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Bill Hamman

March 9, 1941 April 29, 2019
Bill Hamman
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Obituary for Bill Hamman

William Wilbert Hamman, an incredible husband, dad, brother, grandpa, great-grandpa, and friend, died Monday, April 29, 2019, surrounded by the overwhelming love of his adoring family. Together we celebrate an amazing life.

Born March 9, 1941, on a farm in Nauvoo, Ill., he was the third of four sons of Ira and Evelyn Hamman. Together with his brothers he learned about life through a childhood filled with the endless chores of life on a farm. Milk the cows, feed the Duroc hogs and run from the bees, before having to walk miles to a one-room schoolhouse in the snow, up hill and against the wind both ways (because they were four kids with a three-kid horse). When they got home he would bug his brothers to play ball with him every day with an old pick axe handle and a rubber ball.

Attending Western Illinois University on a basketball scholarship, he worked his way through as a student manager for Saga Foods. Starting his career in the dish room, he stayed on after graduation as a manager and made a great impact upon all he led and empowered.

As an example, when he went to Scheimer College, in addition to leading the staff to make a difference in the students lives, he covertly took over the men’s basketball team after the college discontinued it. He and the players just sent in the forms and paperwork as if the school hadn’t defunded and discontinued the program, and he led the team to turn around, become competitive and win games, after being winless for so long as an official team, that the school gave up.

While in Kankakee, he pitched for the Kankakee Feds and led the team to many trips to nationals, and ultimately landed in the Softball Hall of Fame. He loved the game and loved the team of people he played it with even more.
That extended family was there to support him during the tragic loss of his first wife, Pat, mother to his five children. In addition to the beautiful family he had from Nauvoo, his softball family was there to help him lead a new family with three extra people, his wife Careen and two more sons.

William and his family traveled around the country in a huge van on great adventures to softball tournaments and laughed and loved our way to becoming a truly blended family. One time he pitched six games in a single day, and won them all against the world’s best competition in an invitational tournament.

Our dad was like Superman, but gigantic, and our lives were filled with fresh-squeezed lemonade and ball park sausages. It was truly an amazing childhood – the Brady Bunch had nothing on us and we had one more kid and one less housekeeper.
He moved his family to Orlando, Fla., in 1979, as division vice president for Saga Foods. In 1986, Marriott bought Saga and ten other contract food services companies and entrusted Bill as president to lead the formation of one world-leading company from the dozen companies.

With the skills he learned through life on the farm, he led his teams to empower and support the people who took care of the customers; the line servers, cooks, dishwashers and other hourly workers.

His simple kind ways and unbelievable work ethic led him to success which took him around the globe to incredible travels and experiences with world leaders and captains of industry. Because of that success, he was awarded a Distinguished Alumni Award in 2000, conferred an honorary doctorate by his alma mater, and served on the Board of Directors of both the Marriott Corporation and Western Illinois University.

He and Careen made a beautiful summer home in Blowing Rock, N.C., and had epic Fourth of July celebrations for his family. The home is one of the jewels overlooking the historic Blowing Rock golf course. For the last 20 years he tended the garden, served the humming birds, and only pretended to try to outsmart the chipmunks the neighbors chased away. On the sly he gave them their own pail of bird food.

The huge stone porch and epic celebrations were something straight out of a Norman Rockwell painting, and he and Careen each drove their own golf carts, from the cart garage in their home, and loved that game together.

Those left with a Bill-sized hole in their hearts include his wife of 42 years, Careen; his children, Brenda (Kevin), Brad (Genelle), Al (Ava), Brian, Jeff (Michelle), Jennifer, Eric (Licelys), and Queenie (his favorite child); his grandchildren, David (Samantha), Amanda (Will), Amber, Anna, Kyle, Zach, Jessica, Joey, Anthony, Chandler, Will, Grace, Harrison, Madeline and Cole; and great-great-grandchildren Dom, Danny, Wyatt and Finley.

He also leaves behind his brothers, Fred (Ann), Don (Coleen) and Dick (Nancy); his sister-in-law, Pat Rosebraugh (David); and his brother-in-law, Dan Stocker; and many nieces, nephews and cousins.

His son Jim was there to greet him in heaven with open arms and a Waterford glass of Dewars.

Friends may call from 9:00 a.m to 10:00 a.m. at Schmitz-Banks & Beals Funeral Home in Nauvoo. Services will be at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, May 10, at Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Nauvoo, followed by burial in Thornber Cemetery in Powellton, Ill.

In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Hamman Grandchildren’s College Fund.

Schmitz - Banks & Beals Funeral Home in Nauvoo is assisting the family with arrangements. Online condolences may be made to the family at

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Previous Events





9:00 AM 5/10/2019 9:00:00 AM - 10:00 AM 5/10/2019 10:00:00 AM
Schmitz-Banks & Beals Funeral Home

2420 Young Street
Nauvoo, IL 62354

Schmitz-Banks & Beals Funeral Home
2420 Young Street Nauvoo 62354 IL
United States





10:30 AM 5/10/2019 10:30:00 AM
Sts. Peter & Paul Catholic Church

170 N Wells St
Nauvoo, IL 62354

Sts. Peter & Paul Catholic Church
170 N Wells St Nauvoo 62354 IL
United States

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