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JAMES NELSON HAMMER

James Nelson Hammer, of Overland Park, KS, died Wednesday May 29, 2013 at the age of 88. Jim was born April 18, 1925 in Ft. Scott, KS, the son of William Earl Hammer and Mary Elizabeth Reynolds Hammer. He graduated from the University of Missouri with two Bachelor of Science degrees in Business and Public Administration and Journalism. He was a member of Kappa Sigma Fraternity. From 1943-1945, he served as an Ensign with the United States Navy. Jim spent two years as a journalist for the newspaper in Christiansburg VA, before returning to Ft. Scott. Jim was married to Sue Anne Caldwell from 1953 to 1975. In 1950, Jim joined the Hammer Insurance Agency that was founded by his father in 1921. Jim was an independent insurance agent in Ft. Scott for more than 50 years and worked extensively in the annuity business. He was instrumental in changing the Kansas Board of Regents' retirement plan to permit state college and university employees to choose their own retirement plan provider. Jim was a member of St. Andrew's Episcopal Church (Ft. Scott), Rising Sun Masonic Lodge within the Scottish Rite and the Kansas Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors. An avid supporter of the Ft. Scott Community College Football Program, Jim was an active recruiter and fundraiser from 1964 - 1980. As a member of the FSCC Quarterback Club (now known as the Greyhound Club), he served as president for one year and was inducted into FSCC Athletic Hall of Fame in 2006. Jim was instrumental in making a connection with the University of Missouri Football program, aiding many FSCC athletes to transfer to MU, a major Division I football program. Survivors include one son, Joseph "Jody" William Hammer, Overland Park, KS; and one daughter, Susan Hammer Swyden and husband Victor, also of Overland Park; one grandson, Nicholas Swyden and one granddaughter, Elizabeth Hammer. He was preceded in death by his parents. Jim was a loving and supportive father and will be greatly missed by his children. Visitation is from 1:00 – 2:00 P.M, Tuesday, June 11, 2013 at the Cheney Witt Chapel. A military service will follow at 2:30 P.M., in the U.S. National Cemetery, with Military honors conducted by the Olson Frary Burkhart Post #1165 V.F.W. Memorials are suggested to the Fort Scott Community College Football Program and may be sent to Cheney Witt Chapel, P.O. Box 347, Ft. Scott, KS 66701.

Published in Kansas City Star on June 6, 2013
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