Graveside services for Mark Hammett, 56 year old Plymouth, Minnesota resident who went home to be with the Lord on August 4th 2013, will be held Friday August 16th at 10:00 a.m. in Willow Grove Cemetery with Reverend Eli Dowell officiating. The American Legion and VFW will be in charge of military graveside honors. Donations in Mr. Hammett’s memory may be made to American Diabetes Foundation in care of the Harness Funeral Home at 351 N. Adams in Buffalo.
Mark David Hammett was born on November 23, 1956 into a military family. He began school in Cheyenne, Wyoming and after graduating from high school 1975 in Garden Grove, CA, he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. He proudly served as a member of the Presidential Helicopter Squadron HMX1 for President Carter. He had a deep love for his country and was proud not only of his own service in the Marine Corps but also that of his father's career in the Air Force and both grandfathers' in the Navy.
His training in the Marines lead him to pursue an Associates Degree in computer science and his career after leaving the military was spent entirely in specialized computer technology. He met Beverly, his wife, while working with Trans-America Company in Pasadena, CA in 1984. After they married in 1987 and started their family, they moved to Colorado and, as a result of a contract with American Express, they settled in Minnesota in 1996. It was while he was with American Express that he served as a team member with the group who designed the original SmartCard in conjunction with Sprint Telephone Company. He moved on to the Target Corp. Data Center as a specialist involved with system disaster recovery. On September 12, 2011, as invited guest of a technology conference, Mark became perhaps the most well-attended speaker at the conference as he presented his work on IT Systems Disaster Recovery. He continued to work largely as a self-employed computer consultant with such companies as Wells Fargo Bank, Home Depot and US Foods, until the time of his death.
Mark’s professional skills often dovetailed with his hobbies. He helped his daughter, Corry, illustrate her first book, The Princess Story, with computer graphics when she was three. He played complicated computer games with his sons Aaron and Miles, and encouraged Aaron's own artistic skills by using Aaron's design for his boat logo. His frequent contributions to the Minnetonka Community Church worship services and kids choir included creating sophisticated films and power point presentations before it was a common practice and serving as a light board operator. He also served the church as a member of the pastoral search committee during a time of transition in the late 1990s.
Sailing was Mark’s principal life passion. Growing up, he sailed with his dad and brother along the coast of California and, in the relocation to Minnesota, he became a lake sailor. He was an active member of the Wayzata Yacht Club, sailing as a crew member and skipper for a number of yacht owners before finally acquiring his own Capri 25- Ham-it-Up!. He was instrumental in organizing numerous regattas and Capri 25 championship races on Lake Minnetonka. He was a fine sailor in his own right, but among his great joys was launching his daughter Corry into the world of sailing. One of his proudest moments was seeing her earn the Wayzata Yacht Club Rookie of the Year award in 2005.
Mark also had great fun participating in his sons’ activities like Cub Scouts, Pee-Wee hockey, chaperoning for their elementary school overnights at the Minnesota Zoo and taking them to Austin TX, during the summer he did contract work there. A recent passion in his life was his grandfather's legacy as a gunsmith. He communicated this pride in his grandfather’s skill and craftsmanship as a gunsmith and marksman to his sons.
He loved jazz, classic rock, movies, and the family as a whole has a passion for the performing arts— collectively learning to quote lines – sometimes whole sections-- from movies and plays. Late in life, Mark also completed a life-long dream of earning his private pilot’s license.
Many will remember Mark as a man with a big heart and dedication to whatever task was set before him. He will be greatly missed by his friends and family.
He leaves behind his wife of 26 years Beverly (Smith) Hammett and 4 children: Corry 23, Aaron 21, Miles 20 and Ryan M. Eldridge 33. He is also survived by his parents Lt. Col. Ret. David and Mona Hammett of Las Vegas, NV; and his brother David Hammett and family of Washington Grove, MD.