Betty N. Hammett - Hi-Desert Star: Obituaries

Betty N. Hammett

Librarian, literacy advocate

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Posted: Tuesday, September 17, 2013 8:20 pm

Betty Noren Hammett died Sept. 7, 2013, in Petaluma.

Betty was born in Breckenridge, Texas, in 1931, moving west with her family until settling in Barstow in 1946.

She married the love of her life, Lanham Hammett, in 1949, and they remained married for 64 years until Lanham’s passing in May of this year. She died on his birthday.

Betty loved books and reading. She worked as a librarian for many years, serving at the first Bookmobile librarian in remote areas of the Mojave Desert and often traveling 150 miles a day, providing books to residents and helping ease the isolation of the harsh environment in the days before the Internet and satellite TV.

Betty worked at the base library at Camp Pendleton and for the Carlsbad School District until moving to the Philippines for four years in 1975.

In 1988, she and Lan moved to Yucca Valley, where they built a beautiful Santa Fe-style home nestled in the rocks on the high mesa.

Betty loved to travel, collecting folk art from the places she visited. She and Lan took long road trips through Mexico in the 1960s, and they loved traveling throughout the Southwest. During the years in the Pacific, Betty traveled extensively throughout Asia, visiting Hong Kong and mainland China as well as Southeast Asia. A memorable adventure was riding elephants during a roundup in Thailand.

During those years, she became active in the local community working with other women for the betterment of children through literacy and education.

Betty always was in the midst of reading several books and her dedication to literacy remained a constant in her life, working many years with the Literacy Coalition, the Yucca Valley Friends of the Library and many reading circles. One of her favorite activities for many years was reading to children’s groups at the library. She enjoyed her membership in the local chapter of PEO, where she embraced their mission of celebrating and supporting women in their education and became a mentor to many.

Betty was also active in the Writers Guild, with several short stories being published. She loved the arts and was always supportive of local artists.

She is survived by her two children, son Jim Hammett and daughter Paula Hammett, Paula’s husband, Bruce Hope, three loving grandchildren, Christopher, Audrey and Robert, sister Shirley Boyett and family and brother Andrew Noren and family, and many other dear family and friends.

A celebration of her life will begin at 3 p.m. Monday. Please call (760) 228-2288 to RSVP.

Those wishing to make a memorial donation in her name are invited to contact the Friends of the Yucca Valley Library, P.O. Box 1123, Yucca Valley, CA 92284.

© 2015 Hi-Desert Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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