Boyd Hammer died peacefully at home on Saturday, March 12, 2016, in the company of his wife and son. Boyd suffered from Lewy body dementia.
Boyd was born in Ogden on Valentine’s Day, 1950 to June Bess Hammer and Donald Hammer. Boyd attended Ben Lomond High and ought to have graduated in 1968, but Boyd prioritized living life fully above meeting the expectations of his art teacher, which left him a credit shy of timely graduation. Boyd could have remedied the academic deficiency with a commitment to attend summer school, but Boyd had completed basic training the summer between his junior and senior years of high school and the Navy sent him to Vietnam days after graduation. Boyd served honorably at Deep Water Pier in Da Nang. He completed the requirements for high school graduation after returning from his service.
In 1974, Boyd married Lorraine (Parker) Hammer whom he loved and cherished for the rest of his life. They have one son, Michael. Both survive him. Boyd is also survived by his brother Norman (Karen) Hammer and sister Donna Hammer Weaver.
Boyd was a proud member of the Sheet Metal Workers’ International Association, Local 312 and worked on the restoration of numerous Utah landmarks, including the Utah Capitol’s dome and the beautiful metal work atop the Salt Lake City-County Building. Never idle, Boyd eventually retired from sheet metal and subsequently accepted a job at Hill Air Force Base where he worked until his illness rendered him unable.
Boyd loved to grow and nurture things. During his most enthusiastic growing seasons, his garden could reasonably have been mistaken for a small farm. The production of his operation was much greater than his small household could consume, and Boyd enjoyed giving fruits and vegetables to friends and family and, sometimes, anybody willing to take them.
In his forties, after suffering from injuries that required him to take some time off from construction work, Boyd spent several semesters studying at Weber State University, scratching an old itch to further his education. Despite his atrocious spelling, he worked diligently and earned a perfect grade point average. Once his injuries sufficiently healed, he left college and returned to construction work because he wanted to ensure he would have the resources to finance his son’s education.
Boyd was religiously unaffiliated but lived a life that exemplified the Abrahamic tradition’s finest aspects. Boyd lived a simple life of unwavering, quiet dignity. Generous with his time, money and love, Boyd was self-sacrificing and ever mindful of others’ well-being. Near the end of his life, Boyd’s illness had peeled away his faculties such that there could be no pretense in him. All that remained was his uncompromised, kind heart. And when he had nothing else to offer and could not speak, there remained his tender smile and warm eyes to comfort those around him.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote, “where God tears great gaps we should not try to fill them with human words.” That sums it up for us. For those who knew and loved him, we know from Boyd’s example to feel gratitude for each moment we enjoyed with him and to allow that gratitude to salve the pain of our loss.
Consistent with Boyd’s wishes, no public funeral will be held. Boyd’s remains will be cremated and scattered off the Oregon coast as was his wish. The family will hold a private celebration of his life. In lieu of flowers or other condolences, the family invites anyone interested in honoring Boyd to make a contribution to the Lewy Body Dementia Association at www.lbda.org.
Cremation under the direction of Leavitt’s Mortuary, 836 36th Street, Ogden, Utah.
Please send condolences to the family at: www.leavittsmortuary.com