Wade H. Hammond 3d, 81, of Bryn Mawr, a former Philadelphia police officer who became a teacher in the Philadelphia public schools in order to help children, died Feb. 19 at Lankenau Medical Center of complications from a stroke.
Born in Lillibrook, W.Va., he was the son of Wade H. Hammond Jr. and Fairmene Dorsey Hammond.
He moved with his family to Philadelphia and graduated from Bok Technical School, then joined the Air Force in 1955. He was honorably discharged after a four-year tour of duty.
In 1960, Mr. Hammond became a patrolman for the Philadelphia Police Department. Even at this early stage of his career, he was interested in helping children, so he transferred to the police department's Juvenile Aid Division in 1965. He retired from the division in 1973 after receiving awards and commendations for effective police work.
Mr. Hammond was a firm believer in self-development. In 1972, he earned a bachelor of science degree in industrial arts from what is now Cheyney University of Pennsylvania.
With college diploma in hand, Mr. Hammond became an industrial arts teacher, tennis coach, and mentor. At various times, he was assigned to Strawberry Mansion Junior/Senior High School, Lincoln High School, and Wagner Middle School.
"Teaching was a job Wade truly enjoyed," his family wrote in a remembrance. "His leadership style served as a positive example for the students and faculty alike."
"You may have done something he didn't like, but he didn't take your head off," said his wife, Virginia Wyne Hammond. "He was quiet and consistent and supportive."
Outside the classroom, Mr. Hammond was a Boy Scout leader and tennis coach. "He was quick to smile and to offer up a comment to make you smile," his family said.
He and his wife were married for 56 years. The couple reared two sons in Bryn Mawr.
He was a member of Zion Baptist Church of Ardmore, where he served on the Men's Usher Board and supported the Unity Day Ministry, which plans the annual celebration of the church's 1894 founding.
Mr. Hammond was a founding member of the Parkside Tennis Association – the group's home court was in Parkside -- and he held various leadership positions with the group. He also was active with the Rho Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. and the George Cornish VFW post in Fairmount.
He enjoyed hosting and attending social gatherings. "He was a friend's friend: loyal, kind, accepting, and available," his family wrote.
Besides his wife, Mr. Hammond is survived by sons Christopher and Gary; a sister; a brother; and many nieces and nephews. Four other brothers died earlier.
A viewing starting at 9 a.m. Monday, Feb. 27, will be followed by an 11 a.m. funeral service at Zion Baptist Church, 219 W. Spring Ave., Ardmore. Burial is at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 28, in Washington Crossing National Cemetery, Newtown.