Colleagues remember Dr. Henry Hammack

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    Chancellor Victor Boschini has requested that the TCU flag be lowered to half-staff Friday, May 24, in honor of theatre professor Dr. Henry "Hank" Hammack, who died Sunday. 

    Hammack, Emeritus Professor of Theatre, died at the age of 84 at a care facility in Fort Worth, according to his obituary in the Star-Telegram.

    Theatre staff and faculty remembered Hammack for his sincerity and his ever-present involvement in TCU’s theatre department.

    “Dr. Hammack was a very genuine and kind man, a good soul, and he was a Renaissance man of the theatre. He was a scenic designer, he was a costume designer, he was a director, he was an actor, he was an administrator. It was always fun to be around him,” former student of Hammack and current TCU theatre chair Harry Parker said.

    Hammack was born in Kansas City, Kan., in 1928. He studied piano at Whitman College in Walla Walla, Wash. before serving in the United States Marine Corps as a Morse code radio operator during the Korean War.

    Upon his arrival back in the States, he earned his Bachelor’s degree in 1956 from the University of Washington School of Drama. Hammack would go on to earn a Master’s from the school in 1962 as well before earning his Ph.D. in theatre from Tulane University in 1967.

    Hammack taught at TCU for 37 years from 1957 until his retirement in 1994. He taught a variety of theatre courses for the university, including Introduction to Theatre, Stagecraft, Scene Design, Theatre Lighting, Stage Makeup, Wigmaking, History of Costume, Costume Pattern Drafting, Literature and Criticism, Theatre History, Stage Speech and Diction and all levels of acting classes, from beginning to advanced.

    Hammack designed scenery for more than 25 productions, designed and constructed costumes for more than 30, directed more than 70 and acted in some TCU productions as well, including On Golden Pond and Death of a Salesman.

    “He was always funny to work with,” theatre professor LaLonnie Lehman said. “He just took joy in teaching. The students that worked with him learned a lot just by being around him.”

    Hammack is survived by his wife of 23 years, Joyce Hammack; two sons from a prior marriage; a stepson and a stepdaughter; nine grandchildren and step-grandchildren; one step-great grandchild; one brother and one sister.

    His funeral is scheduled for Saturday, May 25 at 11 a.m. at University Christian Church in Fort Worth.