Peter A. Hamm

1921 – 2011 

Peter_hamm_Sq_NewsDad was born in Friedensruh, Manitoba, on April 11, 1921, to Abram and Sarah Hamm. He was the fourth of eight children. Dad had a happy childhood on the farm. He attended school in Friedensruh until age 14. 

Dad was baptized on his confession of faith on June 13th, 1943 in the Chortitz Old Colony Church. On June 4, 1944, he married Annie Klassen. They lived with Annie’s parents in Reinfeld for the first four years of their marriage until they had their own house. Their marriage was blessed with six children: Jim, Rose Anna, Fred, Clara, Irene and Edna. 

Dad started farming in the Reinfeld area in 1946 with land he rented and later bought from his wife’s uncle. They had a busy family life on the farm, milking cows, raising chickens and pigs and working the land. 

With a Down’s Syndrome daughter, Dad became an advocate for special needs children. At the urging of the provincial nurse, he lobbied for local schooling for the mentally handicapped. The Winkler School District provided an empty coal bin in the basement of Winkler School as the first classroom for seven children. As the demand for special needs education grew, Dad helped raise money for new facilities. Eventually, the ARC school for special needs students was built on Pembina Avenue in Winkler. Later, a sheltered workshop was added. When special needs students were integrated into mainstream education, the ARC school was sold and Dad worked with others to establish Valley Rehab, a sheltered workshop for adults with special needs (now Gateway Resources) and Our Home, a special needs adult residence. He helped organize telethons to raise funds for special needs facilities and programs and lobbied the provincial Premier to support these efforts. He also took delight in helping to raise money for Lion’s Manor and a local ambulance. 

Dad stopped farming at age 60, but remained a farmer at heart for the rest of his life. They moved to Winkler in 1985 to retire in town. Dad enjoyed times with his friends in the coffee shop and the many occasions he and Mom spent visiting and playing table games with friends. In 1997 they moved to the Crocus Village seniors’ complex in Winkler for the convenience of apartment living and the proximity of friends next door. 

On November 11, 2009, after years of failing health and four and a half years in Salem Personal Care Home, Mom passed away. They were married for sixty-five and a half years. 

In April, 2010, Dad lost a leg to cancer. This decreased his mobility and changed his personal and social life. With the help of Home Care and strong determination, he was able to live independently in the last year of his life. His health declined and he was admitted to Boundary Trails Health Centre for palliative care on July 22, 2011. Dad enjoyed many visitors in his last days and repeatedly said, “A visitor is better than a pill.” He often expressed appreciation for the excellent health care he received from Home Care, the Boundary Trails Health Centre staff and the staff at Pfahl’s Drugs, a sentiment shared by the family. He died peacefully on August 22, 2011 with family members at his side. 

Dad was predeceased by his wife, Annie, his parents, his brothers, Abe, George, John, and sisters, Sarah, Margaret and Annie. He is survived by his brother, Jake and wife, Verna, sister-in-law, Helen Hamm and his aunt, Annie Peters of Abbotsford, B.C. whom he regarded as a sister. 

He leaves to mourn six children: Jim (and Marie) Hamm, Fred (and Marge) Hamm, Rose Anna Hamm, Clara (and Cliff) Hiebert, Irene (and Al) Loeppky, Edna (and Abe) Wiebe, fourteen grandchildren and nine great grandchildren who were all very dear to him and whom he prayed for daily. He also leaves behind many other relatives and good friends. 

We will remember him as a loving father, grandfather and great grandfather. He will be dearly missed. 

Funeral service was held on Friday August 26, 2011 at 2:00 p.m. at Winkler Bergthaler Mennonite Church with interment at Westridge Memorial Gardens. 

If friends so desire, donations may be made in Peter’s memory to the Salem Foundation Inc. 165 15th St. Winker, MB R6W 1T8.

 

Wiebe Funeral Home, Winkler

In care of arrangements

wiebefuneralhomes.com

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