Dr. Jean Hamm
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Obituary of Dr. Jean Hamm

RURAL RETREAT, VIRGINIA

Dr. Jean Shepherd Hamm, 67, passed away on Saturday, April 22, 2017, after a courageous battle against pancreatic cancer.

She was born on August 20, 1949, in Whitetop, Virginia, to the late Billie Ray and Geneva Blevins Shepherd. After graduating from Marion Senior High in 1967, Jean received her bachelors and masters from Radford University and her Doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction from Virginia Tech. Prior to retirement, she spent over 40 years in the teaching profession; 31 of the 40 at Chilhowie High which included teaching generations of students. She was also a professor at Radford University and ETSU. She was selected as Smyth County Teacher of Year in 2003.

Jean had a vision and spirit that radiated the classroom when she taught. This same vision was the encouragement she needed to become founder and Board Chair of Konnarock Retreat House; located in Troutdale, Virginia. Her additional accomplishments included publishing numerous books and articles which will allow her legacy to continue for years to come.

Her memberships included: P.E.O. International; Alpha Delta Kappa; the Rural Retreat Literary Society; and the CHEDs (Chicks in Higher Education). Jean was also a long-time member of Grace Lutheran Church in Rural Retreat, Virginia; serving as Youth Leader and Council Member as well as playing in the bell choir.

She was an avid reader, skilled knitter, great cook, lover of flowers, and collector of teapots. Jean was an instigator and the perfect accessorizer. She made every birthday and holiday special and took care of all she loved. Most of all, Jean was a beloved wife, mother, Gigi, and sister and will certainly be missed.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her son, Jonah Hamm. 

Remaining to cherish her memory include her husband of 49 years, Robert (Bob) Dale Hamm of Rural Retreat, Virginia; daughters, Dr. K. Joy Hamm and significant other, Kevin Keating, of Savannah, Georgia, and Courtney Hamm and significant other, Jarrett Glass, of Raleigh, NC; “bonus” grandson, Samuel Keating; brothers, Robert Shepherd (Sue) of Patalaskala, Ohio, William Shepherd (Trish) of Rural Retreat, Virginia, and James Shepherd (Nancy) of Richmond, Virginia; sister-in-law, Wilma Russell (Bruce) of Marion, Virginia; nephews, Brian Shepherd and Mathew Shepherd (Erin); nieces, Mary Lauren Shepherd and Emillee Russell; greatS niece, Lily Shepherd; aunts, Jettie Yates and Lola Faircloth; uncle, Grayson Blevins; and special cousin, Carole Greer; along with numerous others.

Funeral Services will be held on Thursday, April 27, 2017, at 1:30 p.m. at Grace Lutheran Church in Rural Retreat, Virginia, with Pastor Jonathan Hamman officiating. Burial will follow in Wassum Cemetery in Atkins, Virginia. The family will receive friends on Wednesday, April 26, 2012, from 6 until 8 p.m. at Seaver-Brown Chapel, Marion.

Flowers will be appreciated or donations may be made to Konnarock Retreat House, P.O. Box 2, Troutdale, Virginia 24378.

Expressions of sympathy may be made to the family at www.seaverbrown.com. Seaver-Brown Funeral Service and Crematory is honored to serve the Hamm Family.