Noel Hammatt
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Three months after a glioblastoma IV diagnosis, Noel Francis Hammatt of Baton Rouge breathed his last breath among family and loved ones at the Baton Rouge Hospice Butterfly Wing on October 16, 2020. He spent his last months embracing life to the fullest: cutting down trees, spending time at the beach, visiting swamps, and setting up camp on the front porch with family and friends while telling stories to anyone who would listen -- or not. He will be greatly missed by his wife, Terri Buchholz Hammatt, his two children, Jennie Hammatt (husband Andre Mueller) and James Hammatt (partner Sally Robichaux). brothers Hank Hammatt (Susan Mikota) and Bruce Hammatt (Joy), three sisters, Nancy Shaw, Anita Haywood (Richard), and Mary George Blady (Howard) and a host of other relatives, neighbors, and friends. Son of James Hammatt and Eileen Cotton Hammatt and born on December 2, 1957, Noel grew up at Mount Hope on Highland Road. He graduated from Robert E. Lee High School in 1975. He immediately joined the US Army and became the youngest watercraft operator of class B and C vessels which he ran through the Panama Canal from 1975-1977. In 1978 he trained at Fort Belvoir, VA, to become a cartographer and later a terrain analyst to serve as a Staff Sergeant in Schwetzingen, Germany, from 1978-81. Noel met his wife Terri at a youth hostel in Interlaken, Switzerland, and they were married in 1980. From 1981-84, Noel worked for Boston University Overseas Programs and completed studies with support from the GI Bill, receiving his B.A. in Business Administration with a minor in Political Science from the University of Maryland. Upon returning to Baton Rouge in 1984 for the birth of his daughter, Jennie, Noel began teaching Social Studies at Kenilworth Middle School when he began working on his M.A. and Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction at Louisiana State University. His son, James, was born in 1986 during this time. From 1992-2011, Noel taught multiple courses in the LSU College of Education. Following in his father's footsteps, Noel could often be seen around south Baton Rouge cutting and trimming trees from his early childhood days until taking down his last trees just a couple weeks ago. Noel was elected to the East Baton Rouge Parish School Board in 1994 and served through 2010. During this time, Noel was a leader in ending the longtime desegregation lawsuit filed against East Baton Rouge Parish in 1956. During this time, Noel was President of the Louisiana School Boards Association, a member of the National School Board Association, active in the Council of Urban Boards of Education, and in the national Network for Public Education. His insights and research of the detrimental effects of privatization of education were key elements in his passionate struggle for quality education, equity, and opportunity for all. In 2010 Noel joined the Kiwanis Club of Baton Rouge (Downtown). He served on the Board of Directors, was president of the club and Lieutenant Governor of Division 8W, LaMissTenn District. His pride and joy was in the book project he created entitled Reinforcing the Rewards of Reading to Build a Better Baton Rouge (3Rs for 3BR). This project received recognition from the Volunteers in Public Schools in May 2019. Another favorite Kiwanis project of Noel's was clearing a tributary at Tickfaw State Park so that the children of the McMain's Children's Development Center could experience canoe rides in the park. Noel's most recent projects include an Arnaudville Bench Challenge for weary walkers and the Arnaudville Book Challenge (ABC) to support reading among the community's pre-school children. Noel's love for boating and adventure were evident early on. By the age of 16, he had already pirogued solo up the Mississippi River to Natchez and down the River to Slidell. Whether sailing on Lake Pontchartrain with family or weathering the seas on the Tall Ship Bounty where he mentored middle school students learning to sail, the water brought such joy to his life and others' as well. Noel's ashes will be dispersed in Lake Pontchartain and in Arnaudville along the Bayou Teche. If you would like to honor Noel's memory, please consider donating to the Equal Justice Initiative @ www.eji.org. Due to COVID, a small private celebration of life will take place soon. We love you, Noel.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in The Advocate from Oct. 17 to Oct. 18, 2020.
Memories & Condolences
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33 entries
October 19, 2020
I met Noel in 1994 at LSU. I’m so sorry to hear of his passing. My deepest condolences to his family.
Renee Lastrapes
Student
October 19, 2020
Sail on, Captain, my captain, and thanks for the ride. You were taken too soon from my side. But I’ll see your grin again, on the shore of forevermore. Leo
Leo Honeycutt
Friend
October 19, 2020
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Anne Hindrichs
October 19, 2020
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Albert Hindrichs
October 19, 2020
I am so sorry to hear this news. I was in graduate school with Noel at LSU and worked with him during our common time in the EBR school system. He was bright, talented and caring, and I appreciated his input in our work. Sending my love to Terri and the family.
Jennifer Baird
Friend
October 19, 2020
In loving memory of a wonderful person. We will love you and miss you always.
Elaine Pounds Thomas
Acquaintance
October 19, 2020
I never met anyone more enthusiastic than Noel, from our days at Goodwood Elementary, through all the years following. Yes, he’s having a new adventure. Terri, you are all in my thoughts.
Claire Weaver
Friend
October 19, 2020
I sailed with Noel on the Tallship Bounty in 2003 as his cadet. Sorry to see that he has passed. He was too young.
Mitchell Bandklayder
Student
October 19, 2020
Noel was an amazing man and a wonderful friend. He will be greatly missed!
Shelley Brignac
Friend
October 19, 2020
Noel was an idealist who actively lived by his principles to create a better world and life for one and all. The world needs more Noels. It is sad that his life was cut short. Love and blessings to his family... he will be sorely missed.
Stephen Langley
Friend
October 19, 2020
I met Noel while working on the 'Save Our Schools' initiative in 2011. He was *passionate* about public schools and a good education for all kids. For that, he will have my lifelong gratitude and admiration. Condolences to his family--as I'm sure you know, he had widespread influence and impact. A life well-lived.
Nancy Flanagan
Friend
October 19, 2020
Noel was a true advocate for our most important public service - public education. He didn't back down from his convictions.........I'm proud to have met him.
Ray Sanders
October 19, 2020
Noel was an ardent supporter of giving education control back to parents & getting the feds out of it.
I will miss his comments & actions.
May he enjoy his renewal in Heaven & Godspeed to those who are among us.
Lynne M Taylor
Acquaintance
October 18, 2020
Rest in peace, Mr. Hammatt.
Nichele
Teacher
October 18, 2020
Bruce & Joy,
So sorry about Noel’s passing. He was a warm and caring soul.
Scott Gaudin
Acquaintance
October 18, 2020
Anita, Bruce & Joy, and all of the Hammatt family: I am so sorry for your loss. Noel has given greatly to our nation and this city and I know he will be missed by all who knew him. May the God of all comfort, comfort you in your grief and keep etched in your memories all the sweet memories of his life. With sympathy, Pati Cragin Rudisel
Pati Cragin Rudisel
Friend
October 18, 2020
As the days and weeks pass, and as you return to life's routine, may you continue to feel comforted by the love and support of family and friends. Again, sorry for your loss.

