Erah Maxine Hartzog Hamm of Tiger, Georgia died on March 18, 2020 at Traces of Tiger Care Center after a courageous twenty year battle with dementia. First diagnosed in 2001, her approach to this was the same as her approach as an educator; to learn all she could, pass on her knowledge to help others, and make a difference in their lives.
Maxine was born in Texasville, Alabama on January 15, 1938 to Simon Timothy (ST) and Era Boyd Hartzog. Era died due to complications during childbirth on January 25, 1938. When her father, ST was called to serve in World War II, Maxine continued to live with her maternal grandparents, Bob and Evie Boyd. Her love for music was cultivated during this time at the Saint Peter (National Baptist Convention) Church located across the road from her grandfather’s store.
She remained in her grandparents’ care until the return of her father from Europe in 1943. Her father re-married on November 1, 1945 to Mary Lillie Horne and on July 11, 1947 they welcomed Maxine’s sister Mary Ann Hartzog into the world.
During her high school years at Bakerhill, she would accompany her father on the piano when he would sing at funerals. The rumor goes; he would drive up to the school and wave at her, and she would leave the classroom and jump into his pickup truck. After the funeral was over, he would simply take her back to school.
It was during her high school years that Jerome Hamm met her, telling his friends, “One day I am going to marry THAT girl!” And indeed his prophecy came to fruition for they were married on June 9, 1956 at Adam’s Chapel Methodist Church outside of Clayton, Alabama.
Her love of music was a perfect fit as a “Preachers wife” as she quickly became the pianist for many churches Jerome served throughout his career. Theirs is, and was, a perfect match for the next 63 and half years. She became the mother of three children - Felicia, Hans and Liana. However, her love for children extended to countless others beyond her three. So much, in fact, that she decided to go back to school full-time in 1972-73 to West Georgia College and obtain her education degree.
A dedicated life-long early childhood educator, she always looked for the opportunity to pass on her learning and knowledge, faith and wisdom to others. It did not matter whether they were students, friends, neighbors or strangers everyone was graced with Maxine’s compassion.
Maxine is preceded in death by Era Boyd Hartzog (mother), Simon Timothy Hartzog (father), Mary Lillie Horne Hartzog (step mother)
She is survived by the following:
Husband – Clarence Jerome Hamm
Sister - Mary Ann Hartzog Britt (Richard)
Children & Spouse - Felicia & (Bruce) Partain, Hans & (Margaret) Hamm, Liana & (David) Smith.
Grandchildren & Spouse - Adria (Partain) & Kris Smallwood, Deirdre (Partain) & Chris Tiller, Donovan Partain, Kelsey Smith, Isaac Smith, Meg Tunno (Hamm), Julian & (Paula) Tunno (Hamm)
Great Grandchildren - Kele Smallwood, Caiden Partain, Cole Smallwood, Jonathan Kee, Ana-Margaret Kee, Leigh Tunno, Emily Tunno
The Celebration of Maxine’s life will be held at Nacoochee Presbyterian with The Reverend Robert Prim officiating on Tuesday, June 9, 2020.
In lieu of flowers please consider a gift to make a difference in someone else’s life to: The Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s Research Foundation, or Alzheimer’s Foundation of America in Maxine’s name. It will continue her legacy of determination, courage and compassion to help others and make a difference in their lives.