Louie D. Hamner Jr., 84, our beloved patriarch, passed away Tuesday, Feb. 10, 2015. He was a resident of Mount Auburn.
Louie D. was born Feb. 2, 1931, in Mount Auburn, to Louie D. and Vivian M. (Lisk) Hamner Sr.
He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Mary L. (Sloan) Hamner of Mount Auburn (formerly of Vandergrift, Pennsylvania). He is also survived by his children, Tanya Blanton (Ed), Lance (Karla), Austin Sr., Deseret Lazarte (Harry), Tamar Ketchum (Pete), Matthew (Kim), Mark (Cassy), Jared (Suzanne), Serene Bean (John), Louie D. III (Vivian), Celeste, and Spencer (Tamara); 68 grandchildren (three of whom are named “Louie” with many others given his initials); and seven great-grandchildren, with many more on the way. He also is survived by his sister, Peggy Snyder; and several nieces, nephews and cousins.
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He was preceded in death by his parents; his son, Sterling; three grandchildren, Daniel, Mary and Joshua; a sister, Patricia Burns and a brother, Larry.
Louie D. graduated from Mount Auburn High School and was senior class president of the class of ’49. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Management from Indiana Wesleyan University. He also received associate degrees from Indiana Tech in architectural drafting and auto technology.
He served two decades in the U.S. Air Force during both the Korean and Vietnam wars. He deeply loved the nation he had served and wept when he heard the “The Star-Spangled Banner” or the doleful notes of taps on Memorial Day.
He was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, where he served for decades in many capacities, including as branch president, member of the district presidency, high councilor, Sunday school teacher, home teacher and scout leader. He was made an honorary Boy Scout after he and his wife were recognized by the Indiana General Assembly for the most Eagle Scouts in one family in the state of Indiana.
He was a Son of the American Revolution, a member of American Legion Post 70, VFW Post 2695, Shelby County Republican Party, NRA and Toastmasters, where he received many awards for his eloquent oratory.
He owned his own business and enjoyed teaching part-time after retiring. He served 12 years on the Southwestern Consolidated School Board, serving as president for many of those years. He was a voracious reader and he was particularly interested in history, which he loved teaching to his students, his children and his grandchildren.
He enjoyed politics, watching westerns, hunting mushrooms, teaching his children and grandchildren gospel principles, and doing kind deeds for people in need.
But mostly, he just enjoyed spending time with his family. He built his own house where he and his wife reared their 13 children, instilling in each a love of God, family and country. He inspired all who knew him with his integrity, strength, loyalty, wisdom and willingness to stand up for his principles.
He was bigger than life to all who knew him. He was a strength and an anchor to his family. He will be dearly missed but always remembered. His legacy will live on in words, deeds, and dedication through his posterity.
Visitation will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday at Freeman Family Funeral Home, 819 S. Harrison St., Shelbyville, and from 10 to 11 a.m. Saturday at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 114 W. Rampart St., Shelbyville. Funeral services will be at 11:30 a.m. Saturday at the church. Interment will be at Mount Auburn Cemetery, 5878 W. County Road 900S, Edinburgh.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Republican National Committee or any organization that will help elect a Republican president in 2016.