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Paw Paw, Michigan 49079
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Merle B. Hamre Click for Condolences      Printable Version
1919 - 2011

Age: 91

HAMRE, Merle B.

Paw Paw

Merle B. Hamre passed away in his sleep in his home at Ackley Lake, Paw Paw, MI, on March 24, 2011 at the age of 91. Merle is survived by his loving wife Donna (Kennedy); two sons, Paul (Karen) Hamre, and Andrew (Lisa) Hamre; two daughters, Anita (Joel) Vanderhill and Eloise (Horst) Hildebrandt; 12 grandchildren; 9 great grandchildren. Merle was born in Jewell, Iowa on April 19, 1919 to Ben and Edna Hamre. Merles parents and two brothers, Lyle and Edward (WWII Gold Star Recipient) have predeceased Merle. After high school, Merle attended and graduated from Central College in Pella, Iowa. After graduation Merle was a high school teacher and coached baseball, football and basketball. At the outbreak of WWII, Merle was commissioned as an officer in the United States Navy and later assigned to LST 996. On August 20, 1942 Merle married his wife Donna and started his family. During the war, Merle was one of a select few of veterans who saw combat action in all three theaters of war. Merles LST was at the invasion of Anzio, Italy (Mediterranean), the invasion of France (Atlantic) and the invasion of Okinawa (Pacific). After the war, Merle returned to Iowa to once again teach and coach at the high school level. In 1947, Merle was accepted into the FBI as a special agent. Merle attended FBI training at Quantico, Virginia and was a special agent for 22 years. During his career as a special agent, Merle was assigned to several different offices including Omaha, Toledo, New York, and Chicago. Merle was involved with several high profile investigations including the assassination of President John Kennedy. Merle retired from the FBI in 1969 and moved with his family to Paw Paw, Michigan where the family had vacationed every summer since 1953. Although retired from public service, Merle continued to work full time. While employed at Lakeview Hospital, he eventually served as the hospital administrator. Merle was then a college instructor at various intuitions until his final retirement at age 80. Merle lived a full and industrious life. Merle stressed the importance of education to his family and all of his children graduated from college and all of his children chose careers in public service. Merle was devoted to his wife and family and was equally devoted to his God and to his country. Merles personality was one of integrity, gentleness, good humor, generosity and loyalty. Merle was truly an example of the Greatest Generation. Visitation will be at the Adams Funeral Home in Paw Paw, MI. Monday, March 28, 2011 from 5:00 pm-7:30 pm. The funeral will be held at Trinity Lutheran Church in Paw Paw, MI. on Tuesday March 29, 2011 beginning at 11:00 am. Donations in Merles memory can be made to Trinity Lutheran Church, Paw Paw, MI.

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There are currently 6 condolences.

Elizabeth McIntosh
Monday March 28, 2011 at 9:45 AM

News travelled fast, that there was this wonderful family, who moved into town, from Chicago, and bought Baxters Resort on Ackley Lake. The Hamres were kind, generous, respectful people who would always open their home to me and many others, while I was dating their son, Paul. Oh, I had such fond memories of Mr. Hamre. Mr. and Mrs. Hamre would always include me on their trips to Pauls college football games. Mr. Hamre would never miss a game, no matter how far he had to travel to see his son play. On the way, he would share many wonderful stories of his experiences in life. I especially enjoyed the stories when he was in the FBI. The informant hideout stories were the best! On the way home we would always stop off at some fine restaurant to celebrate his sons success. It was because of Mr. Hamre that I learned to appreciate eating prime rib - rare! He had an appreciation for quality. He deeply valued education and family. I remember many of our talks regarding the presidents and politics especially Hoover and Truman. (He tried to let me hold my own when debating him, but I knew I couldnt hold a candle to him). He was passionionate about our country and doing what was right. I loved how he and Mrs. Hamre would spend quality time with each other, as well as with the kids. They valued their time together. He was a man of great character, integrity and wisdom. I recall sitting around the Hamre home as Mr. Hamre would impart his scholarly wisdom, in a very quiet, analytical manner, while he smoked his pipe. He always welcomed me into his life and for many years Mr. Hamre and I would get together for hot chocolate, whereby he would ask me about my life, and really took a genuine interest in my happiness, as I know he did with so many others. I always felt welcomed with Mr. Hamre, and even up until the last time I visited Paw Paw, I always made it a point to stop in and see him along with Mrs. Hamre. The first words he welcomed me with were ,  I knew you wouldnt leave Paw Paw without seeing us. I am blessed to have known this kind, generous and loving man. He, along with his family, have made this world a better place! My heart goes out to all of his family. We were all blessed by his presence!. Elizabeth McIntosh Honolulu, Hawaii
Pat (Ellis) Howe
Sunday March 27, 2011 at 9:25 PM

Paul, I'm so sorry to hear of your father's death. Our class is getting hit hard this spring with family loses. My heart goes out to you and your family. Pat (Ellis) Howe

Sunday March 27, 2011 at 5:32 PM

Faith & Charles Bloomfield
Sunday March 27, 2011 at 11:23 AM

Lou & Horst, We are very sorry for your loss. You and your family are in our thoughts and prayers. Love, Charlie & Faith
Norma Lewis
Saturday March 26, 2011 at 2:17 PM

I really feel sorry for Donna! They have been married for such a long time (68 years) Donna probably can't remember life without Merle! I feel also bad for his kids, I know them all! Love-Norma
Arne Nilsson
Saturday March 26, 2011 at 2:09 PM

I was happy to have him in my home so many years ago, we had a good time then. I will miss him as you surely do. I regret his passing! Hugs--Arne

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