Robbie Aline Henderson Hammond died at her home in Abilene, TX on 2/5/2022 at the age of 97 years old. A graveside service will be held on Saturday, February 12, 2022, at the Burnet City Cemetery at 10:00 AM with Martin Riley officiating. She will be buried next to her husband, Rev WB Hammond.
Robbie is survived by her daughter Linda Ann Hammond Lindley and her husband William 'Bill' of Abilene, TX; her adopted sons Thornton Chisom and his wife Audrey of Senatobia, MS and their children and grandchildren; and Richard Hollie of Waco, TX; her granddaughter Robbie Lynn Jacobson Johnson and her husband Jeff of Abilene, TX; great granddaughter Hadley Christine Vlahos and her husband Chris of Biloxi MS; great grandson Alex Masters of Abilene TX; great grandson Stewart Bradley Johnson and his wife Rhiannon of Abilene, TX; great great grandson Brody Kimmons of Biloxi MS and great great granddaughter Callie Vlahos of Biloxi MS; her brother, Don Henderson of Galveston, TX. She is preceded in death by her husband, Rev WB Hammond.
Robbie was born in Bell County TX on 2/22/1924 to Lyle and Lillie Henderson. She was one of six children. Growing up she played in her family band at barn dances which gave her, her start in music. After high school she met WB Hammond and they married once he returned from serving the Navy in Pearl Harbor. Robbie and WB went to work for the Inks Lake State School in Burnet, TX. The school moved to Mexia in 1946. The state of Texas had Robbie and WB bring the first residents by bus to the new Mexia State School, and that is also where they made their new home with their daughter Linda.
Before her known life and career as the Mexia State School Music Therapist and Choir Director, she served the school in the Recreation and Dental Departments. Together, she and Bro Hammond, formed the musical group the Sunshine Singers to teach those with intellectual disabilities how to play musical instruments and sing, as well as to raise money to build a chapel at the Mexia State School. The Sunshine Singers were composed only of residents of the Mexia State School, and they traveled the United States and Mexico weekly in a bus they bought with S&H Green Stamps. Their granddaughter Robbie Lynn traveled with them for many years. They performed at Disney World on the steps of Magic Kingdom with Mickey Mouse and Pluto, for President Ford in the East Room of the White House, for President Carter and Mrs Carter in Atlanta at Georgia's Capital, for the President of Mexico, the opening group for the Special Olympics, as well as the World's Fair in Washington. The Sunshine Singers traveled for 15 years and made five nationally recorded albums. After 32 years of work for the State of Texas and the Mexia State School, they both retired. It was not long after that Paul Baddour of the Baddour Center in Senatobia, MS talked them in to relocating. The Baddour Center was a home environment where people with intellectual disabilities could lead a life of hope and dignity. Paul asked that they just give him 2 years of their time and in that asked them to form a musical group like the Sunshine Singers. The Miracles of the Baddour Center was formed, and they are still performing today, 44 years later. WB and Robbie returned to Texas and made their home with their family in Burnet, TX. Retirement was not in her vocabulary. She went to work as an LVN in the local hospital ICU and also worked in home health. In her 70s she taught aerobics at the Senior Center and was a volunteer for Meals on Wheels. She spent many weeks and years in Baton Rouge helping Robbie Lynn with her three children. She helped to raise her great grandchildren and taught them much about life. In her 80s she finally officially retired from working and had a blast playing dominoes, dancing, and having fun with girlfriends. In her 90s she decided she wanted to live in an assisted living private apartment. Her daughter, Linda, took care of her daily for 8 years.
To describe her before anything she loved the Lord Jesus Christ and lived through His word. Her world revolved around Linda, Robbie Lynn and her great grandchildren. She loved her family fiercely. She did not see race, color, intelligence, or disabilities ever. If you wanted her to love you and help you unconditionally, she did. She believed anyone could achieve their goals and allowed no excuses for not. She would tell the students at the school, walk beside me and I'll protect you. She was her family's and everyone's biggest supporter, cheerleader, keeper of secrets, voice of reason, protector, a mentor to many, and a hand of help to all who asked her. So many of her students attribute who they became being due to Robbie, including her daughter and granddaughter. She loved to play the piano and guitar and loved to sing. She was the best dominoes player on earth.
Along with Linda and Bill at her side daily with care, so was her great grandson Alex Masters as often as possible. Robbie Lynn, Hadley, Stewart, and Rhiannon always ready to assist as needed. We would like to recognize and thank those who also helped with her care including Marondo Assistance Living, Generations Home Health, Encompass Hospice and Polly Caperton.
It is not goodbye, but rather we look forward to seeing you again in heaven. We will continue to aspire to lead the life you led and how you positively touched the lives of everyone you met. We love you Mimi!