Florence Hammond | Obituary | Bangor Daily News

Florence Gunn Hammond April 25, 1927 – December 13, 2021 N. Ft. Myers, FL – Florence Hammond passed away peacefully on Dec. 13, 2021, after a slow and steady decline in health. Flo was asked a few years ago how she wanted to be remembered. The reply, “She was a […]

N. Ft. Myers, FL Florence Hammond passed away peacefully on Dec. 13, 2021, after a slow and steady decline in health. Flo was asked a few years ago how she wanted to be remembered. The reply, “She was a nice person.” That perfectly reflects how simply Flo looked at life and how unassuming she was. Always stylishly well dressed and attractive, with a warm smile and positive attitude but humble, gracious, and modest, she was well aware of how fortunate she was. Much of that stems from how she grew up and how the blessings in her life far surpassed any expectations or dreams she had early in life.
She was born 94 years ago on April 25, 1927, in Bangor, Maine, the 4th and youngest child of Isabella Reid Gunn and Bradford Gunn. Her father died in 1928 and Flo was always very proud of how her petite Scottish immigrant mother with an 8th grade education was able to keep the family warm and fed in a solid home by cooking and cleaning for other families in Depression-era Bangor, while being a kind and caring mother to Flo and her 3 siblings. Despite growing up poor during the Depression, many of her most lasting and fondest memories were from her youth, having fun with her sister, Jane. The two of them sledding down a closed off Cedar Street and skating above the dam on Kenduskeag Stream in the winter, and picking strawberries for spending money in the summer were among her favorite memories. Florence grew to be a very good student and a natural beauty, although she always joked that she wanted curly hair like her siblings but, “My mother must have run out of curls by the time I was born.”
On the first day of her junior year at Bangor High a boy that Flo described to her friend as “tall and handsome” sat behind her in Economics class. Throughout the class the young man behind her kept pestering her trying to get acquainted prompting the teacher, Miss Welch, to say “Bill Hammond you leave Florence alone!” and moving his seat to the back of the class. Little did Miss Welch realize that Bill would continue to bother Flo for the next 70 years. They dated in high school, then Bill enlisted in the Navy to join the WWII war effort. After graduation Flo was enrolled to go to college but was offered a good job in the finance department at Bangor City Hall. Always practical, Florence opted to skip college because, “Why pay to go to college just to get a job like the one I’ve already been offered?” Even better jobs followed with dentist Dr. George Gunn and then Bangor Hydro.
When Bill returned home from the Navy in 1946, their romance was rekindled and Bill proposed. In spite of being in love, the ever-practical Florence refused because Bill had yet to find post-war work. He got a job with the phone company and in 1948 they were married. Son, Stephen, was born a year later and Bill discovered his natural sales ability, first selling Fuller Brushes door to door and then as a salesman for Libby’s canned foods. Career success led to a transfer to Portland where son, Brad, was born in 1953, and then a home in Cape Elizabeth, the town in which they lived for most of the next 40 years. Flo loved raising the boys and helping Bill as he started a new career as a home builder with his company Jordan and Hammond. The new company flourished and Flo enjoyed life as a loving and fun stay at home mother while also enduring many relocations within the community as Bill often sold the house the family was living in to insistent buyers. Bill and Flo were a great couple, each offering different strengths that created a perfect synergy and a shared appreciation for all the blessings that life and hard work had provided them.
When the boys grew up and left for college Flo restarted her career, first in retail sales and then joining Bill’s company as a sales associate in their American Realty business. At the same time, they began to enjoy traveling more, visiting locations all over the world. Two favorite trips were a tour of the Greek Isles with a group of good friends and a 6-week RV trip to Alaska with lifelong friends Chuck and June Sanford. Flo and Bill also started spending more winter time in the south. They owned several winter homes on both coasts of Florida and in 1994 finally made their last move to the golf resort community of DelTura in North Ft. Myers. They both considered this move to be their best, making many new friends and enjoying the great socially active lifestyle the community offered. Golfing, card games, choralaires (Flo loved to sing and had a great voice), relaxing by the pool, going to parties and shows, and traveling, all with good friends, filled the days and nights with fun. In Maine, Flo and Bill moved from Cape Elizabeth to a home and later a condominium on the lake, which was a perfect place to spend the beautiful Maine summers.
Bill’s health declined with Parkinson’s disease and he passed away in 2013. Flo continued to live at home in Florida until health issues convinced her to move to Calusa Harbour assisted living in 2017. As her physical abilities and memory slowly declined, she continued to be physically and socially active and maintained her style and grace. Forever positive, Flo never complained and was a joy to be with, keeping her self-deprecating sense of humor until the day she died. Florence will be missed and remembered by all who knew her as a proud woman who lived with purpose and determination, and enjoyed life with good humor, class and grace.
Besides her husband Bill and her parents, Florence was predeceased by her brother, John Gunn; her sister, Catherine Day; and sister, Jane Satagaj. She is survived by her son, Stephen Hammond and his wife, Martha; son Brad Hammond and his wife, Tracy; grandchildren, Kim, Nicole, Nick, Danielle, Dustin and John; and great-grandchildren, Avery, Sophia, Autumn and Acadia.
The family thanks Calusa Harbour, Brookdale Cape Coral, and Hope Hospice of Fort Myers for providing loving care to Florence at the end of her life. There will be a private family memorial this summer and burial at Riverside Cemetery in Cape Elizabeth, Maine. Donations in Flo’s memory can be made to Hope Hospice online at Donate.HopeHCS.org.

Published on January 1, 2022

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