Memorial Services Are Tuesday for Lawyer, Yachtsman Fred Hammett Jr.

Westminster Presbyterian Church in San Diego will host tribute; reception to follow at Yacht Club.

Updated at 1:20 p.m. June 6, 2012

A memorial service for Fred Hammett Jr. is set for 3 p.m. Tuesday, June 12, at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 3598 Talbot St., San Diego, according to his family. A reception will follow at the San Diego Yacht Club, 1011 Anchorage Lane, San Diego.

Original story:

Family members and friends are mourning the death of Ramona’s Fred Hammett Jr.—a sailor and longtime lawyer described by his children as a “true Southern gentleman.”

Hammett, 70, was in Mesquite, TX, when he was hit head-on by a pickup truck driven by a 27-year-old woman, who also perished in the crash along with her three young daughters.

“He was a loving husband to our mother, Joette; his true soul mate in life—my mother's ‘Rock,’ as she called him,” said Monica Hammett of Boise, ID, his only daughter. 

“He always told us: The secret to life is graciousness and generosity.  Hi lived by those words to the day he died.  Dad saw only the good in others and taught us to do the same.”

Hammett was a trial attorney in San Diego for more than 40 years, his family said, and launched his legal career in the District Attorney’s Office.

His latest office was on Navajo Road north of La Mesa, said Monica Hammett.

“He was retiring this year,” she said via email.  “He was incredible in the courtroom and practiced law the old-fashioned way: with graciousness and generosity for all involved—no matter whose side you were on.”

A memorial celebration will be held at the San Diego Yacht Club upon our receipt of his ashes next week. 

“It will be hosted by his dearest friends, Ernie Pennell and Denny Pennell, with whom my father went to college with and sailed with over the last many years of his life,” Monica Hammett said.

Hammett also enjoyed sailing and racing, including his 50-foot ultralight Tuesday’s Child for the San Diego Yacht Club.

His son Gaven wrote:

Dad, your lessons never ended. You were kind when it wasn't convenient and patient when others seemed to have none. Dad, you did the right thing when others were not around and you were trustworthy when it actually mattered.

When it came to family, your love was never-ending and your patience beyond description. Dad, thanks for the many sacrifices you made for others without condition. Thanks on behalf of the thankless. Thanks for your modesty, kindness and patience.

And of course the very night that you died, you were on your way to orchestrate the funeral of your beloved sister. Care of others as usual. You were a true blue Southern gentleman and your actions spoke as loudly as your words. I will carry on your traditions.

Fred Ulysses Hammett Jr. was born Oct. 3, 1941, in Monroe, LA. 

He is survived by his wife, Joette Hammett; his oldest son, Gaven Hammett, of Prescott, AZ; only daughter, Monica Hammett of Boise, ID;  youngest son, Buddy Hammett (Fred III); stepson, Joe Clifton; sister, Joan Flemming; brother-in-law, Clifford Garcia; six grandchildren; one great-grandchild; and seven nieces and nephews

Monica Hammett June 04, 2012 at 07:39 PM
I love you, Dad.
F. Dunn June 04, 2012 at 07:54 PM
Sounds like quite a good guy, but is this website now La Mesa/Mt. Helix/San Carlos/Ramona Patch? What's the deal?
Erica Shepherd June 04, 2012 at 08:08 PM
Such a sad story... Sending my thoughts and prayers to everyone ... With love from Ramona CA
Brittany R LaRocco June 04, 2012 at 11:37 PM
I miss u poppy! Sooo much :( I'm glad Cody got to meet u ! He loved u just as much as I do!
Kirk Reed June 05, 2012 at 12:27 AM
Fred - from all of us that enjoyed the honor serving as your crew (on Blondie, Tuesday’s Child, et al.) under your humble yet sublime leadership, we are very deeply saddened by the news of your passing. You will be terribly missed by all that had the pleasure to know you and to race with you. Godspeed on your new voyage our dear friend!
April Hammett June 05, 2012 at 02:28 AM
Great job Monica. Love you.
Kym Ferguson June 05, 2012 at 04:50 AM
I was fortunate enough to have known him although only for a short time, it was easy to see what extraordinary man he was with a very kind and gentle soul. I am truly sorry for your loss, my thoughts and prayers are with you all.<3
Roxanne Longtin June 05, 2012 at 09:10 PM
I only met with Fred and Joette a hand full of times; all being at family gatherings. I found Fred to be extremly funny, and committed to his family. I am so sorry for your loss I know he will be greatly missed by all who knew him. Dan and Roxanne Longtin
Dave and Vee Lehman June 05, 2012 at 09:49 PM
To Monica, Joette, and family, It's at times like this that one searches for words and fingers hunt for keys, in an effort to find and compose words that express feelings. The task is impossible when a life is taken so unexpectedly and words simply cannot fully express our sorry. While we never had the opportunity to met Fred in person, we do know what kind of man he because of you Monica, for that we are grateful. There aren't words to express how sorry we are for your loss. We have no way of knowing the pain you and your family are feeling at this time, but know we are thinking of you and you will be in our prayers, as you go through the grieving process of a beloved husband, father, and grandfather. Vee and Dave
Susan Martin June 06, 2012 at 01:45 PM
F.Dunn, seriously? A well loved Ramona resident passes and you're surprised it made the Patch?
Paula Coffill June 07, 2012 at 04:54 AM
I am so blessed to have known the Hammett family for many years! I have so many wonderful memories with all of you! My love and prayers are with you all! Paula Coffill
Ken Stone June 10, 2012 at 08:00 PM
Family's formal obituary is now posted: http://bit.ly/LrChRB
Dianne M. Atwood Bird June 11, 2012 at 01:13 AM
Joette, I am a classmate to you, Class of 1964 Sweetwater High, National City, Ca. I did not know your husband Fred. Joette, I am so sorry for your loss.
Monica Hammett September 13, 2012 at 11:43 PM
F. Dunn, my Father's practice was in La Mesa for many years and Mr. Stone at the Patch was kind and thoughtful to share our loss at a time when we were devastated and could not reach everyone who knew, loved and respected my Father. We appreciate Mr. Stone's efforts more than words can say and we will continue to be a part of the Patch family of readers for many years to come. Monica Hammett Lehman


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