Norbert Hammes

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Norbert Joseph Hammes Jr., 83, of Marquette, passed away Sunday, Oct. 6, 2019 at home with family at his side.

Norbert was born April 18, 1936, in La Crosse, Wis., the son of Norbert and Marie (Baumgartner) Hammes Sr. He was the oldest of eight children. He attended Holy Trinity Parish Elementary School and Aquinas High School in La Crosse. 

Norbert was united in marriage to Joyce Martinek on May 5, 1956, at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in La Crosse, Wis. They had one child, Deborah, before Joyce passed away. He was then united in marriage with Nancy Rehm on Jan. 14, 1961, at St. Mary Catholic Church in McGregor. They had three children, Mark, Marigrace and Margaret and raised their family in Marquette.  

Norb worked in HVAC, as an electrician for Wettstein Brothers in La Crosse. He trained at a technical school in Minneapolis as an electrician for one year. Norb then worked for Edwards Plumbing and Heating in Prairie du Chien until he was employed by 3M in Prairie du Chien, Wis. He worked for 3M for a long time as a maintenance supervisor and retired in 1991.

Over the course of his lifetime, Norb enjoyed many hobbies, including but not limited to metal detecting, rock tumbling, tropical fish, photography, astronomy, clock making, woodworking, gardening, card playing and keeping up with new technology. From an early age, Norb collected coins and acquired many unique coins along the way. As a child, he would earn a penny or a half dollar, saying he always thought he could buy an ice cream cone, but would in the end decide to save the coin. Norb also enjoyed many canine best friends during his life, and was most recently thankful for the steady companionship of his dog Henry, a poodle mix rescue.

Norb was an active member of his community and his church, serving on the school board and city council and serving in many capacities at St. Mary Catholic Church in McGregor. He volunteered and managed bingo for 49 years, helped coordinate St. Mary’s annual fall festival and took care of church maintenance needs. 

Norb is survived by his wife, Nancy; his four children, Deborah (Kim) Henkes of McGregor, Mark (Shelley) Hammes of Cumberland, Wis., Marigrace (Tim) Powers of Columbia, Mo., and Margaret (Sam Castro) Hammes of Calmar; nine grandchildren, Gabriel (Melissa) Henkes, Matthew (Jessica) Henkes, Jacob Hammes, Samantha (Adam) Street, Anna Powers, Abigail Powers, Joseph Powers, Henry Castro, Madeline Castro; and seven great-grandchildren, August, Roman and Wynn Henkes, Miette and Rory Henkes, and Brielle and Anika Street. He is also survived by three brothers, Donald (Lorraine) Hammes, Michael (Sandy) Hammes of LaCrosse, Wis., and James (Jamie) Hammes of Overland Park, Kan.; two sisters, Mary (Gene) Ostrem of Sparta, Wis. and Jean (Jerry) Pierce of Gilford, Mont.; sisters-in-law, Phyllis Hammes of Rochester, Minn., and Carol Hammes of Lakeland, Fla.; and many nieces and nephews.  

Norb was preceded in death by his first wife Joyce; his parents, Norbert Hammes, Sr. and Marie Hammes; two brothers, Gerald (Phyllis) Hammes and Leonard (Carol) Hammes.

Visitation will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 9, from 4 to 7 p.m., with a 7 p.m. scripture service at St. Mary Catholic Church in McGregor. Visitation will also be held one hour before mass time at the church on Thursday.

Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Thursday, Oct. 10, at 10:30 a.m., at St. Mary Catholic Church in McGregor. The Rev. Nils de Jesus Hernandez will be the celebrant.

Burial will follow in St. Mary Catholic Cemetery in McGregor.

In lieu of flowers, memorials in Norb’s honor may be directed to the Humane Society, an animal rescue center, Tender Care Animal Hospital or to St. Mary’s Catholic Church.

Condolences may be left with www.graufuneralhomes.com.

Thornburg-Grau Funeral Home and Cremation Service of McGregor is in charge of arrangements.

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