Obituary: Katharine Hunter Hammond

Posted at 11:00 AM, Sep 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-23 13:00:13-04

Katharine Hunter Hammond was born May 30, 1940, in Thornburg, PA, to Dr. Newton Keith and Mary Tait Hammond. She graduated high school from the Shipley School in Bryn Mawr, PA, and then earned a BA in economics from Wheaton College in Norton, MA. After college, she worked in financial firms in Denver before deciding, sort of on a whim, to accompany a friend on her move to Anchorage, AK, in 1968; they drove there in a VW Beetle. Katie again worked in financial firms and at Alyeska Ski Resort. It was outside of Anchorage that she met Fred Cady on a mountaineering trip during the moon landing weekend. They were married in July 1970 and, after a cross-country road trip camping and staying with friends (their "honey-mooch"), moved to Christchurch, New Zealand, for Fred to begin a PhD program. They lived there until 1980, while Katie continued working in financial firms and her daughter Elizabeth "Beth" was born. They then returned stateside to Bozeman, MT, where Fred took a job teaching electrical engineering at Montana State University and Katie became an active volunteer in Bozeman schools as well as groups supporting the environment, women's rights, equitable health care, and trails for outdoor recreation. She was also a fierce competitor on the state's tennis courts, enjoyed hiking and cross-country skiing with the Bozeman Women's Activity Groups (BWAGs), and played paddle tennis once courts were built in Bozeman. She ran unsuccessfully for the Montana State Legislature in 1996 and 1998 but remained active in Montana politics and was well known for her searing letters to the editor in the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, with one even shown on 60 Minutes. In addition to her athletic and volunteer pursuits, she enjoyed writing poems and parody songs for special events for family and friends.

Katie died on May 18, 2021, at age 80. She is survived by her daughter, Beth (Dave Detrick); sister, Mary Gordon Butz (Ron); nephews, Curt Butz and Eric (Amy) Butz; grand-nieces, Delaney and Tali; grand-nephews, Bridger and Tait; many friends and cousins; and all of her fellow champions for progressive causes. She was preceded in death by Fred; her younger brother, Keith Tait Hammond; and her parents.

In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to one of Katie's favorite causes: Cancer Support Community Montana, Community Health Partners Capital Campaign, Gallatin Valley Community Radio, Gallatin Valley Food Bank, Gallatin Valley Land Trust, Greater Gallatin United Way, HRDC, League of Women Voters, Montana Environmental Information Center, Montana PBS, MSU Women's Center, Museum of the Rockies, the National Museum of the American Indian, the Nature Conservancy, Northern Plains Resource Council, Pilgrim Congregational Church, Planned Parenthood, Physicians for Reproductive Health, Wheaton College (Massachusetts), Yellowstone Forever, Yellowstone Public Radio, or any other similar organization.

A Celebration of Life is being planned in Bozeman for summer 2022. Details will be forthcoming.

Arrangements are in the care of Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service.