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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

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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