Louise and Sam Hammer
Louise and Sam Hammer (photo provided)

How do you judge the impact someone has made in the lives of others?

I’m sure there are many ways and one of them might be the number of people who show up to pay their final respects when that person has passed away. Not because they have to but rather because they want to.  If indeed that is the case than Louise Hammer made quite an impact as evidenced by the long line outside the Timothy E. Ryan Home for Funerals in Lavallette Sunday.


Cancer claimed another victim Friday when Louise passed away at home, surrounded by her family and friends at the age of 72.  She and her husband Sam have owned and operated the popular Crab’s Claw Inn for nearly 40 years, just a block away from the funeral home in which hundreds of mourners said their final goodbyes.

I’ve known them both for nearly as long, a relationship that began through business and developed into a friendship that my family and I value very much. Both my children worked for the Hammer’s through high school and college and I’ve always thought of them as a single entity: Sam and Louise, Louise and Sam.

They were just a few months shy of their 50th wedding anniversary and while proud of the business they built are even more proud of the family that surrounds them…daughter Shannon (Craig), son Sam (Nicole), and three precious granddaughters…Marley, Lucy & Penelope.


The Facebook posts and tributes to Louise spoke volumes and I thought I would share a few to help sum up a life well-lived and a life shared with so many:


  • This week the heart of Lavallette stopped beating for a minute. Our sweet Louise went to heaven to water God’s flowers and watch us from above.
  • A classy lady.  Smart, kind, tough, loving, beautiful.
  • An amazing person, wife, mother, boss, neighbor and friend.  A huge loss to our Lavallette Family.
  • Sorry just does not seem like enough to say to the entire Hammer family and Crab’s Claw community.
  • Louise has touched us all with her beautiful smile and kind heart.
  • A bright light has gone out in Lavallette.  Will miss her smile and good heart.


There’s no doubt about it. Louise Hammer made an impact and that impact will live on.

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