Lorraine Ruth (Johnson) Hammer, age 86, was taken home to Heaven on Dec. 7, 2020. She died at the Continuing Care Center in Grantsburg after several years of advancing dementia and failing health.
Lorraine was born on March 4, 1934, at home in Hersey. She was the second daughter of Otis and Esther (Nelson) Johnson. Lorraine and her sister, Colleen, attended elementary school in Eau Galle township. Lorraine enjoyed helping her dad with farm chores, riding horse, driving tractor, and especially loved the kittens and farm dogs. She graduated from Woodville High School in 1952.
On Aug. 12, 1955, Lorraine and Robert Geving Hammer were married at Woodside Lutheran Church, near Baldwin. Their first apartment was in Spring Valley where Lorraine worked as a doctor’s secretary/assistant. Bob attended River Falls College, graduated from the Wisconsin Institute of Mortuary Science, and then worked in Spring Valley. In 1958, they purchased a house in Clear Lake. There they raised four children: Jyll, Jeffery, Rhonda, and Rochelle.
Bob (with his brother, Walter) operated Hammer Furniture and Funeral Home. Lorraine assisted with hair styling and visitations. They continued with the funeral business until retirement in 1994.
As a full-time homemaker, Lorraine kept very busy with her family, pets, and housekeeping. Sometimes she sold Avon, did babysitting, or worked part time at a flower shop. Retirement years allowed for more traveling and camping vacations. Then in 2008, they sold their home and moved into Ridgeview Apartments in Clear Lake, where they lived until 2014.
Baptized and confirmed in the Lutheran Church and raised by Christian parents, faith in God was the strong foundation of Lorraine’s life. She regularly attended church services, played piano and sang at church, served as LCW secretary, served food, volunteered on committees, and participated in Ladies Aid, WELCA, and Bible studies. At home, mealtime and bedtime prayers were part of everyday routine. During the Christmas season, there were special candlelight devotions and activities to prepare for baby Jesus.
Over the years, Lorraine enjoyed playing piano, singing, growing houseplants, decorating, reading, baking, cooking, traveling, camping, and visiting many people.
Lorraine deeply loved her family, and especially cherished all her grandchildren. First baby baths, cuddling, singing, reading books, playing dollies, board games, card games, baking cookies, picnics, camping, mini golf, goofing around . . . many growing up years of love and laughter shared together. In most family photos, she is wearing one of her many cute “Grandma” sweatshirts. Grandma and Grandpa Hammer were almost always there for birthdays, music concerts, school programs, first communion, confirmation, graduation, holidays, and other special events. The annual Hammer Family Christmas Eve and summer family camping vacations were the best!
Lorraine is preceded in death by her parents, Otis and Esther Johnson; and one sister, Colleen Ristau.
Lorraine is survived by her husband of 65 years, Robert Hammer; Daughters and Son - Jyll (John) Malotky, Jeff (Chris) Hammer, Rhonda (Allan) Johnson, Rochelle (Sara Olson) Hammer; Grandchildren – Tyler (Katie) Malotky, Laura (Scott) Abels, Braeden Malotky, Mikaela Hammer, Benjamin Hammer, Paul Johnson, Eric (Lydia) Johnson, Heather (Donovan) Sullivan, Neela Hammer, Kennion Hammer, Zoe Olson, Niko Olson; Great grandchildren – Brooks Malotky, Brynlie Abels, Cooper Abels, Claire Johnson, Theodore Sullivan, Edith Sullivan.
Lorraine’s family would like to express our sincere gratitude to so many wonderful staff people at the Continuing Care Center. Your love, care, help, kindness, and support these past years has been a great blessing!
There will be a private funeral for Lorraine on Monday, Jan. 18, 2021 at Bethany Lutheran Church in Grantsburg, with the interment at the Clear Lake Cemetery.
Scheuermann-Hammer Funeral Home of Clear Lake is handling the arrangements, www.clearlakefuneralhome.com.