Words fail us today, as there are none adequate to describe the beauty, humor, kindness, and unique spirit of Sally Bows Hammond, our wife, mother, and grandmother, who died after a brief, but fierce, battle with cancer, on March 12, 2018, at the age of 72.
Sally loved her family and her animals with an unwavering intensity, supporting her husband and children unfailingly in each of their chosen endeavors. She loved music, animals, a good book, time spent in the mountains, and Missoula. She believed that all people were deserving of kindness and dignity. Sally was an intuitive and gifted communicator, who would often leave the grocery store filled with information about the person - no longer a stranger - who had been in line next to her. She loved Bobby Kennedy and Bernie Sanders and shared their hope for our country - firmly believing that we always could, and should, do better. Sally played the piano and spent years playing music at St. Andrew’s church in Billings and for the residents of Riverside nursing home in Missoula.
She worked as a family therapist for many years before going to nursing school and always remembered with particular fondness the years that she spent working on the Crow reservation at St. Labre School, where she was inspired by the culture and kindness of the Crow people. Sally recognized and adored the profound loveliness of the natural world and enjoyed little more than going for a long hike with her dogs. She particularly loved the beauty of the Bitterroot Mountains, the majesty of Beartooth Peak, and the wildness of the ocean. We will miss her love, her kindness, her beauty, the joy she found in music, her passion for justice, and her gentle Southern accent. The loss of her sing-song voice will leave the world sounding hollow to us all.
Sally was a mother, a wife, a grandmother, a friend, and so much more than all of those things. She grew up in Atlanta, Georgia, raised her children in Billings, Montana, and retired to her favorite town in the world - Missoula, Montana.
Sally leaves behind her husband of fifty-one years, Neel Hammond; her children, Robin Hammond and Neel Hammond III; her granddaughter, Brynn Begley; her daughter-in-law, Lucia Micarelli; her brother, David Bows; her nieces, Katie Taylor and Ivey Bows, her nephew, David Bows, Jr.; her beloved dogs, Lulu, Stegall, and Vernon; and her many wonderful friends. She is preceded in death by her parents, Helen and Albert Bows. She is being greeted in death by the wagging tails and wet noses of the many dogs she has loved throughout her life and by the welcoming song of her beloved parrot, Paco.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Sierra Club or to the Missoula Humane Society in Sally’s name. In memory of Sally, please take a moment to listen to beautiful music, go for a long walk in the woods, adopt an animal who needs a home, or stand up for something you believe in. A graveside service will be held on April 22, 2017, Earth Day, the week of Sally’s birthday, at the Missoula City Cemetery, in Missoula, at 2:00 p.m.