Sallie Rae Hammer, described by her family as a 12th-generation Bonacker and known as Aunt Sal, died last Thursday at the age 60 after a long illness.
She had lived in Jonesville, Va., where she died, for the last eight years. Prior to that she spent all of her life in Springs, where people knew her as a straight talker who “would give you the shirt off her back” and make people laugh at the same time, according to her daughter Michele Hammer Hill.
She had a passion for cooking and worked in many South Fork restaurants over the years, including Michael’s, Estia, Harry’s Hideaway, and Kipling’s. She was devoted to her family and more recently to two granddaughters and prided herself on her hard work and culinary skills.
Some of her jobs along the way included working as a pin girl at the bowling alley in East Hampton, opening scallops, and cleaning out horse stalls. She owned her own restaurant in Virginia, the Buttery, and a hot dog wagon called the Hot Diggety Dog before her health failed.
When she wasn’t working two or three jobs at a time, she enjoyed spending time with her family and her cousin Sheila Sopher, who was also her best friend. They sought out yard sales on weekends and went UpIsland to shop at Swezey’s department store and eat Chinese food.
She was born on Feb. 5, 1953, in East Hampton and attended the Springs School and East Hampton High School. She met Edward Hammer at the bowling alley here and married him in 1972. He survives her. The couple had four children. In addition to Ms. Hill, who lives in Birmingham, Ala., they are Edward Hammer Jr. of Jonesville and Kerri Hammer of East Hampton. A son, Josiah Hammer, died last year.
Four siblings, Debbie Koons of Sag Harbor, Michael Field of Redbank, N.J., Ron Field of Maryland, and Paul Field of Virginia, also survive her.
Ms. Hammer was a member of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in East Hampton. The family had a private viewing in Virginia on Friday. A memorial service is to be announced at a future date.