Leona Belle Pike Hammond, age 96, passed away Friday December 13 at Sutter Coast Hospital in Crescent City, CA. Descendant of Seattle pioneer John Pike, she was born December 25, 1922 in Bellingham, WA. She grew up on Samish Island with parents Leonard George Pike and Irene Isabel Purdue and two sisters. A member of “The Greatest Generation”, she met husband Venard O. ”Jinx” Hammond during WWII while a USO Hostess at Whidbey Island Naval Air Station, and moved with him to Crescent City, CA in 1952.
A graduate of College of the Redwoods, Leona’s career spanned from correspondent for the Mt. Vernon Washington Daily Herald, Employment and Claims Assistant for the California Employment Development Department in Crescent City for 23 years, Secretary at Redwood National Park, contributor to the Del Norte Triplicate, and business teacher at College of the Redwoods (COR). A faithful member of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church until her death, she was an active volunteer on the COR Advisory Committee, Del Norte-Curry County Community Concert Association Membership Chair, BPW Chair, Crescent Elk PTA, and Girl Scout Leader for 10 years. She was a patron of arts and music, and loved native plants and birds of the North Coast.
Leona is preceded in death by her parents, her sisters Audrey Peterson and Ellen Herlihy, husband Venard O. “Jinx” Hammond, and nephew Roger Ramsey. She is survived by her daughter Patricia Irene Karapinar of Placerville, CA, granddaughters Denise and Stephanie Karapinar of Lotus and Martinez CA, respectively, nephews Thomas Woods of Coral Gables, FL, Leonard Ramsey of Salem, OR, Terry and Dennis Herlihy, and niece Patricia Herlihy of Middletown, NY.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to St. Pauls’ Episcopal Church or the Del Norte High School Scholarship Fund in Crescent City.
Wier’s Mortuary of Crescent City, CA is in charge of final arrangements. A memorial service will be held at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Crescent City, a headstone will be placed in the Crescent City cemetery, and Leona’s ashes will be interred at the Bow Cemetery family plot in Bow, WA, dates to be determined.