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Jimi Hendrix’s ‘Surrogate Mother’ Delores Hall Hamm Dies

Jimi Hendrix
Evening Standard via Getty Images

He called her ‘Auntie Delores.’ She called him ‘Buster.’ The bond between Jimi Hendrix and Delores Hall Hamm was strong, closer than that of many aunts. Hamm essentially raised the boy after he moved in with her upon entering second grade in 1949. On Tuesday, the matriarch of the family died at age 92.

The Seattle Times reports that Hamm suffered from complications related to stomach cancer. She leaves behind four of her five children, 16 grandchildren and a crowd of great and great-great grandchildren that will surely stretch the capacity limits of the private service planned for today (March 9).

“She was essentially a surrogate mother for him,” Hendrix biographer Charles R. Cross told the newspaper. Hamm is described as “one of the only real parent-figures the guitarist ever had.” Hendrix first lived with her when his mother (Hamm’s sister) had no place to live after he was born in 1942, and then again in 1949.

While Hamm dropped out of school, she later became an advocate for a strong education, going on to get her nursing degree, and taking classes in the plastics trade. “She worked at Boeing,” granddaughter Meliah Hamm says, “building chairs for the planes.”

“She always read to us,” she added. “She loved school. She loved talking about medicine. She wanted to be a doctor.”

A memorial service will be held in April, but no further details are available at this time.

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