At age 16 our dad traded in a rough childhood for 2 tours on a riverboat in Vietnam. He never spoke of it.
At age 21, he had sparkling blue eyes for our beautiful 16-year-old mom.
Nine months later Kim took her first breath and dad was at the hospital, waiting.
Three years after that, Mike took his first breath, and dad was at the hospital, waiting.
Today, June 10, 2021, he took his last breath and we were there.
In between his first and last breath, he was a lot of things.
...and ultimately a Legend.
We can't save each other, but we can be there.
We were there.
We loved each other.
It was complicated.
It was life.
Johnny Lee Hammersmith
3/9/47 - 6/10/21
Before our dad departed, he asked who was standing at the door. No one was there physically, however, we'd like to believe it was our mom whose 15 year anniversary of death was the day after he passed. Or perhaps it was his beloved mother Muriel, his sister Nancy, his nephew Aaron, or his partner-in-crime, Martin. Cheers to you all. Legends.
He is survived by his daughter Kim Owens and her husband (Chris) and their sons (Cash & Kai); his son Mike Hammersmith and his wife (Christine); his sister Evie Pappas and many nieces, nephews, and their children; and we can't leave out his best friends Tim and Brad. And, a special "thank you" to Heidi Israel for her wonderful care and support. He is a veteran of the Navy and the Coast Guard.
The family will hold a private memorial service. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to Guiding Eyes for the Blind. This is the school that is giving his grandson, Kai, a guide dog. https://donate.guidingeyes.org
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