O'Neill T. Hammond, educator and artist


O'Neill T. Hammond, an educator and artist, died Sept. 22 of a viral illness at his North Ann Street residence. He was 43.

Mr. Hammond had been an education specialist in the Baltimore school system's office of early childhood education since 1981. He began his career in 1967 as an art resource teacher and had held administrative positions in the gifted and talented education program.

"He was a very caring and highly knowledgeable person in early childhood education. He had a passion for excellence and was highly respected for his wit and very fertile mind. His death leaves a gaping void in the school district and to those who are committed to excellence," said Dr. Samuel Banks, executive director of compensatory education and funded programs for the school system.

"He was very kind, sensitive and had an intuitiveness that went beneath the surface. He had a way of relaxing individuals so they could be themselves -- especially with art -- to get people to express themselves artistically," said friend Martin Campbell.

Known as "O'Ney," Mr. Hammond was born and reared on Madison Avenue, near Druid Hill Park. He attended city schools and was a 1963 graduate of Edmondson High School.

He earned a bachelor's degree in fine arts at the Maryland Institute College of Art in 1969 and a master's in fine arts in 1975.

He continued his relationship with the institute as a part-time instructor in the "Growing Through Art" classes.

He created mixed-medium collages and in 1977 had some of his work displayed at the "Faculty Show '77, Part 2" at the institute's Decker Gallery.

He collected tin toys, antique toy automobiles and vintage cars.

"He loved Buicks and had a 1956 Buick as well as a woodie. However, his favorite car was a 1973 red Volkswagen which he drove for 20 years," recalled Mr. Campbell, a longtime friend.

A memorial service was set for 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday at the Maryland Institute's main building, 1300 Mount Royal Ave. in Baltimore.

Mr. Hammond is survived by his son, Rassaan Hammond; and his parents, Earl V. Hammond and Maria D. Hammond. All are of Baltimore.

The family suggested memorial contributions to the O'Neill Troy Hammond Scholarship Fund, c/o Maryland Institute College of Art, 1300 Mount Royal Ave., Baltimore, Md. 21217-4191.

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