Denzil Lee Hammond
Departed in Melbourne, Florida, on July 6, 2019
Denzil Lee Hammond
“Den” was born in Casey, IL on October 14, 1929, the fourth child of Lawrence and Grace Hammond.
He started grade school in Casey and graduated from Bartmas School (a one room country school in Dolson Twp). He then attended Martinsville High School, where he was in the band, performed in two class plays, and was on the yearbook staff for two years. Upon graduation, he enrolled at Rose Polytechnic Institute. While there, he was on the monthly college magazine staff as sports writer and the editor of the “joke page”, He also served as football manager. In 1948, he joined Sigma Nu fraternity where he was chaplain and vice-commander. Graduating two weeks after the beginning of the Korean War and being 1A, employment as an engineer was impossible, so he worked as a semi-truck driver for a power line construction company. Being a Teamster and being paid for 50 hours per week, he was the highest paid of his graduating class. He worked there until late November when he enlisted in the USAF. After basic training, he was sent to OCS, where he was commissioned 2 Lt. in June of 1951. On June 30, 1951, he married Wilma Jean Beutler. He then went to Biloxi, Miss. For electronics school, then to Albuquerque for atomic weapons school and then to Spokane, Wash where he served as a weapons assembly officer until his release from active duty.
He was then employed by Goodyear Atomic Corp. as a process instrumentation engineer. As such, he was sent to Oak Ridge for training, then to Fullerton, Cal. to resolve a mass spectrometer problem, and then back to Portsmouth. In January he went to Chrysler, receiving a 40% raise. While at Chrysler, he worked as a Research Instrument, engine design engineer, and retired as superintendent of engine and transmission testing. He also ran the Chrysler Management Club’s Annual golf tourney for 18 years. While in Detroit he received his MBA at the Univ. of Detroit.
Remaining active in the USAFR, he attended Reserve meetings in Portsmouth and Dearborn until assigned to Patrick AFB in 1958 as a Range Development Engineer. In 1970 he transferred to the AF Nuclear Lab in Dayton, OH where he was promoted to Colonel in 1973 and retired in 1981 as Director of Research and Development. During these thirty years and seven months, he graduated from the Squadron Officers School, the Command and Staff College, the Air Was College, and the DOD International Relations School.
In 1961 Den became involved in Republican politics, joining the Young Republicans. After serving 2 terms as District Chairman, two terms as County7 Chairman, he was elected Treasurer of the 17th District Republican Committee. In 1967, he served as Campaign Manager for a little known CPA who then beat Jimmy Hoffa, Jr. in a district that had not voted Republican since 1928. In 1968, he was elected Chairman of the 17th District Committee where he served 14 years. During this time he was a delegate to the 1972, 1976, and 1980 National Republican Conventions. He also created the Michigan District Chairman’s Committee, which he chaired for 6 years. This committee substantially changed the relationship between the State Chairman and the District Chairmen. In 1982 he was elected Treasurer of the Michigan Republican Committee where he served for 8 years. He also served on the Wayne County Board of Canvassers for 24 years, 22 as Chairman
In 1968 he joined the Masons, in 1969 the York Rite Commandery, in 1992 he joined the Azan Shrine, where he served in many capacities, including being Potentate in 2002.
He was a lifelong golfer, playing regularly at Bonnie Brook in Detroit, Arrowhead in Auburn Hills, Lost Lake Woods in Lincoln, MI, Port Malabar Country Club and the Majors in Palm Bay.
In lieu of flowers, Den would be honored by a donation to the “Shriners Children’s Hospitals”.