Clifford E. Hammel, 93, of Belleville, Illinois, was born Thursday, May 6, 1915, in Belleville, Illinois, passed away Tuesday, April 7, 2009 at Rosewood Care Center in Swansea, IL. Cliff married the love of his life, Grace Phillips on November 11, 1936. Cliff and Grace loved to dance and enjoyed a wonderful life together until she departed on October 3, 2007.
Cliff's paper route and other odd jobs allowed him to put himself through high school and accounting classes at Washington University. Cliff's dad, Edward, was a bookkeeper and from him he learned his love of numbers.
Starting work at Peerless Enamel in 1934 as a laborer, Cliff took a cut in pay to work in the office. By WWII, he was running the plant, purchasing the materials and doing the bookkeeping. He also did the monthly accounting for many Belleville businesses. He gradually bought Peerless stock and became the major stockholder of Peerless Enamel which he then sold in 1986.
Cliff started Yorktown Golf Course with Bob Goalby, Ray Erwin and Clete Idoux. He was on the board of Security Savings Association, General Bank and St. Elizabeth Hospital.
In 1952 Cliff was president of the Optimist, being the first Junior Optimist to become president, and Exalted Ruler of the Belleville Elks. Cliff was a life member of the BPOE and St. Clair Country Club. While Cliff was president of the Optimist, he helped George Khoury start the Khoury League.
An avid golfer, Cliff had his only hole in one when he was 80 on December 4, 1995, at hole 10 at the St. Clair Country Club.
Cliff was a hard worker; his neighbors would see him raking gum balls and planting flowers until he was ninety. Cliff had an opinion on most subjects and would not hesitate to tell his family and friends what they were. He was there to help anyone who was down on his luck or needed assistance. Cliff loved to drive and liked nothing better then driving to his home in Phoenix AZ until he was 85. He was fun-loving and he and Grace spent many evenings at ball games, the Muny, playing cards or dancing. He was a good father, a great grandfather and an even better great grandfather. He will be missed by all.
Besides his wife Grace, Cliff was preceded in death by his :
He is survived by:
- Daughter: Susan Carey
- Parents: Edward and Mary nee Novatny Hammel
- Hilda (George) Athmer
- Leona (Del) Stafford
- Harvey (Sylvia) Siegler
- Leroy (Bertha) Siegler
- Adele (Bill) Yocks
- Grace Terragorssa Hammel
- Brother-in-law: Edgar (Mary) Phillips
Memorials: Memorials may be made to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation or Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
- Brother: Floyd Hammel
- Daughter: Judith (Roger) Wagner
- John (Sue Schulte) Hammel
- Jeffrey (Brenda Stanhouse) Hammel
- Son-in-Law: Jack (Ellen Parker) Carey
- 11 Grandchildren
- Terri (Eric) Vines
- Michael (Rebecca) Wagner
- Traci (Jack) Poole
- Brian (Jean) Carey
- Christopher (Erica) Carey
- Lauren Carey
- Christine (Bryant) Leo
- Robert Hammel
- David Hammel
- Samantha Hammel
- Maxwell Hammel
- Great Grandchildren
- Jeremy & Johnny Wade
- Josh, Jordan & Jenna Wagner
- Zachary & Jake Hettenhausen
- Erica, Julia and soon to be baby Poole
Visitation: Friends may call from 3-7 P.M., Monday, April 13, 2009 at the Kurrus Funeral Home, Belleville, IL. There will be an Elks service held at 6:30pm Monday April 13th at the funeral home.
Funeral: Funeral services will be held at 10:30am Tuesday, April 14, 2009 at Kurrus Funeral Home with Father Clyde Grogan officiating. Interment will follow at Valhalla Gardens of Memory, Belleville, IL.