Jerry Hammer, age 75, of Baltic, died on Tuesday, July 17, 2012, at the Sanford USD Medical Center in Sioux Falls. Funeral services will begin at 10:00 A.M. Saturday, July 21, 2012, at East Nidaros Lutheran Church, rural Baltic, South Dakota. Visitation will begin at 4:00 P.M. Friday, with the family present from 5-7:00 P.M., at East Nidaros Lutheran Church.
Jerry was born on August 28, 1936, in Dell Rapids, SD, to Oscar and Mabel (Hoyme) Hammer. He grew up on the Hammer homestead near Baltic and was baptized and confirmed at East Nidaros Lutheran Church. He attended the Moen Grade School and graduated in 1954 from Baltic High School. He farmed for four years until joining the Air National Guard. Following his military service, he continued farming on the family farm. On July 15, 1967, he married Jean Brende at Renner Lutheran Church and they made their home on the Hammer homestead. Jerry and Jean celebrated their 45th wedding anniversary this past July 15th.
Jerry was a member of East Nidaros Lutheran Church. He loved animals and was very active in 4-H when he was younger, and enjoyed attending fairs, livestock shows, and loved talking to anyone about farming. During high school, he was the Lavinrac Marshal and Homecoming King. He played 6 man football and basketball, and performed in plays. He was well known for his humor, as he decorated his friends honeymoon cars. He loved to pull pranks, getting his hired hands to touch the electric fence again and again. He enjoyed hunting, fishing and playing cards. For many years he worked at the Baltic Lounge, catering to his natural ability of telling stories, putting in his 2 cents and stirring the pot. If he could round up a couple of guys a card game was sure to start. He was always so patient when someone played the wrong card, with his kind words of encouragement. Family, farming and faith were very important to Jerry. Rarely did a night go by without sitting down for a family dinner. The door was always open for visitors, enjoying their company. Saturday night was reserved for RFD TV, listening to polka and old time country, singing along and watching his granddaughters dance.
Grateful for having shared his life are his wife, Jean, Baltic; children: Greg (Julie) Hammer, Garretson, Paul (Darlene) Hammer, Lakewood, CO, Cindi (Dan) Schmidt, Dell Rapids, and Brad Hammer, Baltic; grandchildren: Kyle Hammer, Samantha, Jayme, and Taylor Schmidt, and Izabel Hammer; sister, Lou (Bill) Hall, Moose Lake, MN; brothers: Jim (Peg) Hammer, Des Moines, IA, and Don (Gaila) Hammer, Irving, TX; good friend, Roger Hoiland; and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his infant daughter, Terri; parents Oscar and Mabel; and brothers: Roger and Merlin.