Cover photo for Lilah Hammond's Obituary
Lilah Hammond Profile Photo
1936 Lilah 2014

Lilah Hammond

March 9, 1936 — September 4, 2014

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Lilah Ruth Hammond of Carrizozo. She went peacefully in her sleep the night of September 4, 2014.

She is preceded in death by her husband Bud C. Hammond and is survived by her five sons Jeff, John, Josh, Jim and Jerry Hammond, daughter Jann Moberly and 14 grandchildren. Jeff and Josh both live in Carrizozo, NM: John and Jim live in Monett, MO, Jerry lives in Roswell, NM and Jann lives in Farmington, NM.

Ruth was born March 9, 1936 outside of Little Rock, Arkansas, the youngest of two children of the late Mae and Jim Smith. Ruth attended high school in Bartlesville, Oklahoma where she met and married Bud Hammond July 14, 1957. Bud Hammond took Ruth and her two children from a previous marriage and in his work as a construction mechanic to parts of Colorado, Wyoming, California and Nevada before moving to Monett, Missouri where the 4 youngest boys attended school. At some point in time Bud, Ruth and Jerry moved to Elk City, OK.

Bud, Ruth and youngest son Jerry moved to New Mexico from Elk City, OK, staying first in Jicarilla, NM across the road from Bill and Betty Davis and then moved to Carrizozo. Ruth went to work for the Lincoln County News as a reporter, covering Carrizozo Town Council meetings, Capitan and Ruidoso Village council meetings, Carrizozo school board meetings, general stories of interest and advertising sales.

Ruth worked with Peter Aguilar at the Lincoln County News, prior to them purchasing the News from local retired judge Chuck Rominger 1994 and she continued working there until she got sick the first time in 2013 when son Jeff took over some of her duties writing editorials while continuing his weekly weather forecast column.

Ruth won several awards for some of her outstanding photographs, most notably black and white and color photographs the fire of the Primm Building in Carrizozo that got her nominated for a National Photography Award. She has also been featured in New Mexico magazine, one of the top magazines in the world.

Ruth was very involved in civic activities, was a member of the Carrizozo Womens Club was a founding member of the Carrizozo Industrial Park Committee she ran for public office as Probate Judge in 1990 but lost by a small margin. For several years she was involved with and through the newspaper supported the Labor Day Street Fair, she could often be seen at Christmas time in her brown reindeer suit complete with Rudolphs blinking red nose, or riding her decorated bicycle in the Smokey Bear Parade wearing a ridiculously large pioneers bonnet with stars and stripes and images of Smokey Bear on the brim.
She loved stock car racing. In the early 1960s she helped start a womens stock car division at WARC, Wyoming Auto Racing Club in Cheyenne Wyoming called the Fender Benders. She quit racing after being involved in a major accident where she hit the flagmans barricade headon. In later years she supported and sponsored her son Joshs racing and was so proud when he won the 2000 Stock car Championship.

She was proud of all her children, John played football throughout high school and then into college, Jim was a member of the Monett Cubs in 1978 when they went to state championship, Jerry was and still is involved in Special Olympics, daughter Jann for continuing her education and getting her degree. And her oldest son Jeff for winning his battle over addiction and moving to Carrizozo to care for her and Bud in their waning years.

Ruth loved New Mexico and loved living in Lincoln County. She immersed herself in the local legends and lore, enjoying driving and in later years being driven around Carrizozo and all over Lincoln County.
She was a font of information about Lincoln County history and loved to share her knowledge with family and friends.

Ruth was often described as a character. She could talk kernels of corn off the cob and then make those kernels jump into the pan for popcorn.

She loved being the matriarch of the Hammond family, entertaining her children and numerous grandchildren with her stories of growing up during the depression and her life as a child during WWII.
Ruth was loved and will be missed by all who knew her.

There will be a private family viewing Saturday at LaGrone Funeral Home in Ruidoso, and graveside services will be Saturday, Sept. 13 at 12:30 p.m. at the Ft. Stanton Merchant Marine Cemetery.

Friends are invited to a gathering at the Assembly of God Church in Carrizozo.

A Ruth Hammond burial donation fund has been set up at the Wells Fargo Bank in Carrizozo.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Lilah Hammond, please visit our flower store.


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