Norman Hammond, 73, manager for IBM, Mount Airy councilman

January 12, 1998|By Joan Jacobson | Joan Jacobson,SUN STAFF

Norman C. Hammond, who served in two wars, worked three decades as an IBM manager and after retirement was elected to the Mount Airy Town Council, died Jan. 3 at Frederick Memorial Hospital after suffering a massive heart attack New Year's Eve. He was 73.

Mr. Hammond and his wife, Jeanne, moved to Mount Airy -- a town of 6,000 that straddles Frederick and Carroll counties -- in 1990 "to get away from the hustle and bustle" of Rockville in Montgomery County, said his wife of 53 years.

Mr. Hammond was appointed to fill a vacancy on the five-member council in 1994 and was elected to the position in 1996. He was in charge of overseeing streets and roads for the rural community.

Councilman David Pyatt remembered Mr. Hammond's early visits to the Town Council as an observer:

"He always wore a coat and tie and sat in front and listened carefully. You could tell he was intelligent and had good leadership qualities."

After he became a councilman, Mr. Hammond "found that the town was a lot different than IBM," Mr. Pyatt said. "I think Norm was used to a situation where he could make good decisions and give orders. In a town, you need to [have] citizen input and change decisions."

In 1996, Mr. Hammond tried to mediate a community dispute over the lights of an elementary school baseball field that grew into a court battle. The lights bothered 16 homeowners in a new development of $200,000 houses.

Mr. Pyatt said that Mr. Hammond attended the court hearings and tried to calm angry homeowners of the Twin Ridge development after a Frederick County circuit judge ruled that the lights could remain.

"It's almost petty; it seems like they're trying to stop the all-American sport," Mr. Hammond told a Sun reporter during the dispute.

Before entering politics in Mount Airy, Mr. Hammond worked for 31 years at IBM, serving in various positions, including training disabled people to work on computers.

He also was a past executive director of the White House Conference on Handicapped Individuals.

Mr. Hammond was a veteran of World War II and the Korean War and retired from the Army Reserve as a colonel with 30 years' service. He was also a member of American Legion Post 191.

Burial is set for 3 p.m. Wednesday at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia. A memorial service was held Thursday.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by a daughter, Robin J. Stinson of Laytonsville; two sons, John C. Hammond of Alexandria, Va., and Scott H. Hammond of Silver Spring; two brothers, Malcolm Hammond of Poughkeepsie, N.Y., and Richard Hammond of South Portland, Maine; three sisters, Jean Mayhew Carter of Raymond, Maine, Carlene Bragdon Meservey of Appleton, Maine, and Cynthia Grady of Cape Elizabeth, Maine; and four grandchildren.

Pub Date: 1/12/98

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