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March 27, 1943 – Jan. 27, 2014

Richard C. Hammond, of Amherst, who formerly owned Arlington Mortuary, died Monday at home. He was 70.

Mr. Hammond was born in Buffalo and graduated from Lafayette High School. He went on to graduate from the University of Minnesota, becoming one of the first funeral directors in New York State to earn a four-year degree in mortuary science.

After college, Mr. Hammond served as a staff sergeant in the U.S. Air Force during the Vietnam War.

Upon being discharged, Mr. Hammond returned to Buffalo and continued his work at Arlington Mortuary, a funeral service that had been founded by his father. His business provided funeral services to more than 135 local funeral homes.

During his career, Mr. Hammond was a leader in the funeral industry, which included becoming the director of operations for a national burial vault company serving Western New York and western Pennsylvania.

He also enjoyed serving as a mentor to a number of younger funeral directors. He retired in 2006.

For many years, Mr. Hammond owned one of the largest private collections of Lionel Trains. During the 1990s, he and his wife, Gail, were avid tennis players.

In addition, he enjoyed his weekly get-together at Adam’s Rib restaurant with an eclectic group of friends who vigorously debated issues involving sports, politics and Western New York current events.

In addition to his wife of 43 years, he is survived by a son, Jeffrey W.; a daughter, Stacy L. Cannamela; and two granddaughters.

Services will be at 10 a.m. Friday in Perna, Dengler, Roberts Funeral Home, 1671 Maple Road, Amherst.