Mary Ellen Hamm spotlight
Would you believe that one of the nicest ladies in the Heathrow Women’s Club used to be a probation officer? That was one of the most surprising things I learned about Mary Ellen Hamm. She served as a probationary officer for the Juvenile Courts in Mobile, Alabama,right out of college, having majored in sociology. While working primarily with young girls, she was also involved with battered women and adoptions. This was her job until her first child was born when she became a full time mother.
Ever the gracious hostess, Mary Ellen offered tea and Christmas cookies while talking about her family of two grown children and three grandchildren, who live in this area and Palm Beach. They were what brought the Hamms senior to Florida, after traveling about the country with Victor’s job. The couple met on a blind date. They variously lived in Pasadena, California; Towson, Maryland; Philadelphia; and finally for the longest period in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
While volunteering has been a major activity throughout her life, she was particularly involved with St. Luke’s Hospital in Bethlehem in various capacities, including serving on the Board. She also greatly enjoyed her work with Meals on Wheels in that city.
She has lived in Florida for ten years now and has served on several committees with the Women’s Club. She is very active in her church and with PEO, an educational and charitable organization that provides loans, grants, and scholarships to women in need. She is also going through a second eight year round with Bible Study Fellowship, and says that she is still learning things. She loves to cook and, even after 51 years of marriage, Victor says he never gets the same meal twice, unless he specifically requests it. If she gets a request, she keeps a file of what dish he liked and when it was served and where to find the recipe among her library of hundreds of cook books.
One of her great pleasures is reading mysteries and inspirational stories, seated in her home with its lovely Oriental décor, much of it either inherited from her mother-in-law or acquired during Victor’s trips to the Far East. She says she’s slowed down since the illnesses of last year and is thankful each day for the marvelous ladies she knows and her wonderful family.