Laurel Kathryn Bush Hammond, our precious mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, aunt, and friend, died peacefully Feb. 7, 2020, at her home surrounded by her daughters, grandson, his wife, and two great-grandsons.
She graduated from Tooele High School in 1940. Laurel grew up with a serious work ethic. She always had various jobs in her younger years, and later as a young teen. She worked nights at the Strand and Ritz Theaters. The summer before her high school graduation she worked for Jesse and Leona Charles at the Bonneville Service Station in Grantsville, Utah.
Laurel married Claude S. Hammond on June 12, 1946, in Salt Lake City. They were later sealed to each other in the Salt Lake City Temple. After they were married, they took the bus and were dropped off at Delle, Utah, where they began working together. Mom was a waitress at the Horseshoe Café and helped clean the cabins. She also cleaned at the Bonneville Café. She was a waitress and served food and drinks to bus passengers who stopped for rest and food before continuing to Wendover towards Reno. She also served food and drink to locals who stopped for rest and food or lived in the cabins. She became familiar with many of the racers who were trying to beat the records on the Bonneville Salt Flats. Dad ran the gas station and they lived in a small cabin behind the café.
After WWII started, Mom was called to work at the Remington Arms Plant, assembling small arms ammunition. She continued working nights at the Ritz Theatre when she wasn’t on night shift at the plant. Mom worked at the arms plant for more than a year until she received a telegram from the U.S. Government inviting her to report to the Tooele Army Depot for employment. She started working there in 1942 and was hired as the first secretary in the RR Engineering Division. They were building the railroad, receiving shipments of ammunition, and were contractors of the Government District of Engineers. Headquarters were at the Boston Building, in Salt Lake City, Utah. She continued to work nights at the Ritz Theatre.
As Tooele Army Depot grew and other jobs became available, she worked for Maintenance Supply, Post Engineers, Medical Supply and under 6th Army Communications as a teletype operator. She was a cryptographer (decoding top secret messages from the Navajo code talkers) from the army front. She went to work as a secretary for the Director of Safety Division. The position of Employees’ Compensation Claims was being initiated in this office by a safety engineer and when he retired, she was assigned those duties. Other army depots had those positions as part of the Civilian Personnel Office, and she was later moved to this office at Tooele Army Depot because of her knowledge of the department. She eventually retired from said department.
Laurel and Claude had two daughters; their first daughter, Kaye was born April 22, 1949, with their second daughter, Connie, following May 24, 1953.
Laurel is and always will be a great, caring, loving, and wonderful mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. Her family always came first, and she made many sacrifices and gifts for them. She is preceded in death by her parents; husband Claude; and siblings Lionel J. (Mary) Bush, Charles (Francis) Bush, Wesley (Anna) Bush, Jack Bush, Alice (Bert) Vunder, Wanda (Dearld) Coon, Fern (Virgil) Coon, Marion (Ray) Stone, Erla (Jay) Woods, Ron Bush. She is survived by her daughters Connie (Hal) Hawkins, Kaye (Dominique) Robert; grandson Colt (Heather) Robert; great-grandsons Jayden and Gaige; and sister-in-law Myrna Bush.
A service will be held Friday, Feb. 14, 2020, at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 141 W. Utah Ave., Tooele, Utah, at 11 a.m. A prior viewing will be held from 10 to 10:45 a.m.
We would like to give a special thanks to Dr. Forbes, and Dr. Parker along with the staff of Canyon Home Care & Hospice; Misty, Carissa, Kevin and especially her personal care giver, Patty Cecena, they took great care of our Mom. We would also like to thank the staff of Tate Mortuary.