MASSENA / ATLANTA – Claudette Anita Hammond, formerly of 12 Clark Street and 87 Andrew Street, passed away peacefully Thursday morning, May 13, 2021 in Atlanta, GA comforted by her daughter Deborah (Hammond) Switts. Claudette was 87 years old.
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Claudette was born on November 7, 1933 in Freeport, New York. She was the youngest of six children and the daughter of George and Lucia (D’Abate) Ruggiero.
While attending Freeport High School, she became a member of the Academy of Theatrical Arts. She was a performer and her talents included tap and ballet dancing and singing. Claudette graduated from Freeport High in 1952.
Following graduation, she attended the Laboratory Institute of Merchandising in Midtown Manhattan, where she focused her studies on the business of fashion. She graduated in 1954 with an associate degree and thereafter worked for Lord & Taylor. In her later years, she managed real estate properties.
While picking tomatoes in her family’s garden in Freeport, she caught the eye of then-airman Raeburn E. Hammond Jr. They fell in love and she and Rae married on May 2, 1959.
Claudette and Rae were blessed with three children and, seeking change and adventure, moved frequently. They lived in Cape Cod, Massachusetts; Brockton, Massachusetts; Glens Falls, New York; Massena, New York; Anchorage, Alaska; and Lantana, Florida. She and Rae were married for 46 years until Rae’s passing in 2006.
She cooked Italian food without recipes and with plenty of love and salt and vinegar and lemon and was famous for her avocado salad. She enjoyed the challenge of word puzzles and would carry books of them with her. Claudette enjoyed volunteering and was a member of the Sacred Heart church in Massena. She cared for others throughout her life with dedication and unconditional love.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Raeburn Hammond; daughter, Jacqueline; parents, George and Lucia (D’Abate) Ruggiero; and siblings Virginia Taylor, Louis Ruggiero, Evelyn Christensen, Yolanda Taus and George Ruggiero.
Those left to cherish her memory include her daughter and son-in-law, Deborah Lee and Randall William Switts; her son, David Christopher Hammond; her grandson and his wife, Daniel Ryan and Jillian Switts; and her grandson, Robert William Switts.