Verna Jo Hammer (Jo)
Verna Jo Hammer (Jo), age 81, died at home from Alzheimer’s with her husband, son, daughter, grandchildren and great-grandchildren by her side. She was a wonderful wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, teacher and friend.
Jo was born in Mexia to Vernon and Minnie Lou Williams on May 12, 1941. She had a younger sister, Jean Vincent, who died on Jan. 6, 2023. Jo and Lynn met in Denton while she was going to Texas Women’s University. They married on June 24, 1961, and then Lynn entered the Air Force after graduating from North Texas University. They were happily married for 61 years.
While in the Air Force, she had their son, Robert and daughter, Shannon. They then moved to San Antonio, where she had another son, Kenneth Louis and adopted a daughter, Angela. In 1969, they moved to Austin, where Lynn started to work for the IRS. While the children were in school, Jo received her bachelor’s degree in education. She taught special education classes at Crockett High School and retired after 20 years. Jo received two master’s degrees and a doctorate in counseling from Texas State University. During this time, she also cared for four children and a husband. She always remembered that she only made one B from elementary through college, and all the rest were A’s.
They built a house in Manchaca in 1973 and have lived there ever since. They went to the Texas Coast, Corpus Christi and Port Aransas every summer. Those were fun times with the children and grandchildren. They always laughed a lot, and twice one of the grandchildren stopped up the commode with toilet paper at the hotel. Jo never could dance in college. When they got to Austin, she was tickled because they started square dancing, went to all the honkey-tonks on Ben White and learned to do the Texas Two Step. Jo and Lynn traveled around the Northern Continent, including Calgary. They got to see the Calgary Stampede and visited Banff and Lake Louise.
On other trips, they visited Vancouver and saw the largest Chinatown in the Northern Hemisphere. They went to the Haunted Hotel in Coronado, CA and stopped by Carlsbad Cavern, NM, and the Desert Dunes and Palm Springs was another fun place they went. They also visited Hawaii twice, Honolulu and the Big Island, and saw the volcano’s eruption. They went to Maui and all the other islands from there. They loved Vegas and visited four times. Additional travels included the Virgin Islands, St. Johns and St. Thomas. Jo loved to travel. She and two of her friends also drove to Monterrey, Mexico.
Jo loved animals and had several from the time she was a child until her passing. She was very compassionate and giving. She was an avid reader and had an extensive collection of books, especially mystery. Her favorite author was Agatha Christie. In 1959, Jo and her best friend for life, Jerrie Bishop, were the captains of the Mexia basketball team that won the district championship for Mexia High School.
Jo belonged to the Faith Presbyterian Church for 53 years, from 1969 to May 2022, where she taught bible classes. Then they joined St. John’s Presbyterian Church in May 2022.
Jo is survived by her loving husband, Lynn and children, Robert and Shannon. Grandchildren, Kenneth Aron, Kevin, Alison and Christa and husband Ezequiel. Great Grandchildren, Aubrey, Neveah, Jorgi, Anthony, Ashlyn, Jonah and Roman. Nephews: Wayne Daniel, Wesley Daniel and his wife, Judy.
She was preceded in death by her parents, son, Kenneth Louis Hammer and her sister, Jean Vincent.
Memorial Services will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 4, at the Weed-Corley- Fish Funeral Home, 2620 S. Congress Ave in Austin.