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Kaye Denise Hammond


Picture of Kaye Denise Hammond.

Unacustomed as I may be to writing obituaries, it is with a heavy heart that I hereby announce the death of my wife Kaye, who passed away in Pontefract General Infirmary on 20 March 2007, aged 45.

Those who were closest to her often heard her speak of the fact she had no intention of growing old. Having worked in nursing homes, both in her native Sussex and here in Yorkshire, she had chosen to live each day to the full, disregarding some of the unpleasant and often disturbing consequences, which are often a result of what some may consider a lifestyle of over-indulgence. She had no desire to end up in a nursing home herself!

When Kaye moved up to Yorkshire, almost a quarter of a century ago, she traded the splendour of the south coast for a back street two-up, two-down terrace house off Agbrigg Road, Wakefield. Her previous employer, incidentally, refused to acknowledge her resignation letter, convinced she would be back in Brighton by the end of the month. Having heard nothing to the contrary, we can assume her job is still open!

Kaye, however, took instantly to her new, though unfamiliar, surroundings like the proverbial fish to water, quickly fitting into the community as though she had been a part of it for years. She made new friends quickly and easily, something she continued to do for the rest of her life.

After the birth of our only child Kristian, Kaye took a job working as a care assistant at Sandal Grange, a nursing home, which lasted for a number of years before it closed and she was made redundant.

Fighting depression and an increasing dependancy on the one thing that finally caught up with her - alcohol, Kaye continued to enjoy an active life. She started working voluntarily at the 'Red Shed' Labour Club, something she loved, until a misdeed by an insensitive committee member chose to pay a family friend to do the same job she had been doing for free. It was a decision she accepted with dignity as she walked away, though I know she was deeply hurt at the time. She always assumed the best in everyone, and was often socially vulnerable as a consequence.

Politicially, no one who knew Kaye had any doubts as to where she was 'coming from'. She was no 'Red Shed' socialist, but a genuine one, who attached herself to no political party. She wore no badges or carried a banner, though her opinions were often at the heart of fall-outs between friends and acquaintances who expressed racist views. Kaye was proud to live in a mixed race community, and never afraid to speak out against those who discrimated or expressed any form of religious or cultural intolerance. There was only one race in Kaye's heart, the 'human race'.

As previously hinted at, it was no secret that Kaye enjoyed the odd tipple. Most evenings during the last year of her life were spent in Haseldene House where, once again, Kaye established a new set of friends. Val and Jim, who run the bar quickly became familiar with the request for double gin and tonics, while the two Jeffs, John and his mate Tommy were guaranteed to keep the conversation alive.

I know at this point Kaye would wish me to give a special mention to friends Amy and Brian, and Jacqueline and Alwyn who tirelessly supported us both during the final, extremely difficult week of Kaye's life. Their hospital visits and telephone calls were and will forever be appreciated by Kristian and myself.

Kaye had few personal ambitions that strayed beyond the easily attainable. One however was her desire to fly over the Grand Canyon, and to walk the Giant's Causeway in Northern Ireland. I am pleased to say that she achieved both of these during the last few years.

Kaye was a great supporter of the RNLI, and had no conscience when begging anyone she knew (and some she didn't) for loose change. I would like to thank Kenny for passing it on to the Bridlington lifeboat station.

British wildlife also featured as one of Kaye's interests. Her obsession with the humble hedgehog, as clearly manifested in the guise of our hall and lounge ornamentation, as their porcelain and pot effigies decorate every horizontal surface. Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without the ritualistic hanging up of the following year's hedgehog themed calendar - not always an easy acquisition to make in a world more preoccupied with cats and dogs.

Finally I would like to thank all those people I have failed to mention by name who have offered unconditional kindness to Kristian and myself during this sad time. To all those who sent cards I would like to say a special thank you, and especially to Pam, Kristian's godmother, who has supported the family since our mad, dilinquent days in bowman Street.

Kaye leaves five sisters in Stephanie, Helen, Anne, Sarah and Carol, and a brother, John. Carol's partner Paul and John's wife Joy also came to visit Kaye in hospital.

Things Kaye loved - her family, vodka and tonic, cigarettes, the Isle of Wight, hedgehogs, Haseldene House, the Yorkshire side of the Leeds and Liverpool canal, walking, Ireland, country music, reading, dogs, the RNLI, the songs of Kris Kristofferson, exploring new pubs, Leeds.

Things Kaye hated - racism, social injustice, the war in Iraq, religious intolerane, town centres on Sunday afternoons, the smell of my pipe.

Added by: Phil Hammond on 7 August 2007.



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Picture of Kaye Denise Hammond.
Picture of Kaye Denise Hammond.
Picture of Kaye Denise Hammond.
 

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