Above the Clouds

Steve's Life

John Steven Hammond, known throughout his life as "Steve", was born on the warm Washington State summer day of August 24th, 1947. His dad, Michael Glenn Hammond and his mother Ruth "Blossom" Hammond lived on High Street on the hills of Bellingham, Washington, along with Steve's older brother, Michael Lee Hammond, and his mother's Uncle Lee, who had traveled from Illinois with Mike Sr, Blossom and Mike Jr. in 1946.

A few months after Steve was born, the family moved to Everett, WA and to the area along 52nd St, just to the west of Evergreen Way. They lived there for a couple years before moving to Virginia Ave, close to Our Lady of Perpetual Help. The family lived there for a few years, making friends and growing with the birth of Steve's first sister, Mari Patricia.  During this time, Steve's dad's Aunt Millie and Uncle John decided they loved the area and moved permanently to Everett, residing in a home on Cedar Avenue.

With the growing family and the pending birth of Steve's second sister, Sharon Rose, the family moved to 2510 Rucker Avenue. Sharon was born and shortly after, the last of the Hammond clan, Thomas James, was born in 1957. At this time, Immaculate Conception was the center of their Catholic upbringing. As a good Catholic family, of course the boys would be sent to the seminary to become priests! Mike Jr. made it all the way through the Senior Year of High school before saying "no thanks, I like girls too much",  with Steve not even making it that long at St. Edwards Seminary in Kirkland before skedaddling back to be a part of Everett High School's football team.

Steve was highly athletic, and was a quarterback on the football team until he was caught smoking (or so the story goes).  He was still extremely popular and had many, many friends from Everett High, the Seminary, and the area in general. Steve loved his cars and was also known as a Colby Cruiser. 

In 1965, when Steve was 18, he joined the Air Force to go fight in Vietnam. He spent two years overseas managing cargo being loaded and unloaded from the C5 cargo jets. During this time he recounted an episode where he was loading a coffin onto a plane and noted the name of the fallen soldier as "Steve Hammond". He said that really shook him. There were other events that happened while he was there that shook Steve to the very core. He never liked talking about it much.

When Steve returned from Vietnam, he started working at Safeway on 41st Street. While working there he started dating a girl who lived in the upper room of Mrs. Johnson's home at 2514 Rucker - just two homes down from 2510 Rucker. That girl, Gail Deffries, would soon become Steve's lifelong partner, beloved wife and mother of their two children, Eric and Renée.

Getting tired of being cold and restocking the shelves in the freezer at Safeway, Steve talked with his brother Mike, who was already an Officer on the Everett Police Force. Steve began some ride alongs, and learning more and more about police work, and on June 17th, 1974, Steve was commissioned as a Police Officer for the City of Everett. This was one of his proudest moments, and is highlighted in the headers of this website.

Steve and Gail lived for several years in the Eastmont area of Everett. In 1976, they were blessed with the birth of their son, Eric. 

Steve was a perfectionist and built a beautiful home in Machias. Five years after Eric, Renée came into this world while they were living in Machias. The family hosted many a holiday for the whole family there, especially noting the infamous Thanksgiving Day storm of 1983, which caused a dinner void of a cooked turkey, but a close family gathering!

And 1983 was a rather tumultuous year overall. Early in 1983, Steve was in pursuit of a criminal when he ended up being severely injured to the point that his knee was never the same. Steve reluctantly had to retire from the Police Force.

Steve, however, was able to make a lifelong dream come true - moving to Eastern Washington. You see, throughout his youth, his family had gone every year, multiple times, to Lake Chelan for vacations during the summer. Steve's love for Eastern Washington was strong, and his family all looked forward to the adventure. 

Steve and Gail built an incredible home on the Columbia River at Crescent Bar and moved there in 1993. People swear they saw Steve out with fingernail clippers making sure every blade of grass was exactly the same height on their huge lawn that swooped down to the sandy shores of the lazy Columbia river. And God spare the dog that might stray onto that lawn.  That is, with two exceptions: Terabit and Bailey. For some reason, Steve really enjoyed the little yorkie, Terabit, and Havanese, Bailey - Tom and Deb's family. Steve allowed those two little mutts to wander upon his work-of-art lawn.

After the home at Crescent Bar was built, Steve started working for the Forest Service in Wenatchee, helping the firefighters in the area of logistics and loading - an area in which he was quite familiar from his days in Vietnam. He spent several years supporting the firefighters until he fully retired in 2004.

With their son Eric now married and living in Western Washington, and daughter Renée married and living in the Wenatchee area, Steve and Gail decided to sell their home in Crescent Bar, and in 2008 bought a place in Wenatchee. Steve lived there until his passing, and Gail still resides there.

Throughout this short history of Steve's life, the funny and kind person he was is barely touched upon. You, the reader of this story are encouraged to share your stories of your time with Steve. They almost certainly will include laughing, and beer, and really bad jokes. Please, wander over to the Stories page and help fill in all the blanks with your fondest memories. 

We all so dearly miss our husband, father, brother, friend and all around nice feller - Steve Hammond.