Donald A. Hammer

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Donald A. Hammer

April 19, 1932 • May 12, 2016

Donald A. Hammer, 84, died peacefully at his home  May 12, 2016 in Bemidji, Minnesota.

A funeral celebration was held Friday, June 17, at 1 p.m. at the First Lutheran Church in Bemidji, with a reception that followed. Visitation was from 12-1 p.m. prior to the celebration.   

Don is survived by his wife and caregiver of 62 years, Faye, three daughters: Colette (Bob) Erickson of Hayden Lake, ID, Larae (Roger) Peterson of Reardon, WA, Darcee Kissler of Winter Park, CO, and seven grandchildren and one great grandchild.

Donald was born  April 19, 1932 in Granite Falls.  He graduated from Benson High School in 1950. Don met Lovetta (Faye) at Concordia College where he later earned a teaching degree. They married in July of 1954. That fall, Don was drafted for the Korean War. His tour of military duty started at Guided Missile school in Huntsville, AL, and concluded at the White Sands Proving Ground in Las Cruces, NM.

Mr. Hammer started his teaching career in 1957 in Fosston; after three years, the family moved to Bemidji where he was a 9th grade civics teacher until his retirement in 1991.

Don was a true outdoorsman. He was blessed with a great group of friends who participated in the many adventures that included fishing, hunting, boating, snowmobiling, golfing, motorcycles, curling, camping and more. “Duke”, as he was known to his compatriots, was the consummate social organizer, frying up turkeys for friends or hosting the annual teachers’ wild game feed.   

Don and Faye traveled far and wide to dance to the sounds of Shades of Soul. Their graceful style was a sight to behold.

During his lifetime, Donald was an active and dedicated member of First Lutheran Church, local Parkinson’s group, Ducks Unlimited, the Elks, Eagles, and Bemidji Curling Club.

Memorials may be made to the Bemidji Parkinson’s Support Group so that others may fight the fight as he did.

Condolences may be left at

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