A Saturday funeral is planned for a former Pitt County commissioner who died last week.
The Rev. Davis S. Hammond Sr., who represented District 1 on the Pitt County Board of Commissioners for more than 19 years, died on Nov. 17, his family reported.
Hammond, 78, was first elected to the Board of Commissioners in 1998. He resigned in March 2017 to focus on his health. He suffered a stroke in 2010 but continued to serve, winning re-election in 2010 and 2014.
Hammond served as vice-chairman of the board in 2000 and chairman in 2001 and 2010.
“As county manager I had the privilege to work with Rev. Hammond in both his role as chairman of the board and as a commissioner,” Pitt County Manager Scott Elliott said. “With Mr. Hammond you always knew where you stood on issues because he was effective vocally in expressing his positions. The role of county commissioner was one that he took seriously in Pitt County as well as through his fellow county commissioner contacts statewide.”
During his tenure Hammond served on Pitt County Development Partnership, Sheppard Memorial Library Board of Trustees, Martin Community Action and Martin-Pitt Partnership for Children. He also was a member of the North Carolina Association of Black County Officials, a life member of the NAACP and Southern Christian Leadership Conference.
He started working at W.E. Flanagan Funeral Home and Cremation in 1957, when he was 15 years old, according to his daughter, Esther Hammond. The business was founded in 1921 by W.E. Flanagan.
Hammond started washing the vehicles and doing odd jobs and started working his way up through the business eventually becoming vice president, then president and taking ownership from 1999-2004, said his daughter, who is currently president of the business.
“Mr. Flanagan took a liking to him,” his daughter said. “He basically taught him to drive. Mr. Flanagan let him take a car to the prom.”
While working at the funeral home he attended Shaw University, Virginia Union School of Theology and East Carolina University. He entered the ministry in 1971.
Hammond was a profound minister of the gospel, said Pitt County Board of Commissioners Chairman Melvin McLawhorn.
“I’ve known him for the past 50 years plus. A great humanitarian, a great leader in the community, he was a person of good will who always kept you laughing,” McLawhorn said. “He was a very down-to-earth person and you always felt free to talk with him. He was a good human being. He is going to be missed.”
McLawhorn said he and Hammond served together for more than a dozen years.
“I think the community will miss him as well. He was very knowledgeable of the community he served.
“He was just a good, genuine man,” McLawhorn said.
Hammond’s funeral will be 11 a.m. Saturday at Mount Calvary Freewill Baptist Church. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the funeral service, along with a viewing prior to that service and a viewing and wake on Friday are by invitation only, according to his obituary.
All services will be livestream on W.E. Flanagan Memorial’s Facebook page and Mount Calvary Freewill Baptist Church Facebook page and YouTube channel.