Eugene Clarence Hammons, Sr. went to the Lord at the age of 90 in his home surrounded by loved ones on Sunday, January 2, 2022 at 4:16 pm. He was born March 29, 1931 to William James Newton Hammons and Clara Helen Varnon Hammons in the family home in Galveston, Texas that he shared with his maternal grandparents John Thomas Varnon, Sr. and Lillie Francis Collins Varnon.
After moving to Houston and graduating John H. Reagan High School, Gene attended The University of Houston, majoring in economics and finance. During the next five years, he held down both full and part time jobs to pay for his education, not unusual for the times. While at The University, he was a founding member of Rho Beta, later a charter member of the EO chapter of Tau Kappa Epsilon, the longest continuing fraternity at U of H.
He was employed by Rauscher Pierce Securities in February 1955 for twenty years, first as a broker and later as a managing partner. The firm sent him to the famed Wharton School of Business where he studied with other contemporaries over the next three years. He became aware through his studies of the inefficiencies of insured pensions which led to a consulting role with many leading Texas companies and institutions, ultimately leading to managing principal with The Mercer Company, the worldwide employee consulting firm.
In 1984, he was recruited by Manufactures Hanover Bank of New York to manage the mid-west regional office responsible for client investment portfolios. In 1989, he moved his family to Brenham and started Creekside Investment Management until his retirement in December 2017. In all, he spent sixty-four years in the investment profession, shepherding important assets for individuals and institutional investors, cherishing every moment, every challenge and every relationship he developed through the years.
Anyone who was around Gene for any length of time would probably have to endure a story or two. They came naturally, easily provoked by a lifetime of memories. Fortunately, they were short and mostly humorous as was his outlook on life. He composed a short poem about himself:
He was a storyteller from way back when,
Some he told over and over again.
They really did no harm,
As they had a certain charm,
He was a storyteller from way back when.
During his lifetime, he enjoyed offshore boating and sport fishing, water and snow skiing, raising cattle and golfing to name a few. At age 70, he learned to fly and over the next thirteen years flew his beloved Piper visiting children and grandchildren from the west coast to the east and everywhere in between. In fulfilling a lifetime ambition, his drive demonstrated that one is never too old to learn something new. He loved to read, devouring books of all types, especially those on historical events that shaped our beloved nation. Most of all he loved spending time surrounded by family and friends. He treasured many friendship groups over the years including the Friday Lunch Poets, the Gumbo Bunch, the monthly Couger Lunch Bunch, in which he was a most pivotal member, and founder the U of H Alumni Association in Washington County. He is a member of the of the First Babtist Church, Brenham Country Club, Lifetime member of the University of Houston Alumni and Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association.
Gene is survived by his beloved wife Donna Kobs Hammons, sons Eugene Clarence Hammons, Jr. and wife Christine with grandchildren, Chandler & Conner; David Lee Hammons and wife Janne; Timothy James Hammons and wife Heidi with grandsons Andrew and Joseph, John Paul Hammons with grandchildren John and wife Kim, Casey, Christa & Caitlin, and daughter Amy Hammons Rupp and husband Christopher with grandchildren Madison & Jackson, one great-granddaughter Elizabeth and step-sons Jonathan and Joseph Wells. He is preceded in death by his parents, William J. N. and Helen Varnon Hammons, his maternal grandparents John T. and Lillie Collins Varnon and paternal grandparents James H. and Ida Loula Jones Hammons, his beloved wife Lisabeth Lind Millard Hammons, his youngest son Stokely McCaga Hammons, his brother William Newton Hammons, Jr. and his sister Barbara Stella Hammons.
It is said that a life has been a success if he enjoyed a single life-long friendship. Gene has four who have agreed to be his honorary pallbearers: Arthur Baird, Richard Bass, Richard Coselli and Don G. Powell.
Visitation will be held at Memorial Oaks Chapel from 4:00- 7:00 pm on Thursday, January 6th. Funeral services will be held by Memorial Oaks Chapel at the First Baptist Church, 304 N Market Street on Friday, January 7th at 2:00 pm, with graveside service at Prairie Lea Cemetery. A reception will follow at Blue Creek Ranch, 11299 Palestine Road.
Gene requested that in lieu of flowers, donations would be appreciated for: The Eugene C. Hammons Founders Fund Endowment c/o Beth Kungel-Borck, Director of Affiliated Alumni Associations at U of H Alumni Association, 3204 Cullen Blvd., Room 201, Houston, Texas 77204-6000 or firstname.lastname@example.org; The University of Houston Foundation – Moores School of Music, 3700 Cullen Blvd. Rm E128, Houston, Texas 77204-4039; First Baptist Church, Brenham; Brenham Children’s Chorus, and Hospice Brazos Valley.
Funeral arrangements are entrusted to Memorial Oaks Chapel, 1306 West Main Street, Brenham, TX 77833.