Margaret M Hammond quietly passed away in Beaufort, SC on August 23, 2020, her two sons Scott and Kevin by her side. A broken hip proved to be too much for her. She was 89.
Margaret was born on September 22, 1930 in Shreveport, Louisiana. Her father James McClelland was a World War One Marine veteran who received France’s high honor, the Croix de Guerre, for heroism in combat. Her mother Leah Blue McClelland was a college graduate back in a time when that was almost unheard of for women.
Margaret’s childhood was happy, moving often with her parents, two sisters, and brother, as her dad pursued a career with Marathon Oil. Margaret attended Indiana University and Ohio State University before marrying Alan Hammond, an Air Force fighter pilot, in 1952.
She taught elementary school while Alan flew combat in Korea. Following his return, they were assigned to Nellis AFB in Las Vegas, Nevada. In later years Margaret often spoke about the free entertainment on the downtown Strip, and sitting on their back porch watching atom bomb tests conducted in the desert north of town.
When Alan left the Air Force they lived for a while in suburban Philadelphia and started their family. Scott came along in 1953, and Kevin three years later. With Alan’s assignment to Anchor Hocking Glass Corporation headquarters in 1961, the family settled in Lancaster, Ohio. During this time Margaret learned to fly and earned her Private Pilot License.
Scott and Kevin graduated from Lancaster High School and then the United States Air Force Academy. While they served in the Air Force, Margaret and Alan moved to Rock Hill, SC, and then to a serene home on Lake Norman in Sherrills Ford, NC. Margaret loved that house and the many family gatherings over the years. Following Alan’s death in 1987, she remained there, surrounded by friendly neighbors who kept a watchful eye on her, and by son Kevin and wife Debbie when they left the service and moved nearby. She delighted in watching her beloved granddaughters Hayley and Cori grow up across the lake and the frequent visits from her grandsons Josh and Chris. Margaret welcomed Viki into the family when Josh and Viki married in 2015.
As her health declined, Margaret relocated to The Retreat, an assisted living facility in Beaufort, SC, to be near son Scott and his wife Cindy. Margaret enjoyed regular visits from her children and grandchildren, punctuated by the occasional escape out for lunch or dinner. A highlight this year was her role as Matriarch at the wedding of Chris and bride Sarah on Dataw Island.
Margaret raised her sons in the embrace of the Presbyterian Church, and was a longtime member of the Friendly Chapel Baptist Church near Lake Norman, NC. In her last days she said that she looked forward to seeing Heaven. When asked to describe what it looked like, she whispered, “Indescribably Beautiful.”
Crescent Hospice provided great comfort to Margaret and her family after her fall, with final arrangements entrusted to Copeland Funeral Service. In accordance with her wishes, Margaret’s ashes will be interred at a later date with her mother and father in Granville, Ohio.
Memorial contributions can be made in her honor to Friends of Caroline Hospice (www.fochospice.org), in their effort to build Beaufort’s first dedicated stand-alone Hospice facility, or to Crescent Hospice for their compassionate care of patients and families.