Francis Xavier Hammett
December 14, 1931 – February 4, 2023
Francis Xavier Hammett of Solomon’s Maryland passed away peacefully in his sleep early on February 4, 2023. He was 91 years old. He was visited and surrounded by many of his children and grandchildren just one day prior to his passing.
Born and raised in Washington D.C., Francis was the youngest of Thomas Johnson and Martha Madeline Lawrence Hammett. Francis was predeceased by his bride of 61 years, Carolyn Ann Maserick Hammett, also of Solomon’s MD. He was also predeceased by his 4 siblings, Bernard Hammett, John Hammett, Rita Dallavale, and Mary Fuchs.
Francis grew up at Holy Comforter Church in Washington D.C. where he attended elementary school. He went to Gonzaga College High School in D.C. After graduating from high School in 1948, Frank entered the Catholic University of America where he earned a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Economics. It was during this time he met his soon to be bride, Carolyn.
Frank established himself as a systems analyst for the Department of Defense, first serving at the Pentagon and then later at the Navy Yard. In the 1970’s Frank resided in the shadow of the newly established Holy Family Parish in Hillcrest Heights, Maryland. He later moved within Hillcrest Heights to live right next door to his ailing parents for whom he cared with the assistance of his bride, all while raising their young family.
Frank was a supporter of Catholic Education, sending his children to Catholic schools. Francis along with Carolyn were catechists in the parish religious education program at Holy Family. Later, Francis and Carolyn were also Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist at the Parish. Frank and Carolyn along with their children decorated the church for all of the major feast days and holidays, as well as arranging the flowers on a weekly and monthly basis.
Francis was a devoted family man who supported his children in their many endeavors in the arts, music, sports, scouting, employment and recreation. He frequently joked that he could be wearing a chauffeur’s cap as he drove his kids to various activities in the faithful family Ford van.
In addition to the family road trips to Florida, Francis also took his young family on almost weekly camping trips to “the barn” on property the family owned near McConnellsburg, PA.
He also provided summer activities for his family with a membership at the Bolling Officers Club Pool in Washington D.C. All of his children enjoyed the summer amenities including swimming lessons, lifeguarding and swim team. Francis and the family deeply enjoyed the many meals and memories at the officer’s club and pools. The irony of Frank’s devotion to pools, beaches and water recreation was that he did not know how to swim. He always maintained that he just didn’t want to get his trademark handlebar mustache wet.
Francis was an avid supporter of the performing arts including music and performance. Frank and Carolyn would take younger members of the family to various events including plays, concerts, and operas. They were subscribers and frequent attendees to events and art openings in D.C including Hartke Theater, the National Gallery of Art, the Kennedy Center and the Arena Stage.
Francis and Carolyn made pilgrimages to Rome in the Holy Year 1975, to Ireland, to the Holy Land in 1979 and again in 1982. Almost daily, they would refer to these life changing experiences and would regale anyone with the many memories and stories of their exploits. Their home was decorated with decor and memorabilia from their pilgrimages including many pieces of olive wood art and a replica of the Marc Chagall windows from the Hadassah medical Center in Jerusalem
After about 10 years of snow-birding, in 1996, Francis fully retired and relocated to St. Petersburg, Florida where he and Carolyn would frequently entertain family and friends from the Washington D.C. Area as well as care for his aging mother-in-law who also resided in Florida.
In St. Petersburg, both Frank and Carolyn were daily communicants. They were very active members of Holy Cross Parish including extraordinary ministers of the Eucharist, Healing ministries, and homeless outreach. Frank and Carolyn were also involved in the youth ministry at the Cathedral of St. Jude in St. Petersburg. Later, they would become regular members of Blessed Sacrament Parish in Seminole, Florida. Francis and Carolyn made one last Pilgrimage to the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City in 2004.
Also in the St. Petersburg area, Frank continued his support of the arts with attendance and support of the Ringling Performance and Arts Center in Sarasota, the Tampa Bay Arts Center, membership at The Dali in St. Petersburg and regular attendance and support of the Gasparilla Arts Festival in Tampa.
In 2011 Frank and Carolyn returned to Maryland and resided in Solomons. They were active members of Our Lady Star of the Sea Parish and attended Mass weekly and very rarely missed any social event at the church.
Francis was politely formal in his personality and mannerisms but was always charitable and kind to all. He always wore a collared button-downed shirt and would rarely be seen without a necktie and/or jacket prior to his retirement. His handlebar mustache was always perfectly trimmed and well-waxed. He was deeply hospitable to all and would go to any length to make others feel welcomed. Frequently he would arrange flowers for guests and then give them to the guests as gifts. He would make sure to have in supply any comforts his guests might desire.
Frank was an avid decorator and flower designer for Holy Family Church in Hillcrest Heights. Francis Xavier also assisted with the decorations and flowers for all of the weddings of his children. He was a fervent member of the Catholic Charismatic renewal, meeting weekly at Catholic University in Washington D.C. and seasonally throughout the United States.
Frank was incredibly generous with his time, talent and treasure. He donated to various groups including Bread for the Poor, Glenmary Home Missioners, So Others May Eat, Catholic Charities, Franciscan Missions as well as countless other charitable organizations.
Frank was also predeceased by his son Albert Frances Hammett (Sandy) and his daughter Martha Madeline Hammett Welsh. He is survived by his children Thomas, (Laurie, deceased) Carolyn Hammett (Rasha,) David (Rosa,) Janet Kleponis (Joseph,) Mark (Christy,) and Joan Giavasis (Nicholas.)
Francis is also survived by his grandchildren Casey, Danny, Jason, Denise, Jennifer, Francesca, Megan, Joseph, Nicholas, Veronica, Benjamin, Beatrice, Julia, and his namesake, Francis Xavier. Francis was also absolutely delighted by his 6 great grandchildren.
Francis was known for his deep effervescent and even mystical faith. He was one to always call others to prayer and remind them of the power of prayer in our lives. he was deeply aware of the miraculous power of the Divine in our lives. He was involved in various healing ministries and on more than one occasion, some had attested to Francis himself as a mystic and healer.
Francis Xavier Hammett will be incredibly missed and his legacy will live on through so many.
In lieu flowers, the family asks that donations be made to Little Sisters of the Poor, DC; Catholic Charities, DC; or Hospice of the Chesapeake.
Monday, February 13, 2023
Little Sisters of the Poor
Jeanne Jugan Residence
4200 Harewood Road, NE
Washington, DC 20017-1554
Hospice of the Chesapeake
90 Ritchie Highway
Pasadena, MD 21122