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Loren R. Hammel

Loren R.  Hammel Loren Richard Hammel, age 89, died Saturday March 2, 2019 at The Good Shepherd Hospice House in Manhattan.

He was born on his aunt and uncle’s farm south of Clay Center on August 30, 1929. He was the third child of his parents, John Richard Hammel and Edna Victoria (Hedberg) Hammel. He grew up in and around Clay Center and graduated from Clay Center Community High School in 1947.

In 1948, he moved to Topeka where he met Laurita Jean Cowan. They were married June 2, 1951 at the Church of the Assumption.

In 1951, he was drafted into the US Army and served for two years. After discharge he returned to Topeka where he worked at the US Air Force Supply Depot in data processing. His job duties required him to hold top-secret security clearance. He later worked for Boeing Military Aircraft Company in Wichita. In 1963, the family settled in Manhattan where he began work at Kansas Farm Bureau as a data processing manager. He hired, trained and mentored several generations of mainframe computer operators, retiring in 1993.

In addition to his other work, in the late 1970s Loren returned to his rural roots and took over wheat farming operations on his in-laws’ farm in Jackson County, KS. He enjoyed many happy hours on his tractor tilling the Kansas soil.

After retirement, Loren enjoyed spending time on home improvement projects, carpentry and volunteerism. He was named The Manhattan Mercury’s Volunteer of the Year for the work he completed at his church. After his wife’s death in 2008, he embarked on an improvement project for St. Patrick’s Cemetery, for which a plaque hangs in honor of his work.

Loren was a member of Seven Dolors Catholic Church for 58 years. He served on the school board and parish council and was a long-time member of the Knights of Columbus. In his later years he was a fixture at 8 a.m. Mass. Afterward, he particularly enjoyed coffee and cinnamon rolls at Mrs. Powell’s with family and friends.

He is survived by his three children: Catherine Eads (Ray), Council Grove, Richard Hammel (Mary), Manhattan, and Daniel Hammel (Beth Schlemper), Toledo, OH; five grandchildren: Lauren McDaniel (Cole), Katie Bussard (Ben), Kirby Eads (Carissa), Curtis Deeter (Danielle), and Grant Wright, as well as four great-grandchildren. He is survived also by four siblings: Elroy Hammel, Overland Park, Gary Hammel, Wichita, Janice Jewell and Vickie McCann, both of Trivoli, IL. He was preceded in death by his wife, Laurita, his parents, and two siblings: Jack Eldon Hammel and Doris Lietzan.

Visitation will be at 6 p.m. Thursday, March 7 followed by a Rosary at 7 p.m. at the Yorgensen-Meloan-Londeen Funeral Home.

Mass of Christian burial will be Friday, March 8 at 10 a.m. at Seven Dolors Catholic Church.

Memorial contributions may be made to Seven Dolors Catholic Church or The Good Shepherd Hospice House. Contributions may be left in care of the Yorgensen-Meloan-Londeen Funeral Home, 1616 Poyntz Avenue, Manhattan, KS 66502.

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