Hamilton County


Merle Bergeson Hamre




Merle Bergeson Hamre was born Apr 19, 1919 to Ben and Edna Hamre. He died Mar. 24, 2011.

Merle served with the U.S. Navy in World War II as a commissioned officer assigned to LST 996. He was at the invasion of Anzio, Italy (Mediterranean), the invasion of France (Atlantic), and the invasion of Okinawa (Pacific).

His Obituary: South Hamilton Record News, Jewell, IA - Mar. 30, 2011

Merle B. Hamre passed away in his sleep in his home at Ackley Lake, Paw Paw, MI, on March 24, 2011 at the age of 91. Visitation was held at the Adams Funeral Home in Paw Paw, MI Monday March 28, 2011 from 5:00 to 7:30 p.m. The funeral was held at Trinity Lutheran Church in Paw Paw, MI on Tuesday March 29, 2011 beginning at 11:00 a.m.

Merle was born in Jewell, Iowa on April 19, 1919 to Ben and Edna Hamre. After high school, Merle attended and graduated from Central College in Pella, Iowa. After graduation Merle was a high school teacher and coached baseball, football and basketball.

At the outbreak of WWII, Merle was commissioned as an officer in the United States Navy and later assigned to LST 996. On August 20, 1942 Merle married his wife Donna and started his family. During the war, Merle was one of a select few of veterans who saw combat action in all three theaters of war.

Merle’s LST was at the invasion of Anzio, Italy (Mediterranean), the invasion of France (Atlantic), and the invasion of Okinawa (Pacific). After the war, Merle returned to Iowa to once again teach and coach at the high school level.

In 1947, Merle was accepted into the FBI as a special agent. Merle attended FBI training at Quantico, Virginia and was a special agent for 22 years. During his career as a special agent, Merle was assigned to several different offices including Omaha, Toledo, New York and Chicago.

Merle was involved with several high profile investigations including the assassination of President John Kennedy. Merle retired from the FBI in 1969 and moved with his family to Paw Paw, Michigan where the family had vacationed every summer since 1953.

Although retired from public service, Merle continued to work full time. While employed at Lakeview Hospital, he eventually served as the hospital administrator. Merle was then a college instructor at various institutions until his final retirement at age 80.

Merle lived a full and industrious life. Merle stressed the importance of education to his family and all of his children graduated from college and all of his children chose careers in public service.

Merle was devoted to his wife and family and was equally devoted to his God and to his country Merle’s personality was one of integrity, gentleness, good humor, generosity and loyalty. Merle was truly an example of the Greatest Generation.

Merle’s parents and two brothers, Lyle and Edward (WWII Gold Star Recipient) have predeceased Merle.

Merle is survived by his loving wife Donna (Kennedy); two sons, Paul (Karen) Hamre, and Andrew (Lisa) Hamre; two daughters, Anita (Joel) Vanderhill and Eloise (Horst) Hildebrandt; 12 grandchildren; nine great grandchildren.

Source: ancestry.com