Irene O. Hammond blessed her family with her example of love and faith. She passed away peacefully at her home on her birthday, December 4, 2013, at the age of 93.
She was born Melva Irene Ogborn December 4, 1920, in Blackfoot, Idaho, to Charles L. and Montana Boice Ogborn. Irene grew up in Blackfoot during the depression, the youngest of four children, and attended Blackfoot schools through her junior year. She moved with her parents to Omak, Washington, in 1937, where she graduated from high school.
Irene worked as a telephone operator in Omak, in San Diego, California, during World War II, and later in Blackfoot. After returning to Blackfoot, she met Murray Hammond. They were married in Pocatello on May 1, 1948. She was always proud to be his wife. She loved him dearly and was his greatest supporter.
She spent her married life on the farm in Thomas. Though she had lived only in towns and cities, she happily adapted to cooking for the threshing and hay crews, driving truck, and caring for chickens, calves, and bum lambs. Irene enjoyed gardening, camping, flowers, birds, and farm animals, but especially enjoyed being a mother and a farmer’s wife. Their home was always open to friends and neighbors, and nieces and nephews stayed with them on the farm during the summers. Irene loved extended family and spear-headed many family get-togethers and reunions.
Irene loved music and ensured that her family had opportunities to develop their musical talents. She loved the hymns of Zion and sang them with her family even when her memory did not allow her to communicate other thoughts. She could sing the hymns until a few days before her death. Just a few moments before her passing, we sang “Silent Night” to her. The words “Sleep in Heavenly peace” seemed especially appropriate.
Irene became a pioneer in her family when she embraced the gospel as a young mother. When she was 33 years old, she was baptized a member of the LDS Church; three years later, Murray, Irene and their four children were sealed together in the Idaho Falls Temple. She leaves a legacy of faith and testimony. She was an active member of the LDS church, serving wherever called. In addition to being a dedicated visiting teacher for many years, she especially enjoyed her callings as primary teacher and temple worker. Her specialty was serving the one. She gave neighbors rides to town and spent many hours keeping in touch with classmates and dear friends. She found great joy in caring for “the elderly” in her neighborhood, and continued doing so into her late 80’s.
Irene was known for her warm smile, her sense of humor, sound advice, and love to all. Murray died in 1984, leaving Mom a widow for 29 years. During this time, she personified the role of matriarch, filling each day with energetic service and happy memories with her family. The grandchildren knew Grandma loved them, but she was not a pushover. Along with the Oreos, root beer floats, and ice cream cones, she dispensed loving advice and lots of work projects.
Irene adored the Hammond family and adopted all of Dad’s brothers and sister as her own family. Mom had a dear relationship with all her Hammond sisters-in-law. She was the last survivor of both hers and Murray’s families and she was a valiant example from that marvelous generation. Her gracious, appreciative and helpful nature remained intact while her family cared for her until her passing. Sleep in heavenly peace, Mom.
Irene was preceded in death by her husband, Murray; her parents, Charlie and Montana; two brothers Lawrence William Ogborn and Melvin Edison Ogborn, and sister LaVeta Ogborn West. Two grandsons and one great-grandson also preceded her in death. Irene is survived by her four children: Anita and Jess Hiatt, of Shelley, Bill and Ruth Hammond, Bonnie and Bill Egbert, and Deanna and Claude Nielsen, all of Thomas; 23 grandchildren, 65 great grandchildren, and two great-great grandchildren.
To honor Irene’s memory, do something nice for someone else today. It would please Mom greatly.
We invite you to join us as we celebrate Irene’s life at a viewing on Friday, December 13, 2013 from 6 to 8 pm at the Hawker Funeral Home in Blackfoot, Idaho. The funeral will be held Saturday, December 14, 2013 at 11 a.m. at the Thomas LDS Church. The family will meet with friends again, for one hour prior to services at the church. Interment will be at the Riverside-Thomas Cemetery. Condolences may be sent to the family at: firstname.lastname@example.org.