LaRae (Burgon) HammondSeptember 7, 1927 ~ July 19, 2017 (age 89)
Our wonderful mother, Jennie LaRae Burgon Hammond, anxious to join her loved ones, crossed the veil and returned home on July 19, 2017. She began her mortal journey on September 7, 1927 and lived a life of devoted service, always faithful to her Heavenly Father and her covenants.
She had a deep love for the Union, Utah area where she was born to Heber and Jennie Burgon and lived with her six older siblings. Her childhood was filled with family, church and community activities.
Like everyone at that time, LaRae’s youth was significantly impacted by the Great Depression and World War II. She told stories of men looking for work, rations, stamps for gasoline, dances at BYU with no boys to dance with and blue stars in everyone’s windows which, all too often, were replaced with gold stars. She often described that astounding morning when everyone in town went to the train station to say goodbye to all of the boys in her graduating class --- as they left for war. She became fiercely patriotic, appreciative for life and committed to “using it up and wearing it out.”
As an adult, she followed current events faithfully. Recently, when her eyesight failed, she looked forward to phone calls from her son in law Randy who kept her “up to date.” In her 40’s she was proud to serve as an officer in the Utah Women’s Association.
LaRae married West C. Hammond on April 24, 1950 in the Salt Lake Temple. They were committed to the gospel and were always faithful in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They especially enjoyed working together, particularly serving as tour guides at the Salt Lake Temple Square, serving as missionaries in Tampa Florida, and serving together in the Jordan River Temple Utah for many years. Missionary work was always on her mind and part of her day. She placed her final Book of Mormon about a half hour after she passed away (through her daughter Karen).
Together they raised their five children: ReAnn Brown, Karen Jensen (Randy), Neal (Sherrie), Todd (Julie), Wayne (Rebecca), and were later joined by a sixth child, Albert Farley (Marita). LaRae has always been an inspiring “Granny Rae” to 29 grandchildren and 61 (and counting) great grandchildren.
"Grandma's house" carried a welcoming and peaceful presence to all who entered. Her home radiated a genuine love for the Savior and for others. She lived an example of sharing the gospel both in and out of the home.
LaRae loved listening to, performing and writing music. She and West sacrificed in order to provide music lessons for their children. She particularly loved the Nutcracker Ballet, Swan Lake Ballet, The Messiah, Big Band music and attending performances at Hale Theatre. She ran a preschool in her basement for many years and wrote darling songs to help teach her students basic concepts such as how to count money, the days of the week, and to be proud of who they are. Her “Baptism Song” has been a treasured part of the baptismal service for most of her grandchildren and great grandchildren.
LaRae delighted in celebration. Her home was filled with cheerful decorations any time a holiday rolled around. (The crowd favorite was likely her eclectic collection of beautiful manger scenes.) She found joy in it all, from flocked Christmas trees, to early morning flag ceremonies on 4th of July, to visits from the tooth fairy, to “Family Night without a Fight,” to homemade peach ice cream and waffles and fried spam on Sunday evenings … she loved it all. Commemorating Pioneer Day was significant to her and was filled with parades, family breakfasts at Liberty Park, rodeos and of course, fireworks. LaRae even sewed holiday table runners for every grandchild to carry on her tradition of celebrating.
LaRae loved life and was very active and productive. Her favorites were swimming, golf, crocheting, music, family traditions and teaching. She also makes the best caramels in the world. However, she frequently expressed her hope that we would not have to eat in heaven so she wouldn’t have to cook three meals a day – for all eternity! She will miss Klondike bars (1/2 of a bar at a time), lemon cookies, Fernwood mints and bottled peaches.
She faithfully stood with, served, and loved her family and friends. She adores her grandchildren and great grandchildren. She expressed her deep feelings about them when she recently wrote, "I have had a wonderful life with many blessings. My greatest blessing is my family. My children are my rock and my foundation, my grandchildren are my delight, and my great-grandchildren are like tiny fireflies offering me flashes of light before they flit off to play. You each bring great joy to me."
As LaRae neared the end of her life, she looked every day at the individual photos of her growing posterity which covered her bedroom walls – photos of all six children and spouses, 29 grandchildren an spouses, and 61 great-grandchildren. She adored every one of them and had a deep understanding of eternal families.
The last few years have been challenging for LaRae. Her greatest joy in life is serving others. As her strength evaporated and her eyesight and hearing failed she longed for the days when she could “be of help to someone”. She eagerly, and somewhat impatiently, looked forward to regaining her strength and serving along-side her husband West in the spirit world.
LaRae is grateful to those who cared for her during the closing years of her life. “Her boys – Todd, Neal and Wayne” were particularly wonderful as they spent countless hours “taking care of mom”. Her daughters came from out of state as often as possible and she relished their visits. She relied heavily on her trusted friend and physician Dr. David Zackrison. She grew very close to many of the staff at Pacifica Senior Living Center, frequently blowing them kisses of gratitude for their service to her. And she will be forever grateful to Heidi Lawrence for her continuous laughter, tender care and beautiful spirit in those final hours.
She is proceeded in death by many of the people she loves including, her parents Heber James and Rosa Jennette Burgon, all of her siblings and their spouses Marvin (Margaret), Afton Williams (Martin), Stanley (Emmeline), Bea Larson (Clive), Grant (Nancy) and most recently Beth Booth (Bill) and all but two of West’s brothers and their wives Herald (Mable), Marvin, and Georgia Whipple, in addition to many special friends.
She is survived by West’s brother Gale Hammond and their sister in law Gabriel Hammond.
Though we mourn and miss her, we rejoice that she is able to continue her eternal legacy … always faithful.
A viewing will be held on July 28, 2017 from 6:00 – 8:00 pm at Goff Mortuary, 8090 South State Street Midvale, Utah.
A viewing from 9:30 to 10:30 am will precede funeral services to be held at 11:00 am on July 29, 2017 at the Mountain View 10th Ward Chapel at 8435 South 2700 West.
Interment at Memorial Holladay Cemetery, 4900 South Memory Lane, Holladay, Utah.
Family and friends are invited to share thoughts at the Goff Mortuary website: http://www.goffmortuary.com/notices/LaRae-Hammond