1926 ~ 2013
With great sorrow, the Hamm family announces the sudden death of Martin on March 1, 2013.
He is survived by his wife: Adaline (Addie); children: Ernie, Robert, Brian (Kirsten), Cathie (Mary-Jo); grand-daughter: Alexandra; step-grandchildren: Kirstin (Dan), Alix, Keenan; sisters: Lena, Mary, Anna, Margaret (Dave); and brothers: John (Erna), Cornel (Mary), and Walter (Tillie); sister-in-law: Betty. He was predeceased by his grandson: Nikolas; brothers: Frank and Peter; brothers-in-law: David, Nick, George; sister-in-law: Erna.
Martin was born November 8, 1926 in Sunnyslope, Alberta to Martin and Anna Hamm, recent immigrants from the Soviet Union. He was the fourth of ten children, and was raised in the Mennonite community in Laglace, Alberta. He attended a rural one room school there until grades 11 and 12, when he boarded in Gretna, Manitoba, to go to high school. By this time, he had decided to become a teacher. After graduation in 1945 (when he used a telephone for the first time), he returned to the Peace River country. His family had moved to Chilliwack, but he remained in the area to attend Bible college for a year. In spring 1946 he rejoined his family on the farm in Chilliwack, but left that September to go to Normal School in Vancouver. In the spring of 1947, at the age of 20, he graduated with a teacher’s certificate, and that fall started teaching elementary school in Osoyoos, BC. He stayed there for four years, then returned to Chilliwack to teach at Vedder Crossing.
While in Chilliwack he met Adaline Trotter, fell in love, and they married in 1954. Together, they raised four children.
He went to UBC every summer from 1948 to 1954, when he was awarded a Bachelor of Arts degree. He then taught at Chilliwack Junior High School until 1962, when he had the opportunity to become the Director of Elementary Instruction for School District 27 in the Cariboo-Chilcotin, and so moved his young family to Williams Lake. He dedicated the next 25 years to building and shaping the district, as it grew from 300 to 8000 students. On his holidays, he travelled with his family, taking some memoral road trips, including driving across the country with his three sons. He again went to UBC in the summers leading up to 1972, this time to earn his Master’s Degree in Education. On his next summer off, he resumed his road trips, this time with his younger two children. He dedicated his leisure time to his family, the Williams Lake Rotary Club, and was an avid Bridge player.
He retired in 1987, at the age of 60, after 40 years in education. He spent his retirement travelling, reading, and playing Bridge, among other activities. He was heavily involved in his community and lived a vibrant life up until his last hour.
Over his long career and life he was known as hard working, fair, and conscientious, and earned the friendship and respect of many.
A Memorial Service will be held at 11:00 am on Saturday, March 23, 2013 at St. Andrew’s United Church. Rev. Jenny Carter officiating.
Donations can be made to the Williams Lake Salvation Army or Central Cariboo Hospice Society.
LaPrairie’s Funeral Services entrusted with arrangements.