About Drs. Larry and Christy Hammer
Larry and Christy are survived by daughters Kelly Hammer Lankford (Scott) of Lee's Summit, Missouri and Jill Hammer Malott (Deane) of California; sister of Larry, Linda Hammer of Nebraska; and four beloved grandchildren.
Larry and Christy always put family first. As a teenager, Jill loved swimming and working out with Christy. They worked at Gallup together, and Jill will always cherish those days when she got her mom all to herself for lunch breaks. Jill loved exploring with Larry and Christy. Before dawn, she and Larry explored Oregon’s beaches, collecting sand dollars before the rest of the world was awake. Even when Larry’s snoring drove her to sleep in hotel bathtubs, she loved traveling with her parents.
Christy spent countless hours accompanying Kelly to her various sports practices, oftentimes grading her students’ papers at the same time. Each year, Kelly looked forward to her birthday when Larry took her out of school to explore the Capital building and take in the view from the top. He fostered her appreciation for the arts and architecture; family time was spent coloring and talking about what choices we made for each color. He was a tender and compassionate father, often with tears of pride and joy in his eyes watching his daughters' and grandchildren's achievements. They both relished in these moments.
Larry indulged his sweet tooth every Sunday morning on family donut runs to his favorite bakery, and continued this tradition by taking his grandkids to Krispy Kreme and LaMar’s. He was also the driving force behind early-morning family trips to garden nurseries, particularly the day after holidays, when he could snag the best deals on holiday-themed accessories.
Christy quite simply loved books. She shared her passion for literature with her friends, children, students, and grandchildren. Rarely would you see her without a book and a grandkid in her lap whenever possible. Their grandchildren loved listening to Christy read, and will cherish those memories together.
Every kid should be so lucky as to have grandparents like Christy and Larry. They never stayed on the sidelines. Grandma and Grandpa played on the floor with the grandkids, connecting in conversation. Larry’s talent for wild storytelling created lasting memories with his grandchildren as he brought fanciful worlds to life with twists and turns that captivated his fans.
Even when distance separated them, Larry and Christy were ever-present in their grandchildren’s lives. They sent notes and packages to their grandchildren on a weekly basis, with words of encouragement and praise for recent accomplishments—no matter how small. One way they showed that they were always thinking about their grandkids was by sending carefully curated articles and books on topics that captivated them. Grandpa and Grandma supported their grandchildren's varied interests including animals, fantasy football, Scooby-Doo and Puma, and books.
When everyone got together, the family picnicked on the beach, lounged on Kelly and Scott’s boat, decorated cookies, and vacationed to Disneyland, Colorado, and Hawaii. Larry and Christy's sons-in-law, Scott and Deane, knew they hit the “In-law Jackpot,” and loved them like their own parents. It’s largely thanks to Larry that Jill and Kelly chose loyal, fun-loving husbands who put their families at the center of their universe—all qualities that Larry embodied. Jill’s and Kelly’s choice of life partners and strong marriages brought Larry and Christy a lot of joy.
As we look back on the lives of Christy and Larry, we are filled with love and appreciation for all they gave to those lucky enough to know them, a curiosity for the world and other people, a passion for the pursuit of knowledge, and a loving spirit that cultivated everything from orchids to friendships. While we all feel the ache of their absence, their spirits live on in the hearts of us all.