Evelyn Burnett Schlatter Hammer, passed away May 9, 2012, in Manhattan. God blessed our life and the lives of so many others by Evelyn's birth on May 16, 1918, in Chinook. Her parents, Jerry and Gertrude Smith Schlatter baptized her the same month, seeding a faith that became her anchor for 93 years – to celebrate her 94th in Heaven a week later.
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At three years, she moved to Mobridge, S.D. from Chinook, where her father was connected with Golden Rule – a part of J.C. Penney. He established the J. E. Schlatter Co., a general store in Mobridge. Her sister, Geraldine, was born. Together, they spent summers on their grandparents' Schlatter farm in Decorah, Iowa, while their parents went on buying trips for the general store. Their Grandmother Smith stayed with them, making Evelyn's favorite potato soup for lunch when she walked home from school. Their family moved to Deadwood, S.D., where a chain of stores was developed. After school, Evelyn and her Dad rode horse, a favorite time together.
At a skating rink, George Hammer noticed a brunette, not nearly as athletic as he, and asked her to skate. For 44 years, they built a marriage of commitment to each other, their family, their church and community. They moved to George's family homestead just as World War II began. Evelyn embraced the changes of city life among the Black Hills, to the rolling prairies of Reeder, N.D., with no electricity or indoor plumbing until REA came in. Together, they created the Hammer Bar Ranch with Registered Black Angus cattle. Most important were their five children, born and raised on the ranch. Evelyn taught Sunday School, and was active in square dancing, 4-H leader, Cow Belles and homemaker's club.
The family first moved their ranch to Cascade, and later settled at Manhattan. As their children left, they began their travels. Evelyn's goal of visiting all 50 states was accomplished, as well as becoming a world traveler, seeing Europe, Australia and the Caribbean. She was actively involved in life with the Swimmin' Women, Manhattan Senior Center, playing Pinochle, Canasta, and Cribbage and visiting with her friends. Her love of S'Mores around a campfire with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren were a favorite memory.
Evelyn had an abiding love for the Lord, whom she met with each morning as she read His Word and prayed for those she loved. George and Evelyn were charter members of Shining Mountains Lutheran Church in Bozeman, which remained an essential focal point of her life. She lived the history of our great nation, returning to the presence of her Savior on May 9, 2012.
She was preceded in death by her husband, George; daughter, Nancy; son, Rex; and sister, Geraldine Kenney.
Evelyn is survived by her daughters, Bonnie, and Janet (Bob) Prongua; son, Jerry (Sandie); grandchildren, Serena (Ben) Ball, Kristell (Sam) Reck; April (Mark) Stansbury; and Jason (Megan); and by great-grandchildren, Sophia, Alithea, Elijah, and baby Ball; Loree, Evelyn, Christian, and Kathryn Reck; Matthew and Isaac Stansbury; and Eli Hammer. Also surviving are nephew, Peter (Cheryl) Kennery, and abundant nieces and nephews.
Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. Monday, May 14, at Dokken-Nelson Sunset Chapel. Interment will follow in Meadow View Cemetery, followed by a reception at the Manhattan Senior Center.
Memorials may be made to the Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch, P.O. Box 80807, Billings, MT 59108; Eagle Mount, 6901 Goldenstein Lane, Bozeman, MT 59715; the Manhattan Senior Center, 102 E Main, Manhattan, MT 59741; Shining Mountains Lutheran Church, 325 N. 25th, Bozeman, MT 59718; or a
Arrangements are in the care of Dokken-Funeral Service. www.dokkennelson.com
Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service
113 South Willson Avenue
Bozeman, MT 59715
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on May 13, 2012