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Thomas Harold Hamer was born August 11, 1939 to parents Lewis K. Hamer and Josephine K. (Shackleton) Hamer in Pawnee City, Nebraska, where they lived until 1951, when the family moved to Beatrice, Nebraska. Tom graduated from Beatrice High School in 1957. After studying engineering at Peru State College, he transferred to the University of Nebraska - Lincoln, and completed a degree in Agricultural Engineering, with a focus on Civil Engineering. His interest in agriculture was fostered by his relationship with his aunt and uncle, Alodyne and Melvin Parks. Tom spent his summers working on the farm alongside Melvin and his family during his high school and college years.
On September 9, 1962, Tom and Karen Glenn were married in Pawnee City. Karen’s sister, Kathy, at 5 months, was the youngest guest at the reception. Karen and Tom were married for 60 years. After college Tom served as a project engineer with the U.S. Soil Conservation Service (SCS) in Hebron, Nebraska. In 1967, Tom was transferred to Tecumseh, where he and Karen spent more than 50 years living and raising their two sons, Matthew and Jason (Jake). During his career with the SCS, Tom advanced to Chief of the Engineering Branch of the Nebraska Department of Water Resources, Assistant State Conservation Engineer, State Conservation Engineer for 13 years, and finally Natural Resources Manager, before retiring in 1997. His skills and responsibilities included surveying, hydrology, flood routing, dam construction, soil mechanics, irrigation planning and implementation of erosion control measures.
After retiring, he continued to serve the state for many years, volunteering with the Five Rivers RC&D and the Nebraska Environmental Trust Advisory Committee. Outside of his career, Tom was involved in his community, and especially interested in economic development. He was appointed to the Tecumseh Economic Development Committee, the Southeast Nebraska Economic Development Committee, and was one of three leaders of the Tecumseh Prison Site Development committee in 1998. He participated in the Tecumseh Chamber of Commerce, the Tecumseh Pride Committee and he belonged to the Nebraska Diplomats for a number of years. Tom loved golf and served on the Board of Tecumseh Country Club. In the early 1970s he helped with design, layout, and construction that converted the course to grass greens. Tom was appointed to the board of the Tecumseh Building & Loan, now Tecumseh Federal Bank, and was Chairman of the Board for 18 years. He joined the Tecumseh First Presbyterian Church in 1967 and over the years served as deacon, elder and clerk of session.
Tom was an unwavering fan of Nebraska Football. As a season ticket holder for more than 50 years, Tom and Karen rarely missed a home game. Sun, rain, or snow–ahead or behind–they never left early, often much to the chagrin of his family and friends sitting with him. Although busy with career and community, Tom always had time for his son's activities, and supporting Karen's teaching career. Tom’s spirit, heart and humor continues to live on through his wife Karen, his two sons Matt and Jake, and his grandchildren Louisa and Nicholas Hamer.
Tom passed away Tuesday, August 15, 2023 at Colonial Acres in Humboldt, Nebraska at the age of 84 years.
He is survived by his wife, Karen, Tecumseh, sons, Matt and Adrienne Hamer Miami Beach, FL and Jake Hamer and Jenny Wallner and their children Louisa and Nicholas of Dallas, TX, siblings, Ric and Carolyn Hamer, Frisco, TX and Mary and Rick Simmons, Lincoln, sister-in-law, Kathy Glenn and Curt Bright, Lincoln, niece, Lisa and Eric Mach, Frisco TX, nephew, Derek and Michaela Hamer, Franklin, TN, cousins, Sandee and Ron Ballou, Tucson, AZ, Dan and Sandy Parks, Steinauer and Mike Parks, Pawnee City and many friends.
A Celebration of Life Service will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, September 9, 2023 at the Wherry Mortuary in Tecumseh, Nebraska with Pastor Ken Tubbesing officiating. The service was also be livestreamed on the Wherry Mortuary Facebook page and the link to the livestream is now also available on the bottom of Tom's webpage.
A register book will be available for signatures from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Friday, September 8, 2023 at the Wherry Mortuary in Tecumseh, Nebraska.
Memorials may go to the Johnson County Historical Society, Johnson County Hospital Foundation or the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research.
Private family inurnment will be in the Pawnee City Cemetery, Pawnee City, Nebraska.
Online condolences may be left @ www.wherrymortuary.com.