Donald Jerome Hemmer, 88, of Independence was received into his everlasting home on Mar. 8, 2014.
Born June 11, 1925, to Edward George and Ida Louise (Hinde) Hemmer in Worthington, Don grew up in the Cascade area and graduated from high school in Epworth.
Don was united in marriage to Helen Ann Angelos on Nov. 23, 1946, in Dubuque. He was a proud member of the Naval Air Corps for four years until his honorable discharge on Apr. 30, 1946.
Following his time in the service, he completed his formal education with degrees in history and English at Loras College, Dubuque. Don spent his years serving others, including teaching for six years and working at MHI in Independence.
In 1978, Don and Helen moved to Alta Vista and managed Hemmer's Inn for 10 years. Then he spent 10 years serving children at Quakerdale in New Providence. Upon their final retirement, Don and Helen spent their years traveling and spending time with their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Don always enjoyed watching sports, working in his garden, spending time with his family, spoiling the squirrels in his yard, and watching daily Mass.
Don is survived by his wife of 67 years, Helen Hemmer, and their children: Connie (Bob) Van Ersvelde of Grinnell, Jim (Tami) Hemmer of Pella, Jane (Mike) Leaven of Independence, Monk Hemmer of Independence, Mike (Grace) Hemmer of Palmwoods, Queensland, Australia, Holly (Ron) Dudley of Gladbrook, Judy Beason of Independence, Molly Grober of Reasnor, Angela (Doug) Stark of Pleasant Hill, and Bruce (Melitta) Hemmer of Garmisch, Germany; 25 grandchildren; and 43 great-grandchildren around the world who cherish his memory. He is also survived by his brother George (Chris) Hemmer of Independence, in-laws James Angelos of Davenport and Molly Hudson of Ames, and other nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents.
Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Mar. 15, at St. John’s Catholic Church, Independence, with the Rev. Don Plamondon officiating.
Inurnment will be held at a later date.
Friends may call from 4-7 p.m. Friday and from 8-10 a.m., Saturday at the Reiff Funeral Home & Crematory in Independence.
A Rosary will be recited at 4 p.m. and a Parish Vigil Service will be held at 7 p.m. Friday at the funeral home.
In lieu of flower arrangements, the family request that gifts and memorials be directed to the Donald J. Hemmer Memorial Fund, c/o Veridian Credit Union, 1900 3rd Ave. SE; Independence, IA 50644. This Memorial Fund has been established to honor Don's dedication to children and will provide assistance to children in foster care.