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Super Senior: Barbara Hamm - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Super Senior: Barbara Hamm

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ST. ALBANS, Vt. -

At the First Congregational Church in Saint Albans, they're prepping for a feast. The food isn't trendy, but good and hardy.

"This is beef stew," Barbara Hamm said.

Barbara, 82, could be called the food foreman.

"Barbara organizes it. She plans the meals, she gets the food; she tells us what to do!" Rev. Judy Kennedy said.

All the churches in the area rotate cooking for Martha's Kitchen. It's not only a place to feed the homeless, but anyone who needs a meal and some company.

"Sometimes I feel guilty, because I feel good," Barbara confessed. "I'm not joking. I asked a priest one time if it was sinful to feel so good and he said no."

If it was, she would be sinning for almost 25 years. Not only does she cook with the soup kitchen, but she calls the clients her friends. Mary Gibson runs the place.

Mary Gibson: She comes in here every day.

Reporter Joe Carroll: She does?

Mary Gibson: Oh, yeah, every day, stop in.

Barbara grew up in Bermuda-- the weather slightly different from Northern Vermont-- that's where she met her future husband Warren. It was a tragedy that brought the two together. Warren was a young officer on the USS Roan, when another destroyer hit the ship during maneuvers. Four sailors were killed and both ships were towed to Bermuda to assess the damage. But during the time on the island, there was a Navy function with the locals near base. Another officer was picked to go, but messed up on duty.

"And the captain threw him into what we called hack, restricted him to his room. So they needed somebody to fill in and they asked me and I said OK," Warren explained.

Warren and Barbara got married and moved 23 times in his 41 years in the Navy, living all over the world. Warren, born in St. Albans, rose through the chain of command, eventually becoming a rear admiral, one of the highest ranks possible.

"We had never ever intended on coming back here," Warren said.

But when Warren retired, he was at a crossroads-- stay in Washington, D.C., and become a consultant or move somewhere else. They thought Vermont would be a place to regroup.

"When we came and looked at this house and walked through the door, it was like somebody put their arms around us. It felt so good," Barbara said.

That was 25 years ago, the longest they have lived in one place. Like Barbara, Warren volunteers his time.

"Warren and I have been married for 62 years and we haven't had an argument. You notice my fingers!" Barbara said, with fingers crossed.

It's a relationship that's traveled the world, but calls Franklin County the port of call.

"If I had to do my life over again, I would do exactly the same thing with no changes," Warren said.

"He would have to check with me first," Barbara said.

The Hamms have three children. They, too, call Vermont home.

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