Walter Clarke Hammond of Leesport, PA, died unexpectedly on Nov. 18, 2021. Clarke was the loving husband of 28 years to Dawn M. (Rotter) Hammond and beloved father to Olivia Marie Hammond and John (Jake) Clarke Hammond II. 

Clarke was born on Oct. 4, 1967 in Wilmington to Linda A. and John R. Hammond. He grew up in Delaware and loved his summers at Dewey Beach. He attended The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY and upon graduation, relocated to Reading, PA where he met his wife. He worked as a Culinary Arts Instructor at Berks Career & Technology Center (BCTC), Leesport, PA, since 2003. He loved his students and enjoyed seeing them blossom and loving the craft as much as he did. 

Clarke was known and loved by many and served in various roles over the years. He was a coach for the Schuylkill Valley Flag through Youth Football programs and loved watching his son and teammates play football. He also volunteered in several roles for the Schuylkill Valley Youth Swimming program, where he enjoyed watching and cheering on his children. Clarke also served as the Northeast Secondary Education Commissioner for the American Culinary Federation Education Foundation, and recently earned his prestigious certification as a Certified Culinary Educator (CCE) from the ACFEF for which he was extremely proud.

Clarke loved his family above all and cherished time with his children. Over the years the family enjoyed camping with friends, vacations in Jamaica or simply having a quiet night watching movies or playing games with the family. Being the chef that he was, Clarke loved to entertain and cook for family and friends and was known to go ‘over the top’ with all that he did. Clarke was known for his practical jokes and loved to have fun. He would never pass up an opportunity to pull a prank on someone and was the life of the party. Everyone loved him for his sense of humor, beautiful smile and contagious laugh.

Clarke was preceded in death by: his paternal grandparents, Dr. John C. and Charlotte Hammond; maternal grandparents Sever L. Hopperstead and Marjorie (Hopperstead) Hoch; father noted above; Uncle Richard I. and Aunt Katherine (Hammond) Lewis; and cousins Daniel Lee Short, Nicky D. Lamaster and Jeff Blanchard.

In addition to Clarke’s wife and children, he is survived by his mother, Linda (Hopperstead) Hammond, Leesport, Pa.; sister Amy and husband E. D. Lamaster, Bridgeville; brother John (Jay) Hammond, Felton; mother-in-law, Diana Blade, Coopersburg, Pa.; father-in-law, Paul Rotter and wife Debbie, Port Charlotte, Fla.; and brother-in-law Paul Rotter and wife Lesle, Douglassville, Pa., as well as lots of aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews and friends that loved and cherished him dearly. He will be deeply missed by all that knew him.

A memorial service will be held on Sunday, Dec. 5 at the DoubleTree Hotel, 701 Penn Street, Reading, PA. A parking garage is adjacent to the hotel and parking is free with ticket validation provided in the hotel. Visitors are welcome between 1 – 4 p.m. Dress code will be casual and light refreshments will be provided. We welcome anyone that would like to stop by and celebrate this beautiful soul who touched so many lives. 

In lieu of flowers, a scholarship fund is being established for BCTC Culinary Arts students that plan to attend his alma mater, The Culinary Institute of America. Checks may be made payable to BCTC with a notation on memo line, Hammond Scholarship Fund, and mailed to Judy Ulrich, c/o Business Office, Berks Career &  Technology Center, 1057 County Welfare Road, Leesport, PA 19533. We will also have a collection box at the memorial service.