Wilfred Thomas Hubert Hammond
October 14th 1930 ~ September 9th 2023
To all of you who plan on passing through the pearly gates, let me apologize now if they are under construction. Our father who passed away on September 9th 2023 is, we are sure, right now trying to convince St. Peter he has a better way. “If I only could find my tools” he will be saying.
When dad turned 15, in a three-week span, his father passed away, and his home burnt down. Homeless and fatherless, he had to start to fend for himself and his brother. Quitting school and working for whoever would hire him, he did odd jobs to support both of them. Times were tough for dad in 1945.
He eventually landed a steady job at a newspaper collecting stories from the surrounding towns by bus. Then dropping them off to be printed at the Gananoque Reporter. He used that job to get a better job at the Kingston Whig-Standard in the printing room as a typesetter.
While he was just starting to make ends meet, one night at a local hockey game his sister showed up with a hazel-eyed brunette that instantly caught my Dad’s eye. This beauty would become our mother Katherine, his wife of 65 years, until her passing 7 years ago. Together they raised five children and have four grandchildren. He loved going dancing with his Katherine and together supported the local live theatre. He loved his music, Stomping Tom Connors and Harry Hibbs reverberating throughout the house on weekends, only to be soothed by Jimmy Reeves, Elvis and Roy Clark. He became an active community supporter and organizer of the local Scouting organizations, his church, professional labour unions and Credit Unions in his beloved Kingston area.
As the family grew dad would renovate parts of the house and improve them. Adding a bedroom or a bathroom or a rec-room for the kids. There was no project he wouldn’t tackle. “How hard could it be” we can still hear him saying.
For these projects he would always have to buy a new tool as “you can never have too many tape measures, cause they are always walking away and hiding”. Need more tools, was Dad’s philosophy towards all projects. Even when he moved into his retirement home at 91, dad brought with him his tools including several measuring tapes. “You never know” he told us, “they could need me to fix something “. But we are getting ahead of ourselves.
After the Whig, he started working for Cumis Insurance moving the family to Toronto, partly because insurance helped people in the worst time of their life and partly because if they had insurance when he was 15, his childhood would have been different.
You see dad was a devout Catholic. He always stressed to his children the importance of helping those less fortunate than themselves. One never knew what can happen next, it could be you that needs a hand.
The last few years were tough on dad, in and out of the hospital with the last stay of over a month. “The doctors just can’t fix my 92 year old parts anymore, it is time for me to dance with my Katherine again.”
He said, “I am going home to god, so see you later alligator,” us in the room only had one response “in a while crocodile”. Sadly for us, that “while” came only a few days later.
Our dad would ask you to find in your life grace, laughter but especially to love one another. He would also tell you to look after those who may not be as fortunate as you and don’t be afraid to try to make things better, even if it means you have to buy some new tools.
Wilfred Thomas Hammond, 92 of Kingston, ON passed away peacefully on September 9th, 2023. Wilfred was born on October 14th, 1930 in Gananoque, ON. He was predeceased by his wife Katherine(nee White) and his children Susan and Paul. He is survived by his children Brian, Judy, Tim and Julie and his grandchildren Kiera, Leah, Coulter and Chad.
He will sadly be missed.