Mary and Chris Johns
Mary Johns
Friend
October 18, 2020
As the days and weeks pass, and as you return to life's routine, may you continue to feel comforted by the love and support of family and friends.
Irene W Sanders
October 18, 2020
Terri, I am so sorry for your loss. There are no words that make it easier, but know that his spirit will live on throughout Baton Rouge.

Paula (old neighbor)
Paula M Nardin
Friend
October 18, 2020
Dear Twerpie & all of your family,
I’m so sorry for the loss of your dear brother Noel. I pray that fond memories will be of some comfort during this time of grief. Noel seems to have made his mark in the world & though gone, will not easily be forgotten.
Eva Harrison Hart
Friend
October 18, 2020
Thinking of all Noel’s family during this time of grief. I pray that your fond memories of him will bring you some comfort. Noel seems to have made his mark in the world & though gone, will not be easily forgotten.
Eva Harrison Hart
Friend
October 18, 2020
May the love of friends and family carry you through your grief.
Barbara Law Nichols
Classmate
October 18, 2020
Group of 10 Memorial Trees
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Sara Heins
October 18, 2020
He sounds like a wonderful, wonderful person.

Nancy McLean
Acquaintance
October 17, 2020
To Anita Haywood and family. i am so sorry to hear of your brother Noel's passing. Condolences from our family: Mary, Emily and Randy Zwez.
mary zwez
Friend
October 17, 2020
Terri and family, I have fond memories of your husband and father. Her was a great man whohad high hopes on improving our community. He had a great smile and a big heart. I'm glad you have a lot of memories of your time together with him. Keep those memories alive in your heart always. Terri, my prayers are for you. You are special and Noel knew it yo the end. I love you and yours. God Bless
Sharon Nason
Sharon Nason
Friend
October 17, 2020
Our thoughts and prayers are with you all. Love, Jill & Ken Davis
Jill Davis
Friend
October 17, 2020
Thank you Noel, for your steadfast love and commitment to EBR Student body and the fight for justice... You will be truly missed...

Anita Williams
Anita Williams
Friend
October 17, 2020
What a fine life of accomplishment, adventure, compassion and commitment to community. Rest in peace, Noel. Sincere and deep condolences to you Terri and your family. Jane Chandler
Jane Chandler
Friend
October 17, 2020
May your hearts soon be filled with wonderful memories of joyful times together as you celebrate a life well lived.
Fabienne Sizemore
Friend
October 17, 2020
Our thoughts and prayers are with Noel’s family. He was a wonderful man. Stephanie and Steve Triche
Stephanie Triche
Friend
October 17, 2020
My thoughts and prayers for Teri and family. Noel was a beloved humanitarian and outstanding educator who made a difference for future generations. We will all miss him. Rest In Peace, Noel!
Carol Peltier
Friend
October 17, 2020
May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.
Bryan Southwick
Acquaintance
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