Donald Hammer

February 29, 2016

Dr. Donald E. Hammer CHARLOTTE - Don Hammer, a quiet man who loved God and loved to learn, passed away Monday, February 29, 2016, after a brief illness. He was 85, and though he suffered more heartbreak than any person deserved, he lived a life that was rich in the ways that matter. Born and raised in Boston, Don settled in Charlotte in 1972 to work as an emergency room physician, first at then - Carolinas Medical Center and then Cabarrus Memorial Hospital in Concord. Until the day he retired, he loved life in the ER, listening to patients amid the pressure and the rush, working to make them well. Away from medicine, Don built his life around his strong Christian faith and the church he loved, Myers Park United Methodist. He belonged to the Ownbey Sunday School Class, often teaching the Bible lesson and always relishing the fellowship and friendships he made. Sunday mornings, he often greeted visitors to the Church In The Round service, even when his health forced him to do so from his seat in the back. When the church launched a reading program at Sedgefield Elementary School, Don was a faithful volunteer, spending Tuesdays reading to a child. Many weekdays at church, Don would be in the library, in his trademark rumpled shirt and sweater, immersed in one project or another, stopping only to share a quiet "Hello" to passersby. His thirst for learning was unquenchable. He loved doing crossword puzzles, reading poetry and attending concerts and other cultural events. He joined other seniors in classes at Shepherd's Center, on computers, art and writing. What to do about the nation's gun violence became a particular cause for him later in life. He was, in all, something of a Renaissance man. Don lost his wife, Emily, to cancer and muscular dystrophy in 1984. He lost his first two children to complications from a form of muscular dystrophy - Karen Hammer Funderburk in 2006 and George Hammer in 2011. He lost his long-time friend, Carol Douglas, to multiple myeloma in 2011. Don and Carol had found each in the Ownbey class in 1986 and enjoyed a friendship that lasted 25 years, until her death. He is survived by his third child, Eric Andrew Hammer of Charlotte, and his wife, Victoria; and his sister, Maxine Tuxbury, of Boston and her husband, Frank. A service to celebrate Don's life will be at 2:00 p.m. Friday, March 4, at Myers Park United Methodist, 1501 Queens Road. Visitation follows at the church. A gift in Don's memory can be made to the Ownbey Sunday School Class Helping Hands Fund. Checks can be made out to Myers Park United Methodist Church, with Ownbey Helping Hands Fund in the memo line, and mailed to 1501 Queens Road, Charlotte, NC 28207.

Arrangements are in the care of Kenneth Poe Funeral & Cremation Services, 1321 Berkeley Ave Charlotte NC 28204. Phone: 704 641-7606

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