Ada Mae Hampton Hammonds, 74, of Chattanooga, passed away on Tuesday, May 23, 2023, surrounded by her family.
She was born on October 3, 1948, in Hazel Green, Alabama. Ada was the third of eight children born to Walter B. and Odessa Hampton. Walter worked as a sharecropper and enlisted the help of his children to complete the work. It was arduous work, but Ada found it enjoyable because of the efforts of her father to make it a fun activity. She sometimes felt adventurous, such as the time she snuck and drank out of the “white’s only” water fountain while her town was still segregated, to which she remarked, “it tastes the same to me!” After declaring his love for her, Ada would marry Willie James Hammonds in 1965, and complete her high school studies at Councill Training School the following year. One of Willie James’ first gifts to her would be a record of “My Girl” by her favorite group at the time, the Temptations. The couple would move to Chattanooga, Tennessee and settled in the Shepherd neighborhood. They both would find employment at the McKee Foods Corporation, where Ada would work for eighteen years. During that time, they would welcome three children, Willie James Hammonds Jr., Tracie LaRae Hammonds, and Chad Everett Hammonds. In the 1970s, the couple would join the East 8th Street Seventh Day Adventist Church, which would later become the Orchard Park Seventh Day Adventist Church. She would serve faithfully as Sabbath School teacher, Sabbath School Superintendent, and even as Women’s Day keynote speaker. In 1981, while raising 3 children, working full time, and serving in church, she enrolled in the nursing program at Chattanooga State Technical Community College. She graduated in 1986 and began a 26 year career as a nurse at Erlanger Medical Center in Chattanooga, TN. She thoroughly enjoyed her time working as a nurse and often referred to it as her personal ministry. In the mid-1990s she began serving at the New Life Seventh Day Adventist Church where she held several positions. She was fully committed to loving and serving her church and family. She also loved nature. Her favorite hymn was “This is My Father’s World.” She participated in wilderness survival programs and enjoyed taking cruises to various destinations with her husband, sister, and other family members. She spent countless hours outdoors in her garden, enjoyed cooking, and giving away the food that she would harvest. She loved to exercise and enjoyed walking on the hills surrounding her home. Ada would post her yearly birthday video outdoors hoola-hooping the corresponding number to her age, always beginning with thanking God for however many years she had made. She shared the love of outdoors with her grandchildren and was fully committed to the role of “granny.” She spent quality time with her “grandbabies” every opportunity she could get. She was always on top of every birthday for each one, sending gifts in the mail and putting money in hand. She often jazzed up their greeting’s cards with her own added messages. Her grandchildren absolutely loved and adored her.
Ada was preceded in death by her father, Walter B. Hampton; mother, Odessa (Thomas) Hampton; sister, Freda Benton; sister-in-law, Mary Hampton.
Survivors include her husband, Willie James Hammonds, three children, Willie James “Fee” (Felicia) Hammonds Jr., Tracie LaRae Hammonds, and Chad (DaJuana “Dee Dee”) Hammonds; ten grandchildren, Nastasia “Star” Dangerfield, Alesha Nicole (Cordarius) Samples, Tia Renee Greer, Jonerica “Taye” Laster, Leslie Katelyn Hammonds, Chloe Elise Hammonds, Carter Ethan Hammonds, Ellington Renee Hammonds, Grant Evan Hammonds and Dawson Rose Hammonds, Sr.; four brothers, Walter Lee (Laverne) Hampton, Clarence (Evelyn) Hampton, Eddie Hampton, and Willie Hampton; two sisters, Mildred Tyous and Geraldine (Raymond) Andrews; and a host of nieces; nephews; other relatives and friends.
Ada will lie in state on Sunday, June 4, at 2 p.m. at New Life Seventh Day Adventist Church.
Funeral services will follow at 3 p.m. at the church.
Burial will be on Monday, June 5, at noon in Lakewood Memory Gardens, East.
Funeral arrangements are by Taylor Funeral Home of Chattanooga, Inc.