On October 5, 2019, Jay Keith Hammond at the age of 87, passed away surrounded by family in St. George, Utah. How does one begin to articulate the life of a truly larger than life character? His life has been punctuated by a series of adventures that was in line with his passion of living. Jay was born, August 15, 1932, to Tennis and Martha Hammond.
He was born and raised in Grantsville, Utah with his 7 brothers and sisters and reminisced with fondness about his years growing up in that sleepy little town. He was famous for his stories of childhood adventures and causing mischief with his brothers. Including, but certainly not limited to, sticking a garden hose down a neighbor’s chimney and flooding their kitchen, or putting glue in the locks of every locker in the high school, or leaving his cow tied up along the river so he could sneak off to fish, only to come back to an empty rope. Jay was a great story teller and relished having an audience, we’re sure he never embellished the details of his adventures.
Jay joined the Navy when he was 18 and set out on the next adventure of his life. He was stationed in Guam and Japan, as a crew member aboard the U.S.S. Los Angeles and served from 1950-1954. He served his country proudly and always had great pride in his service. He would talk fondly of those memories and share stories with any and all who would listen, even the ones that were not appropriate for all audiences (those were his favorite). If there was one thing Jay really knew how to do it was work hard. As a young boy, he dug the basement of his family home by hand, shovel by shovel, alongside his brothers every day after school, while the family lived in a tent during its construction. He always understood that with hard work many rewards would follow.
He worked in the construction industry for many years, saving as much money as possible, to open his own business. In 1962 Jay opened Western States Caulking, and his next great adventure began. His company went on to be extremely successful and well known throughout the western states. Jay completed jobs across the entire country including many LDS temples, churches, schools, and prisons. Jay was very respected and revered in the caulking industry and passed his expertise to many employees who went on to open their own caulking companies. He never saw a building or a sidewalk joint he didn’t pause to inspect or critique, if his was his work, it was impeccable, a competitors’ work, not so much. As a father of 7 and eventually 9, the adventure of fatherhood was a challenge he accepted.
On June 19, 1958 Jay married Linda McMichael in Grantville, Utah. They went on to share many wonderful years together and were the parents of 7 children (Julie, Mike, Jeff, Jennifer, Robyn, Jon & Joe). Jay took pride in the fact that he could provide for his family and spent countless hours, hauling kids to ballgames, carrying them up fishing streams, and standing in lines at Disneyland (something he hated). When Jay became a widower in 1988, it didn’t take him long to meet the second great love of this life. Jay married Linda Gillman on May 13, 1988. When they married, Jay also gained a son and a daughter (Hal & Paula). Jay and Linda bonded quickly over their shared interests in sports (BYU especially) and love of country music. She even taught him how to country dance. Together they traveled all over the world, often to follow sports teams and retired in St. George, Utah, spending many years there supporting Dixie State College as boosters. He especially loved watching the girls’ softball and basketball teams.
Jay had 2 great passions fishing and sports. He traveled all over the world fishing including fishing in remote parts of Alaska, Mexico, and the Amazon. He maintained a list of all the exotic fish he caught over the years, we are sure he never adjusted the weights to be bigger than whomever he was telling his fishing story to. Jay was an avid BYU fan for 50+ years. He was a season ticket holder for both the BYU basketball and football teams for many years. Every Sunday morning, he could be heard singing the BYU fight songs as he flipped his famous pancakes. Rise and Shout! 1984, Enough Said!
Jay is survived by his wife Linda, children: Julie (Jeff) Madsen, Mike Hammond, Jeff (Lisa) Hammond, Jennifer Lyons, Robyn (Mike) Derbidge, Joe (Kristen) Hammond, and Paula (Eric) Le Duc, 16 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren. Jay was preceded in death by his sons Jon and Hal, whom we are sure were waiting to greet him with a baited fishing pole ready to set off across a heavenly lake.
Funeral services will be held Friday, October 11, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. at Olpin Family Mortuary, 494 South 300 East, Pleasant Grove, Utah with a viewing to be held one hour prior to the services. Interment will be in the Lindon City Cemetery with military honors conducted by American Legion Post 72. Condolences may be sent to the family at www.olpinmortuary.com.
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