Veteran Teacher Ted Hammond Dies at 86
Hammond served the Academy for 34 years, eventually heading the math department.
August 11, 2008
— Ted Hammond, a long-time Phillips Academy instructor, died peacefully in Brunswick, Maine, on July 27, 2008 after a long decline. He was 86. Born and raised in the town of Andover, he would attend Phillips Academy, earning cum laude honors as a member of the Class of 1940.
He attended Haverford College, obtaining both a BSc degree in chemistry and a place in the Phi Beta Kappa Society. Following his accelerated graduation in 1943 (as a member of the Class of 1944), he went to the California Institute of Technology to pursue graduate work in chemistry under Linus Pauling. But the war drew him to the Naval Reserve in early 1944. He served as a deck officer on the USS Gold Star, a cargo ship supplying the fleet that returned General MacArthur and his troops to the Philippines. Seeing action en route, notably at Morotai Island, the Gold Star later supported the occupation of Japan.
His initial military service complete, Mr. Hammond earned an MSc degree in mathematics at Brown University in 1949 and later spent a few years teaching his favorite subject at Lakeside School in Seattle. In 1953, after ruling out a navy career during a second stint of active duty, he accepted an instructorship at Andover.
Mr. Hammond served the Academy for 34 years, eventually heading the math department. In 1970 he joined three colleagues to coauthor Fields and Functions: A Course in Precalculus Mathematics. He also taught physics and chemistry, and coached track and baseball. Time magazine saw fit to end an October 1962 cover article on Andover with Mr. Hammond’s words: “‘You can talk about money and prestige…but the incentive at Andover is much bigger. Here we have the facilities to do our professional job the way it should be done. Here we have the joy of pure scholarly discussion. And those great kids—where can a man find students who are so electrifying? There lies the dream of the good teacher. There is the significance and the challenge here.’”
He answered that challenge until his retirement in 1987, when he relocated to Brunswick. He had vacationed on MacMahan Island since 1959 and loved to sail Sheepscot Bay and the Gulf of Maine. In retirement, he delighted in growing vegetables and joined the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, whose Common Ground Fair became a highpoint in his year. His youthful advocacy of the Boston Symphony Orchestra broadened to include Portland’s own orchestra, which he attended regularly for some time. He rarely missed broadcasts of games featuring his beloved Red Sox, and considered the team’s 2004 championship a fine return on his investment in cable TV.
Having helped to usher PA into the computer age, he remained fascinated with computing and particularly with programming languages and relational database software. Oddly, he never got the hang of e-mail and showed little interest in the Web.
Survivors include Deena, his wife of 54 years; daughter Natalie Hammond Rockwell ’76; two sons, Matthew ’75 and Marc; two stepsons, Eric Jones ’66 and Christopher Jones ’68; five grandchildren; and Laurie, his nurse and dear friend of six years.