Bert Hammond

Thursday, October 8, 2020
Bert Hammond
Bert Hammond

Bert L. Hammond, of Big Horn, Montana, 84, died on his ranch on Tullock Creek in a tractor accident on September 29, 2020. He was still working the ranch he loved.

Bert was born in Hardin to Margaret and Lester Hammond on July 30, 1936. He joined his older sister, Peggy. Willson and Lester were born shortly after. Along with their younger, halfbrother, Tiny John Starkweather, they have all been the closest of friends over the years.

The family lived in the Pine Hills until Bert was 5 years old. He loved to tell stories and even had a few to tell from those early years! His dad eventually bought a ranch on East Cottonwood Creek, where Bert spent most of his growing up years. After graduating from Hardin High School, he worked breaking horses for several ranchers including Juel and Jessie Ottun on Dry Creek, Jess & Gladys Blankenship on South Reno Creek and J. B. Mastin on Tullock Creek.

He was then drafted and served two years on the 6th Army Rifle Team in Fort Ord, California. While serving, he met Dick Wagner, who showed Bert a picture of his sister, Arlene. Bert said he knew at that moment he was going to marry her and after hitchhiking home with Dick multiple times and a season of letter writing with Arlene while he was competing in rifle matches across the country they did marry on November 5, 1960.

Bert worked a couple more years for Mastin, and then they bought their own ranch on Tullock Creek near his Dad’s ranch. They raised beef cattle and four daughters whom he loved to tease gently, like distracting them and stealing the bacon off their plates and starting water fights with them.

No matter how busy Bert was, he always loved company and would stop whatever he was doing to visit and share stories. He loved to tell his stories, but he always wanted to hear yours, too.

He was preceded in death by his parents; and brothers-in-law, Elmer Penning and Dick Wagner.

His survivors include his beloved wife of almost 60 years, Arlene; his siblings, Peggy Penning of Belle Fourche, South Dakota, Willson (Kara) and Lester (Margie) of East Cottonwood Creek, Tiny John (Wanda) Starkweather of Absorakee, Montana; brother-in-law, Warren (Chris) Wagner, of Gardiner, Montana; daughters, Alisa (Tim) McLaughlin, of Gardiner, Shana (Justin) Baisch, of Glendive, Montana, Theresa (Nic) Winslow, of Tullock Creek, Dianna, of Sidney, Montana; and grandchildren, Molly McLaughlin, Tara (Landon) Vannoy, Lily (Lee) Jensen, Amber (Rod) Newman, Tayler Baisch, Miles (Katie) Baisch, Dillon (Victoria) Winslow, Calli (Cory) Thomas and Nolan (Leanna) Winslow; 13 great-grandchildren; and many beloved nieces and nephews and “adopted” grandchildren, Cody (Kiara) Carlson and Nina Atamaniuk.

Bert, on his rare trips to town, liked to point out that most of his major life events included a drive past Dry Creek. It included returning from his stint in the Army and bringing home his new bride and subsequent babies to Tullock Creek. We brought him home past Dry Creek one last time to be buried on the ranch.

A graveside service was held on Oct. 4.

His family would like to express their deepest appreciation to the Big Horn County Sheriff and Ambulance Departments.

Memorials can be sent to the Hardin Senior Center for Meals on Wheels or the Big Horn County Museum.