John Donald "Don" Hammers left his home in Union, IA for that great fishing hole in the sky on March 27, 2014. He was born January 31, 1930 in Dent, MN, the third of six sons and three daughters of Henry and Lora Hammers. Starting his career with the J.C. Penney Company in Fergus Falls, MN, he met and married Betty Steussy on May 15, 1950. During the early years of his career, they moved to different Minnesota communities, eventually settling in Creston, IA, where he managed the J.C. Penney Store for many years. In Creston, he served on the Southwest Iowa Rural Water Association board facilitating development of Three Mile and Twelve Mile lakes. He was active with the Knights of Columbus, attaining Grand Knight status and numerous other community organizations.
Following Betty's death in 1992, Don returned to Minnesota to spend more time with his siblings and to fish. He moved to Union, IA in 2012 to be closer to his sons. Don enjoyed annual fishing trips to Canada with his sons and other retired J.C. Penney store managers. Always an avid outdoorsman and conservationist, Don taught his children and grandchildren to value and enjoy our environment while responsibly fishing and hunting. A favorite story was shooting his first elk in Colorado with his nephews, Tom and Jim Hammers. Always ready for a game of cards, he enjoyed teaching his grandchildren to play, amazed when they started to beat him.
Don was preceded in death by his parents, his wife Betty, infant son James and his brothers Ed, Frank, Bob, Raymond and Joe. He will be missed by his children Mike (Sue Bangert) Madison, WI, Gary (Marcia) West Des Moines, IA, Lynn (Scott Aumuller) Concord, NC, Paul (Karen) Union, IA and Rick (Kari) Adel, IA, his sisters Kate Eickschen, Perham, MN, Mary Ann (Bernie) Nolz of Mitchell, SD and Rose (Jim) Limmer of Perham, MN. He enjoyed many hours with his grandchildren Paul (Rae Ganci) Hammers, James Aumuller, Luke (Ashlee) Higgins, Mark Hammers, Dustin Hammers, Wesley Hammers, Leah Higgins, Tom Aumuller, Jade Hammers and Skyler Hammers, as well as many nieces and nephews.
Visitation will be on Friday, April 4 at the Schoeneberger Funeral Home in Perham, MN from 5:00 to 8:00 PM with a rosary recited at 7:00 PM. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:30 AM on Saturday, April 5 at Church of the Sacred Heart in Dent, MN. Interment will follow at Knollwood Memorial Gardens Cemetery in Fergus Falls, MN.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials be directed to Church of the Sacred Heart in Dent, MN.