Clyde Ross Hammer passed away peacefully on November 13, 2023, a few months after his 96th birthday. He was born in Sparks, Nevada on August 27, 1927, the third of five children born to Ray Herman Hammer and Cora Ann Layman. He had two older brothers: Ralph and Keith, and a younger sister and brother: Elaine and Dwayne.
His family moved to Ogden, Utah when he was very young, where he would spend the majority of his life. He was industrious, taking his first job the summer he turned eleven. At fifteen he was delivering telegrams for Western Union, and the next year went to work at a grocery store eventually becoming the assistant manager. His work ethic from these early jobs remained with him through his entire life.
Clyde graduated from Ogden High School in 1945, and enlisted in the Navy ahead of the draft that same year. He proudly served in World War II, and after the war continued his service in the Navy Reserves until enlisting in the Army in 1950. After returning from the war, he worked for Southern Pacific Railroad as a brakeman, putting himself through courses at Weber State College.
Clyde was accepted into the United States Air Force Officer Training Program as an Aviation Cadet in 1952. He spent four years flying in B-29s and B-36s as a navigation bombardier, and then as an intelligence officer. While in the Air Force, he was stationed all over the world, and had fond memories of Okinawa, Japan.
After completing his service in the Air Force, Clyde met Mary Lou Simpson, a court reporter for the Air Force and a United Airlines flight attendant. They married on March 21, 1958. As newlyweds they lived in Brigham City, Utah, and Clyde commuted to Utah State University to continue his education.
Clyde graduated with a Bachelor of Science in education from the University of Utah, and a Bachelor of Science in electronics engineering from Utah State University. After graduating, he and Mary Lou moved to San Diego, California where Clyde worked for General Dynamics Corporation as an electronic engineer. While they loved San Diego, both missed living in Utah; and after a few years moved back to Ogden. Clyde went to work at Hill Air Force Base as a civilian electronic engineer working on trainers for military fighters, and they built a beautiful home on the East bench in Ogden where they lived for many years.
Clyde retired from Hill Field in 1993 after 29 years of service, after which he took a job an engineering consultant for a defense contractor for several years. After retiring completely and when skiing was no longer a viable winter activity, he and Mary Lou made the move to the warmer, sunnier climate of St. George, Utah.
Throughout his life Clyde enjoyed several sports. He played church basketball often, and then converted to refereeing church basketball – a task that few would take, he did for over a decade. He was an accomplished tennis player, playing into his 80s, and has the trophies to show his accolades. He loved watching many sports on TV, especially favoring any University of Utah team and the Utah Jazz. Golf was something he took up as an adult and played until a few months before his passing.
Clyde and Mary Lou were blessed with two children, Paul Clyde and Julie. As a young family they made annual trips to Bear Lake, Utah and later Catalina Island, California. They taught their children to appreciate performing arts (by making them attend symphonies and ballet performances), and instilled confidence and independence. As time passed, five grandsons joined the Hammer ranks and were adored by Clyde and Mary Lou. And, like clockwork, trips to Bear Lake resumed. Photos with the grandsons at Bear Lake hung prominently in Clyde’s office at home.
Clyde adored Mary Lou, and worried about her always. Together for 65 years, they knew exactly what the other needed. They were able to vacation often, and had great memories of Sun Valley, Mexico, Spain, Jerusalem, and being able to spend a month on the beach in Maui each year for over a decade. Clyde lost his world when Mary Lou passed in 2022, but insisted on remaining independent in their St. George home for over a year.
Clyde was preceded in death by his parents, all his siblings, his dear wife, and his daughter. He is survived by his son, Paul (Lisa), and their sons, Austin (Tiffany), and Parker, as well as Julie’s sons, Alan (Alexa), Bryce, and Matthew.
No public services will be held; he will be inurned at Lindquist’s Memorial Gardens of the Wasatch, 1718 Combe Road in South Ogden.
Friends are encouraged to share memories and approximate year of each memory to: ClydeHammerMemories@gmail.com, to be cherished by anyone who requests a copy.