December 21, 1922 ~ August 22, 2018
Sister Claudine Hammer, OP died peacefully at the Dominican Sisters Motherhouse in Fremont, CA on the morning of August 22, 2018. She was born Shirley Jean Hammer on December 21, 1922, in Prosus Washington to George Harve and Ellen Larkin Hammer. Sister had two sisters, Florence Hibbard and Nell McMahon and a brother, George all of whom are deceased. During her childhood the family moved to California. Shirley graduated from St. Elizabeth’s High School in Oakland and entered the Dominican Sisters of Mission San Jose in 1940.
Sister Claudine ministered in elementary schools as teacher and principal between 1945 and 1959 and in secondary schools from 1959 to 2007. Her particular love was special education, especially with at risk youth. She taught for the Benicia Unified School District from 1970 to 1974 and in 1974 helped found the La Cheim School for children and youth unable to flourish within a traditional school system. There she served as instructor and administrator for 22 years. She firmly believed that every child is capable of learning, when granted respect, love, security and attention to individual needs. In 1997 Sister returned to her alma mater, St. Elizabeth’s High School, as special needs coordinator/resource teacher and bookkeeper.
At 85 years of age Sister Claudine retired to the Motherhouse where she worked part time as Queen of the Holy Rosary Library assistant and spent extensive time studying theology, scripture, the evolution of the cosmos and numerous other fields that peaked her interest. Sister was a life-long learner and loved sharing and discussing books both academic and entertaining.
A Vigil service and Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated in the Dominican Sisters’ Motherhouse Chapel on August 30, 2018 at 3 pm and 4:45 pm respectively. Memorial contributions may be sent to Vision of Hope, the Dominican Sisters’ Foundation for the support of inner city schools, at 1555 34th Ave, Oakland, CA 94601.