert; brother-in-law, Gary Severson; and his parents.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the Slater Area Historical Association, the City of Slater designated for the Heart of Iowa Nature Trail in Story County, and the Heartland Senior Center in Ames.
Online condolences can be directed to www.grandonfuneralandcreationcare.com.