Herman Lee Hamm
Herman Lee Hamm
  • September 3, 1929 - December 15, 2017
  • Fresno, California

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Herman Lee Hamm passed away peacefully in his Fresno, CA home of over 50 years, while resting in his favorite chair in his sleep on December 15, 2017, at the age of 88. Herman was born on September 3, 1929, in Jackson, MO, to Delbert and Eula Hamm. He had three sisters, and one brother, and was the second youngest. The kids grew up in Poplar Bluff, MO, along the Black River in a small rural home on five acres. When Herman was 14, the family moved to Pittsburg, CA in 1943. In 1945, the family moved to Antioch, CA, where Herman attended high school. He played multiple sports in high school. His junior year he played halfback on the varsity football team and they went undefeated. That year he also played guard on the basketball team, wrestled, won the county in the breaststroke, and took second in the county in the 440 yard dash. He was the only kid in the high school to letter in five sports that year. In October of 2007, his football team was inducted into the Antioch Sports Hall of Fame. During his senior year, he only went to school for a month, when he left school, with enough units to graduate, to enlist in the United States Army at the end of World War II. He was stationed at Camp Beal and worked in Headquarters as a clerk typist. In 1947, he as transferred to Camp Stoneman, CA. He played halfback on the Camp Stoneman football team. They went undefeated and he made the All Service team. He was honorably discharged in February of 1947. That September, Herman enrolled in Modesto Junior College. He played halfback on the football team and ran track. He was on all the relay teams, ran the 100, 220, and 440, and threw the javelin. The next fall he received a scholarship to University of Oregon in Eugene, OR. He went to fall practice and made starting safety and second string running back. They ruled him ineligible because he needed a half unit to be a sophomore. He returned to Modesto and finished his sophomore year. He went on to Fresno State College in the fall of 1950. He played halfback for two years. In his senior year, he won a gold watch as the most valuable player on the team. He had offers from the Los Angeles Rams, San Francisco 49ers, and the Cleveland Browns, but decided not to play. He played semi-pro football for the Modesto Loggers. At Fresno State, he majored in business and was a member of the SAE fraternity. After graduating from Fresno State, Herman taught high school for three years in Caruthers, CA, starting in 1953, where he also coached sports. In 1956, he went to work for the State of California (Caltrans) as a Right-of-Way Agent and worked there for 44 years. Herman was married to Mary Jane Shadel on November 4, 1961. They were married over 50 years, and she preceded him in death on October 18, 2015. They are now once again together in Heaven with their Lord Jesus. They had two sons, Scott and Gary Hamm. They attended the Brethren Church on Clinton Avenue for many years. Later, they attended the Faith Baptist Church. Herman and Mary Jane were blessed with six grandchildren, who they loved dearly. Herman loved to hunt and fish and go camping in the Sierras. He also loved watching Fresno State Bulldog sports and going to football games. He enjoyed coaching soccer and baseball when his boys were young. Herman will be remembered and honored for his quick wit, many jokes, great stories, and dedication to family. A Celebration of Life Service will be held at the New Harvest Church at 698 N. Minnewawa in Clovis, CA, at 10:30 a.m. Remembrances may be made to the Diabetes Association; or the Faith Baptist Church at 106 E. Shields, Fresno, CA 93704. Tinkler Funeral Chapel & Crematory, 475 North Broadway Street, Fresno, California (559)233-2101