Obituary: Dorothy A. Hammond

Obituary: Dorothy A. Hammond

Obituary: Dorothy A. Hammond

Dorothy A. Hammond passed away peacefully at her home on September 12, 2021 with family members by her side. 

She was born to Doss H. McNinch and Mable J. (Gebhart) McNinch on April 11, 1932 at Winnemucca, Nevada. She was the second youngest of ten children. 

She was raised on her parents rural acreage seven miles west of Winnemucca. Dorothy and her siblings attended school through high school in Winnemucca. 

Dorothy enjoyed the rural way of life while growing up. One of her older sisters was married and lived on a cattle ranch near Orovada, Nevada. In the summer months Dorothy would work with crews putting up hay using horse drawn equipment.

She learned to harness her own teams and ride horseback. Those were some of her favorite memories. She grew up tough and independent. 

She also remembered the all night community dances at McDermitt, Nevada. Dorothy thoroughly loved music and to dance.

After she got to high school she began working in town at the Eagle Drug store at the soda fountain department. One day, a friend took her up to the hospital to meet a young buckaroo who had a broken leg from a horse riding mishap. After a short courtship and a few free milkshakes, Dorothy and Francis Hammond were married on January 8, 1949 in Lovelock, Nevada.

Francis' family owned a cattle ranch operation started in the 1860's by Francis' grandfather  at Jake Creek, 60 miles east of Winnemucca, near Golconda and Midas. 

The newlywed couple moved to the Jake Creek Ranch their first year together. The ranch expanded in 1950  to  include the Hot Springs Ranch. Dorothy and Francis moved there in 1951 where they worked side by side doing all the ranching duties. 

She rode horseback long days with the crew and learned to rope calves at branding time. Then put together a fabulous meal for the crew after helping ouside most of the day. No electricity from town, only lights from an old Witte engine powered generator. 

Mostly using kerosene lamps for reading and packed well water by hand to wash clothes.

It was a lot of work in those times, but Dorothy really enjoyed the work and the rural life. In 1953, their first child Carl was born. 

Having a little one changed the way Dorothy could do things, like riding horseback as much and helping outside. 

She learned to knit and crochet, she became very good at that, making afaghan blankets, doilies and sweaters.  Sewing was another craft she excelled at doing on her older Singer pedal sewing machine.

Their second child, David, was born in 1955. A third child, Thomas, was born in 1961. 

Dorothy was always an early riser and wanting to get things done. She enjoyed cutting hay with a swather and also repaired and sharpened her own sickles. She played baseball with her kids and pitched horseshoes. She was an avid pinochle card player. In rural areas, the neighboring ranch wives got together to play cards about once a month and they had great times. Dorothy served as secretary/bookkeeper for the ranches for a number of years.

Ranch life suited her, there was nothing she couldn't get done including feeding cows, corraling heifers to calve, milking cows, roping at brandings, irrigating, plumbing, carpentering, fix fence, cooking or baking anything and sometimes changing oil in the machinery. 

Besides all of that she was always ready to help do anything where she was needed. Dorothy was also a  good shot using her twenty-two long rifle.   

Dorothy was out going, always learning new things and wanted to be involved in the community. She joined the Rebeccas' women's lodge club. She coaxed her husband go with her to join the Sage Brush Stomper's square dance group. 

She belonged to the Humboldt County Cowbelles and was the president for two years. Dorothy was compassionate about the issues confronting agriculture and water rights.

She was the Nevada State Farm Bureau Woman's Chairman for 18 years where she worked on a lot of issues in her state and accross the country. She went to Washington DC, Orlando, FL, Dallas, TX, New Orleans, LA Denver,CO and Honolulu, HI for the National Farm Bureau conventions. 

Later on, she learned to navigate a desk top computer while taking a course in Reno, NV and learned oil painting techniques at workshops. She joined Toastmaster's International, a public speaking forum in 1985 to hone the delivery of her speeches. In 1988, Dorothy was a founding member of the Buckaroo Hall of Fame in Winnemucca. 

Francis passed away in 1994. Dorothy moved to a rural property near Burns, Oregon in 1999, continuing the rural life she loved.

Dorothy never let the grass grow under her feet, staying active in her new community, working part time at Big R and serving as Harney County Farm Bureau president for two years. She joined the local artists' club and continued to do her art and crafts. 

Dorothy made a difference in life in whatever she did, she organized the Farm Bureau speech contest for young rural contestants who received scholarships. She was the major force in starting the Ag in the Classroom program in Nevada, to educate kids about  the importance of agriculture in America. She made her family proud and say "Wow, what a lady"! She will be dearly missed by her family along with many friends and acquaintances. 

She is survived by her sister, Grace (McNinch) McErquiaga, brother, Hank McNinch, son's, Carl, David and Thomas Hammond (Anna Rae), grand children, Gloria, Charley and Visalia Hammond. Numerous nieces and nephews.  Contributions in her memory to;  Buckaroo Hall of Fame, c/o 30744 Culp Ln, Burns, OR  97720

Thank you to Harney County Hospice and volunteers, Senior Center Meals on Wheels, Dr. Rothgieb and Dr. Martin.

A Celebration of Life gathering will be planned for a future date.