Obituary of Arthur Brown Hammond
Arthur Brown Hammond, loving husband, father and teller of a thousand jokes, shuffled off this mortal coil on Saturday, May 9, 2020 due to complications from multiple lung surgeries at the age of 73, but his larger-than-life persona and trademark stubbornness will never be forgotten. He was born on February 15, 1947 in Talladega, Alabama and would immediately remind you that it’s pronounced TAL-uh-DIGG-uh. He was the youngest of the late Julius Vernon Hammond (born on February 26, 1912, in Sycamore, Alabama) and Rena Louise Brown Hammond (born on September 25, 1909 in Talladega, Alabama). Affectionally known as Art, Bugsy, Bubba, Buster, “Arthah Brown” and Pops by his friends and family, he was simply tremendous. Art graduated from Talladega High School in 1965, received an Industrial Systems Engineering Degree in 1970 and Master of Business Administration in 1971, both from Auburn University. Along the way, he married his high school sweetheart Sheryl (Sherry) Woods on September 6, 1969. After rising to the rank of Army Captain, he began his professional career with Warner & Swasey in North Carolina. He later joined Rockwell International where his various positions took him from coast to coast, to Paris France and everywhere in between. Later he worked as CFO for Nukote International in New York; DeVlieg-Bullard and Cumberland Swan brought him to Tennessee. The undisputed world champion of Interstate merging, he never lost an onramp race. In fact, later in life, all vehicles in the right lane instinctively cleared at the mere appearance of his Honda Pilot. They understood the champ would not be beat to the front of the line. When “The Art of Racing in the Rain” was released in 2019, we were convinced it was a movie filled with nothing but TDOT footage near Exit #71. He despised ill-fitting fitted sheets, cars going too slow in the fast lane, tardiness, procrastination, waiting in line, people who didn’t know or follow the rules (exceptions were made for him, of course), vagueness and any steak cooked past medium rare. But Art had many loves, too. He loved his family, his friends, malted milkshakes, his brown recliner with homemade leg extensions, Sherry’s lemon icebox pie, newspapers, Costas chopped pork BBQ sandwiches, Auburn football, playing poker, Chuy’s Texas martinis, pistachios, Red Lobster (we didn’t get it either), Jeopardy, liquor nog, exchanging riddles with his grandson, cheese Whoopers, aisle seats, puppy breath, Beaujolais Village and stinky cheeses. Art really loved skiing. Snow skiing. He took great pride in conquering the hardest of blues and the easiest of blacks and the retelling of his adventures. Every mogul run had bumps the “size of Volkswagens”. He meticulously researched every mountain; every ski town and his passion took him to 3 continents. Art took fashion cues from left field. He usually wore his son’s hand-me-ups with Docksiders. When “hitting” the gym, he always wore shorts with pockets, whichever pair of New Balance shoes that made Consumer Reports’ list and a funny T-shirt. He had hundreds. He was a true collector. Art collected off color jokes, clever riddles, encyclopedic knowledge and a bevy of impossibly interesting friends. There was Tish who spoke 7 different languages, was born in Transylvania and who never shied to eat off your plate. There was Jersey Joe, his Pi Kappa Phi little brother and fellow ROTC cadet who went on to conquer the world. There was Bob who moonlights at MIT, built an observatory in his backyard and sailed with him up the Atlantic coast one spring. There was Herman the German who programmed SAP like Mozart wrote a concerto. There was Richard and the Honda Mini Trail 70. There was Mike who writes novels, drives Lyft just for the material and caused him to belly laugh over many a cigar. And Larry. He always said that “Dr. D” was the greatest negotiator he had ever known; and that’s saying something. He was a hard man to buy presents for. If he wanted something, he researched it for weeks before he bought it. All he really wanted was your time. To sit for a while. To tell jokes or confound you with a riddle. To share a story. And now, in the cruelest turns of fate, that’s all we want too. His devout stubbornness and feistiness served him well throughout his life. And in the waning weeks, he was the model of strong will and sheer determination right until the end of his journey on earth. Art forged a 73-year trail of laughter, generosity, compassion and wisdom. He gave his mom the greatest Mother’s Day gift of all; he came to see her. And for that we are all grateful. He is survived by his wife of 50 years “dammit” Sherry, his sister “I need to call” Judy Kay, his son “have you finished your taxes” Grant, his daughter-in law “has Grant finished his taxes” Elizabeth, his grandson “where’s my boy” Woods, and many special cousins, nieces, and a nephew. Funeral services will be held graveside on Wednesday, May 13, 2020 at 11:00 am at Oak Hill Cemetery in Talladega, Alabama. If you happen to see a Second Line marching through town, it is he. In lieu of donations or flowers, turn to someone near you and say I love you. Say it out loud. Sit for a while. Tell them a joke or weave a riddle. Share a story. Online condolences may be offered at www.usreyfuneralhome.com Usrey Funeral Home in Talladega will direct services.
Wednesday, May 13, 2020
Oak Hill Cemetery
Talladega, Alabama, United States