April 29, 1925 – December 28, 2019
Mildred Onzelle “GG” Hammond, 94, went home to be with the Lord on Saturday, December 28, 2019 at Life Care Center in Winter Haven.
Onzelle was born in Winter Haven on April 29, 1925 to the late Frank and Blanche Smith. She graduated from Winter Haven High School in 1943 where she was class treasurer and a member of the Marching Imps team. Onzelle met the love of her life, a handsome marine named Darrell Hammond, and they were married after a brief courtship. After World War II ended, the young couple returned to Winter Haven and began to start their family. They had five children over the next eight years and were shining examples of loving, devoted parents. Onzelle was always patient, caring, and steadfast in the nurturing of her children.
Onzelle was a shining example of God’s love, a true angel on earth. She touched countless lives through her many kindnesses, helpfulness, giving, and selflessness. She would always be the first to volunteer and lend a hand whenever needed. She dedicated her time to her children’s schools serving as homeroom mother, was a cub scout den leader, and volunteered in the missions thrift store. Her generosity extended to friends, family, and even strangers. She shared her combined gift of cooking and giving, and baked unbelievably delicious coconut, pound, and devil’s food cakes for practically everyone in town.
Darrell and Onzelle owned and operated Hammond’s Used Cars, a car dealership in Winter Haven for over twenty years. They served the community with integrity and honesty.
Onzelle was a woman of great faith, and her Christianity was evident by the way she lived her life. She taught Sunday School and VBS at the First Baptist Church where she and all of her children were baptized over the years. She was currently a member of Unity Church in the Grove in Lakeland.
Some of her favorite pastimes were cooking, going to garage sales on Saturdays, watching her nightly game shows, Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy, and shopping at her favorite stores (more for others than herself).
GG will best be remembered by the love and pride she had of her family. She had the unique quality of making each one feel special. Spending time with her family members was her greatest joy. Even as her health was failing, she was able to join the family this year on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. She never wanted to miss an event with her loved ones. Cherished memories of the joy and love she shared will always be remembered, and her warm smile and sparkle will never fade. Her family and friends loved her dearly and will miss her greatly, and her positive influence will live on forever in the lives of those she touched.
Mildred Onzelle’s legacy includes being an extraordinary beloved daughter, wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, sister, aunt, and friend.
Onzelle was preceded in death by her parents, Frank and Blanche Smith, husband Darrell Hammond, brother Frank “Fee” Smith, and sisters Juanita Ryder and Elinor Horne. She is survived by her sisters, Winona Durham and Olga Locicero (Mike), sons, Buddy and Gary Hammond, daughters Beverly Woolery, Inky Manning, and Debbie Hammond, grandchildren, Nikki Rudd (Jason),Holly Strader (Jordan), Kristen Strickland, Michael Woolery (Carol), Robert Clint Woolery, Ryan Manning (Claudia), Jason Braxton, and 17 greatgrandchildren, Carson Rudd, Jake Rudd, Mia Rudd, Dylan Strickland, Dalton Strickland, Julie Overstreet, Brett Woolery, Blake Woolery Brooke Woolery, Annalise Strader, Lincoln Strader, Alanie Woolery, Amayah Woolery, Bryce Woolery, Hartley Manning, Lexi Braxton, and Connor Braxton.
Gathering of Friends will be on Sunday, January 5, 2020 at 5:00 pm at Oak Ridge Funeral Home, 2425 Havendale Boulevard, Winter Haven. A Celebration of Life will follow at 6:00 pm.