A native of Olds, a farming community in Central Alberta, Canada, Garnet (pronounced like the birthstone) Hammer attended Olds High School where he was a member of the Spartans hockey team. He also played baseball during Alberta’s short summer season.
The Hammer family has farmed in the area since 1900 so, naturally, Garnet and his two brothers were heavily involved in helping their father in the family business. The Hammers’ farm extended over 3,500 acres where they grew wheat, barley, canola, and other grains, and it included a feedlot that could accommodate 5,000 head of cattle. They bought calves, fed, and raised them and then sold them to meat production houses throughout Alberta and into Utah.
Garnet attended the University of Calgary where he took engineering courses, but after a year, he decided to return to the family farm. Over time, Garnet’s dad (also named Garnet) retired, and the farm was divided among the sons. Garnet would work in farming for 38 years, retiring in 2016. Although a farmer’s work is never done and the work is hard, Garnet thoroughly enjoyed his career choice. After “retiring,” he rented his farm to his brother, but he didn’t completely retire. He was hired by Olds College of Agriculture & Technology as their farm manager where his many years of experience helped teach a new generation of farmers. After three years at the college, he really retired, although he does still help his brother with the combining and harvesting in the fall.
Garnet met his lovely wife Cindy at Olds College in the mid-1980s. They married in 1987 and have two sons and a daughter. The siblings all live within “visiting distance” in Alberta. And their first granddaughter Sloane was born last November.
It was natural that Garnet and Cindy would make their winter home in the Sun Lakes area, since his late father had wintered here and a brother has a winter home in nearby Johnson Ranch. The Hammers became official Sun Lakes “snowbirds” last year when they bought a place in the Villas in Oakwood.
Hockey has always been a big part of Garnet’s life, as a fan, player, youth league coach, and referee. He played senior “no hit” hockey until a couple of years ago and began refereeing 10 years ago, sometimes doing as many as six games per week. Another major interest is collecting Iron Man comic books. In Sun Lakes, he’s enjoying a multitude of activities, including senior softball, pickleball, golf, and playing poker at Wild Horse Pass Casino. In fact, he says that he’s engaged in one of these activities nearly every day. In his first year playing in our league, he batted nearly .600, played great defense, and was named the Lakes Division Rookie of the Year.
The Hammers enjoy traveling and have visited Mexico, Hawaii, the Dominican Republic, and many major U.S. cities. This year they have planned a nearly month-long trip to Italy. As you can see, they’re sure enjoying the “good life”!