In Honor of Thomas J. Hammer, Jr.by Representative Doris O. Matsui
Posted on 2015-01-07
in the house of representatives
Wednesday, January 7, 2015
Ms. MATSUI. Mr. Speaker, it is with sadness that I rise in honor of
Thomas J. Hammer, Jr. who passed away at the beginning of December in
Sacramento. With Tom's passing, our country has lost a true leader,
philanthropist and family man who has left an indelible mark on the
Sacramento region, our state, and our nation.
Tom's life is an American success story. Born in 1932 in Birmingham, Alabama, he and his family moved to Sacramento when he was 12. A graduate of McClatchy High School, Tom went on to earn a bachelor's degree and a law degree from the University of California, Berkeley. He also spent two years as an Army counterintelligence officer. Tom married Phyllis MacAulay, and they raised four remarkable daughters, Dayna Joonas, Noel Richardson, Katie Brown and Tanis McGregor. Phyllis and Tom have twelve grandchildren and one step-child.
Almost 50 years ago, Tom and his brother-in-law, Gordon T. MacAulay, purchased Shasta Linen Supply in Sacramento. For the first twenty-five years of operating the company, Tom also practiced law. Over the years, Shasta Linen Supply has grown to be a leading supplier of linens and uniforms for restaurants and medical institutions, and importantly it has always remained a family run business.
Beyond his successful business endeavors, Tom's philanthropic efforts were immense. Bob and I had the pleasure of serving with him in a number of capacities and he also held leadership positions with the Downtown Rotary Club of Sacramento, Mercy Foundation, Teichert Foundation, and the Sacramento-Yolo Port District, among many other organizations. Tom was also fascinated by, and loved, California's rich cultural history and the majestic beauty that defines our state. In order to preserve our state's history, he was active in the California Historical Society, the Sacramento Trust for Historic Preservation and the Sacramento History Museum, and the California Railroad Museum.
Mr. Speaker, I ask that my colleagues join me today in paying honor to Thomas J. Hammer, Jr. for his exemplary service to those of us in Sacramento and across the nation. His life and legacy--as a husband, father, friend, leader and philanthropist--is an inspiration to us all. I ask that we take a moment and extend our utmost respect and condolences to his family.