Bennie's Story

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Bennie Hammerstrom, 90 year old Woodward resident died Saturday, January 16, 2016 in Woodward. A memorial service will be held at 11:00 am Saturday, January 30, 2016 in the Billings Funeral Home Chapel with Reverend Shannon Davis officiating. A private family interment will be held at a later date. Bernt (Bennie) Olaf Hammerstrom was born on July 29, 1925 in Bollnas, Sweden to Jonas Erik and Signe Elisabeth (Olsson) Hammerstrom. Bernt and his parents immigrated to the United States when he was six months old, settling in Sac City, Iowa. Ben attended and graduated from Sac City High School. He worked with his father Jonas in the carpentry business until being drafted into the United States Navy, during World War II. Because of his construction experience, Ben was assigned to a construction battalion (C.B.’s). Most of his wartime was spent building an airstrip on Saipan in the South Pacific. After being honorably discharged from the Navy, Ben attended Dunwoody College in Minneapolis, MN studying drafting and estimating. He returned to Sac City, Iowa to build homes with his father. On January 17, 1952, he was united in marriage to Maxine Katherine Krenzien, also of Sac City. They were blessed with three children, Roger, Steven and Linda. Ben started farming with his father-in-law, Claus Krenzien, in Lake View, Iowa. They raised their family and spent 30 plus year on the farm. During that time he served as chairman of the building committee to construct a new Methodist Church in Lake View. He was very proud of the results. After retirement, Ben and Maxine spent years in Jefferson, Iowa and later moved to Woodward, where they were members of the First United Methodist Church. Ben and Maxine enjoyed spending time at the Woodward Senior Center. They were accomplished dancers and could usually be found dancing on Friday and Saturday evenings. People often commented on how “smooth” they were on the dance floor. A stroke in 2008 ended Ben’s dancing career and put him in Grace Living Center, where he resided until his death. Ben’s greatest regret was “not getting one more dance with his best girl”. Ben is survived by his wife, Maxine; his children, Dr. Roger Hammerstrom and wife Sandy of Woodward; Dr. Steve Hammerstrom and wife Joy of Solon, IA; Linda Williams and special friend Dave Connell of Hiawatha, IA; four grandchildren, Jessica Kelman and husband Dustin; Kristin Hanks and husband Peter; Chirstopher Williams; Andrew Williams; and one great-grandchild, Decklan Kelman; other family and friends. In lieu of flowers the family ask that memorial contributions be made to the Disabled American Veterans with the funeral home accepting the contributions. Remembrances may be made online at www.billingsfuneralhomewoodward.com
Published on  January 27, 2016
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