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Rev. Grace E. (Twente) Hammond

September 19, 1933 ~ March 13, 2022 (age 88)

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Obituary

Rev. Grace Elizabeth (Twente) Hammond, 88, died on March 13, 2022 in Framingham, Massachusetts after a brief illness.   She was perennially eager to learn, passionate about her family, and persistent in pursuit of a just and peaceful world.

Grace was born September 19, 1933 in Independence, Missouri to Clara (Flucke) and Herbert Twente.  She enjoyed school, especially her high school debate team, and was eager to go on to college. Clara supported this aspiration by taking a job at a school cafeteria. 

Upon graduating from Elmhurst College in 1955, Grace attended Union Seminary in New York City, earning a Master’s in Religious Education.  On a field placement with the East Harlem Protestant Parish, she met the young pastor of the storefront Church of the Resurrection, Rev. Ransom (“Randy”) Hammond, marrying him in 1956.  Grace led children’s programs and joined in the parish anti-poverty and civil rights efforts. She gave birth to three daughters, Dawn (1958), Joy (1960) and Kristin (1963).

In 1963, the family moved to Ithaca, New York, where Randy pastored the First Congregational Church.  Grace volunteered for the church, cared for the family, and later worked in a community mental health facility.  Conflict within the church over the Hammonds’ opposition to the American war in Vietnam contributed to their departure from Ithaca in 1972.

The family lived in Somers, CT from 1974-1987.  Their youngest child Kristin died in 1981 of a congenital heart condition, a grief that remained with Grace for the rest of her life.  It also drove her back to her religious studies; she earned a Master’s in Divinity from New York Seminary and was ordained as a minister of the United Church of Christ in 1987. 

Grace and Randy shared a pastorate in Ogdensburg, New York, where they learned that she was much happier in the role of co-pastor than she had ever been as the pastor’s wife. This working-class community felt like family to Grace, while trips to nearby Ottawa reminded her of New York City. In 1994, they retired back to Ithaca, where Randy died in January 1995. Despite this loss, Grace enjoyed many years of retirement among old and new friends in Ithaca.

Grace moved to Framingham in 2015 to be nearer to her daughters.  She was warmly welcomed to a new spiritual home by the kindred spirits of Plymouth Church, UCC, where she enjoyed worship, Bible study, and book groups.

Grace struggled with depression and anxiety throughout her life, finding help in friends, support groups, and church communities.  She loved vacations on the northern coast of Maine.  She avidly read everything from Louise Penny’s mysteries to Marcus Borg’s theology.  She never refused an offer of mocha chip ice cream. 

She loved many cats over the years, most recently Tabitha and Bernie. When she could no longer write letters about the causes she cared about, she wore Black Lives Matter t-shirts, and organized a climate demonstration at her independent living facility. She had no greater joy than to delight a grandchild with just the right birthday gift.

Grace is survived by her sister Charlene Twente of Acton, Massachusetts; daughters and sons-in-law Joy Hammond and Leo Schiff (Brattleboro, VT), and Dawn and Steven Durning-Hammond (Holliston, MA); and by grandchildren and their partners: Jonathan Schiff, Aaron Schiff,  Jonah Durning-Hammond and Natasia Sidarta, Laurel Durning-Hammond and Aaron Dana.  The family thanks all the friends who enriched her life, especially in her later years.

In lieu of flowers, Grace requested that donations be made to The Plymouth Church in Framingham, 87 Edgell Road, Framingham, Massachusetts  01701-4835.

A memorial service will be held on the morning of Saturday May 21 at 11:00AM in The Plymouth Church, 87 Edgell Road, Framingham, Massachusetts.
 

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Rev. Grace E. (Twente) Hammond, please visit our floral store.


Services

Memorial Service
Saturday
May 21, 2022

11:00 AM
Plymouth Church of Framingham
87 Edgell Road
Framingham, MA 01701

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