Oct. 21, 1914-June 1, 2019
Priscilla Faye Hammons, 104, Stockton, passed away early Saturday, June 1, 2019, at Lake Stockton Health Care Facility with family nearby. She lived a very long and gracious life, passing to rejoin her husband Ralph on what would have been their 88th wedding anniversary.
Faye was born in eastern Cedar County on Oct. 21, 1914 to Noah Summers and Maude (Curl) Summers. She grew up during World War I and in the 1920’s, attending school in Bear Creek and Fair Play, and was captain of the girls basketball team.
Faye married her sweetheart B. Ralph Hammons on June 1, 1931, when the two eloped at ages 16 and 17 with reluctant permission from their parents.
After living in Springfield and Fair Play, the couple moved to Stockton in 1937, where Ralph entered the grocery business. There they became active in the community, made their lifetime home and raised three children: Joetta Dutton, R. Dwain Hammons and Cheryl Mayberry.
Faye was a longtime member of the Stockton United Methodist Church where she sang in the choir for many years, then faithfully attended worship and enjoyed the musical talents of her children and grandchildren. She also was active in the United Methodist Women’s group, was a charter member of Stockton PEO chapter and 50-year member and past president of the Order of Eastern Star.
Faye assisted Ralph as he built his grocery business and served in the Navy during World War II.
Then in 1946, Ralph bought a nut cracking machine and started processing local black walnuts. As Ralph worked hard and built the business, she supported him through health problems until his death in 1973. Faye was an original incorporator when the business became Hammons Products Company, which grew nationally under her son Dwain’s leadership. It is now is in its 73rd year as Hammons Product Company, led by Faye’s grandson Brian and great-grandson Jacob Basecke.
In her later years, Faye was revered as the matriarch of Stockton’s black walnut business.
Faye loved flowers and kept a beautiful flower garden in her backyard. She collected and wore lovely hats, known by many as “the hat lady,” especially at church. She enjoyed watching birds at the bird feeder outside her window. Really, Faye always expressed a joyful love of colors and anything “pretty.”
She also enjoyed theatre and music, attending countless performances at Springfield Little Theatre and the Springfield Symphony from the early 1970s through the 1990s.
Faye also will be remembered for her wonderful cooking – especially by her family. Chocolate pie, corn pudding, cinnamon toast, salmon croquettes, even creamed hamburger became family favorites from “Nana’s” kitchen.
Faye is survived by her son, Dwain Hammons; daughters, Joetta Dutton and Cheryl Mayberry; seven grandchildren and their respective spouses; Brian Hammons and wife Kimberly, Lori Basecke and husband Jeff, Stewart Hopkins, Jeff Butler, Chris Butler, Matthew Mayberry, and Sarah Mayberry; 16 great-grandchildren and 5 great-great-grandchildren. Plus all the friends and special care-givers who grew to know and love her in recent years at Lake Stockton Health Care Facility.
Faye is preceded in death by her parents, her husband Ralph; two sisters, Irene Cavender and Juanita Engleman; brother, Stanley Summers; son-in-law, Tom Dutton; grandson, Eric Hopkins; and daughter-in-law, Donna Hammons; and good friend, Faye Heine of Arizona.
Visitation will be held 10 a.m., Thursday, June 6, Stockton United Methodist Church. A memorial service celebrating Faye’s life will be held 11 a.m., Thursday, June 6, Stockton United Methodist Church, with burial to follow in Stockton Cemetery under the direction of Bland-Brumback Funeral Home.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the Stockton United Methodist Church Endowment Fund. (23c)