Donald Oscar Hamann, 92, Princeton
July 5, 1923 - January 5, 2016
Don Hamann was dealt his last hand on Tuesday, January 5, his half birthday, while enjoying life, surrounded by his wife, family & friends. He was 92 ½ years old. Donald Oscar Hamann was born on July 5, 1923 to Oscar & Esther (Dalchow) Hamann on the family farm in Bogus Brook. He was premature so he was placed in a shoe box & kept near the oven as he fought for life. He thrived & was baptized at Zion Lutheran Church. Don attended country school until 8th grade while working alongside his parents & brothers, tending the farm. He served in the Navy from 1944 to 1945.
He returned home to the farm & married Shirley Bonkowske on May 21, 1949. They milked cows & raised crops as well as 4 children, Connie, Sandy, Ron, & Rod. The farm was important to Don & he passed on his love for the land to his children & their families. Don was very proud that the farm stayed in the family & recently became a Century Farm. Don continued working the dirt even after he moved off the farm, spending many hours tending a large garden. This year’s crop produced many potatoes, squash and onion to share with the family.
Don gave freely of his time in many different organizations & groups over his lifetime. He served on the Bogus Brook township board as a supervisor for 34 years, was a fire warden for 48 years, an American Legion member for 58 years, serving as commander in 1981 as well as a color guard member until his death. He was a Mille Lacs County fairboard member for many years as well as a lifelong member of Zion Lutheran Church where he served in numerous capacities, including as an Elder.
While Don loved serving his Lord, his country & farming, his greatest love was his family. Don’s children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren learned how to play rummy & cribbage as well as how to have a good time. Don was known to occasionally slip a firecracker out of his pocket & liven things up. Don enjoyed hunting & fishing. He & Shirley went on many trips & had many adventures. No family gathering ever goes without a “remember when” Grandpa Don adventure story. In 1988, they came up with the idea of a “Family weekend” with their children & their families as a Christmas gift. Since then they’ve shared a whole weekend at a hotel of playing cards & games almost every year.
Don is survived by his loving wife Shirley, his children, Connie Haubenschild (Jim) of Plymouth, Sandy Haehn (Jon) of Princeton, Ron Hamann (Linda) of Milaca, & Rod Hamann (Connie) of Princeton, his grandchildren: Karlyn, Heidi, Heather, Jamie, Jason, Nicole, Kristin, Ross, Molly, Jackie & John, & his great-grandchildren: Alex, Auggie, Rachel, Rylea, Cody, Kenzie, Adynn, Gabrielle, Jill, Elaine, Piper, Ethan, Hallie, Brynn, Logan, Brooklyn, Joseph, Allyson, Brody, Connor & Daniel as well as other relatives.
Don was preceded in death by his parents, Oscar & Esther, & his brothers, Alvin & Earl & their wives, Louise & Hazel.
Fifteen 2, fifteen 4, there ain’t no more.