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home : obituaries : obituaries April 29, 2016

8/6/2013 1:05:00 PM
John Earl Hammack May 6, 1955 - August 1, 2013

John was born and raised in Sisters.

He was considered to be one of the best bareback riders in the Pacific Northwest. He won the All-Around at Sisters Rodeo in 1974, 1977, 1980 and 1984. He was a very successful bareback rider and bulldogger and won rodeos all over the country, including the Champion Bareback Riding title at "The World's Toughest Rodeo" at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

He made his living rodeoing and logging. He loved the outdoors. He was a hardworking man and always took the time to teach and to ensure that he and his partners were safe while logging in the woods.

He was a man of his word and reverently respected. He was also a man of God, and his religion and spirituality guided him in this life. Believing was not enough for John; he had to act on his strong beliefs and "do."

He raised his children in Sisters and they followed in his footsteps, both becoming rodeo professionals themselves: his son, Johnny, a saddle bronc rider, and his daughter, Kelli Jo, a barrel racer. All of his grandchildren are also continuing his legacy in the sport of rodeo.

"Big" John was larger and tougher than life, and his dreams easily became reality. John and his wife, Maura, built their ranch from the ground up, sawing every board in their mill and implementing solar power so that it was completely self-sufficient. Late in life, John got his greatest joy from helping kids and coaching them in the sport of rodeo and horsemanship, passing on his wisdom and experience to his children, grandchildren and countless others that came into his life.

He is preceded in death by his father, Million Wesley Hammack; brothers Dick and Lye Hammack; and younger sister Becky Hammack. He is survived by his mother, Dona Hammack; his wife, Maura Hammack; son, John Tyler Hammack; daughter, Kelli Jo Hammack; grandchildren, Tail, Titer, T.C., Tailor and Hazy; brothers, Jack and Jim; sisters, Patty and Denise; and numerous nieces and nephews.

There will be a celebration of life on Tuesday, August 13 at 3 p.m. In order to accommodate those anticipated to attend, the original venue has been changed to a building at the Deschutes County Fairgrounds in Redmond. There will be a potluck dinner for all.

In lieu of flowers, there is a John Hammack Memorial Fund set up at Wells Fargo Bank.

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