Longtime Rolling Rock bartender friend of many
Butch Hammill loved people, an important trait for a man who worked 30 years as a bartender at the prestigious Rolling Rock Club in Ligonier Township and operated his own restaurant, the Meadows in Ligonier.
“He was an old-school bartender. No matter where he worked, the clientele followed him. People actually enjoyed watching mom and dad make drinks,” said his daughter, Trish Majhan of Laughlintown.
Mr. Hammill, 80, of Ligonier, died Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019, in Excela Latrobe Hospital.
He was born Oct. 29, 1939, in Indiana, the son of the late Francis J. and Jane Stadtmiller Hammill. He lived in Blairsville as a youngster before moving to Laughlintown and graduated from Ligonier High School in 1958.
After graduation, he joined the Air Force, serving stateside for eight years, Majhan said.
“He was very proud of his military service,” Majhan said.
When he returned home, he worked with Mary Louise “Wese” Sahlin, whom he knew from growing up in Laughlintown. The couple married in 1969 and initially lived in a log cabin in Laughlintown, with Wese’s mother. Majhan said they remained there until she was born in 1973, when they moved to a home near the Ligonier County Club.
In between stints working as a bartender at the Rolling Rock Club, he and his wife managed the Ligonier Country Club for 10 years, starting in 1978, Majhan said.
It was a perfect job for her father, who loved to play golf and was good at it. He continued to play into his late 60s, until back surgery forced him to give up the game, Majhan said.
“In his heyday, he was excellent. He loved to play golf and loved to watch golf,” Majhan said.
He worked for the Mellon family for several years, living in one of their homes in Ligonier Township before buying it.
Mr. Hammill also owned the former Meadows restaurant and bar in Ligonier for several years in the 1980s. He managed the beverage department at the former Wildlife Club in Ligonier.
He retired in 1994, but continued to work part-time at the Rolling Rock Club, Majhan said.
“He finished his career where he started,” Majhan said.
Mr. Hammill loved listening to the music of the 1950s and 1960s, she said. He was a big fan of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons.
He enjoyed hunting along the Laurel Mountain with his stepson, Scott Petrosky of Mt. Pleasant.
Even though he was in the hospital when he celebrated his birthday last week, he was excited to reach 80, Majhan said.
Mr. Hammill is survived by his wife, daughter and stepson.
Friends were received at J. Paul McCracken Funeral Chapel Inc., Ligonier.
Memorial contributions may be made to Helping Hearts and Healing Tails, P.O. Box 42, Stahlstown, PA 15687.
Joe Napsha is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Joe at 724-836-5252, [email protected] or via Twitter .