Nancy M. Hammes

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Nancy Marie (Rehm) Hammes, 84, of Marquette, Iowa, passed away peacefully Friday, Feb. 11, 2022, at the Patty Elwood Care Facility with family at her side.

Nancy was born in Dubuque, on Jan. 23, 1938. She was the daughter of Harold and Florence (Sawvell) Rehm. Although an only child, Nancy developed strong friendships with her cousins: Suzanne (Sharp) Pennington, Terry Sharp and Jerry Sharp and many childhood friends who she stayed connected to throughout her life. In her youth, she loved adventure and sports, accompanying her father on trips to New York, Chicago and Quebec. Nancy attended elementary school in Marquette and high school at St. Mary’s Academy in Prairie du Chien. She graduated in 1956 having made many lifelong friends. She attended Viterbo College in La Crosse as a music major. She was active in school musicals and plays and often told stories of the dances, performances and fun times she had with her friends. After graduation, she married Norbert Joseph Hammes on Jan. 14, 1961. They eventually settled in Marquette in Nancy’s childhood home. Nancy taught music at St. Gabe’s and St. John’s in Prairie du Chien. She was also very active in St. Mary’s Catholic Church in McGregor as the church organist for more than 50 years as well as directing religious education, and directing the choir. She taught piano lessons for many years in Marquette. Nancy enjoyed chatting with friends, playing the organ, baking chocolate chip cookies for her kids and grandkids, and spending time with her husband. Nancy loved music, opera and broadway shows. She always prided herself on her stage performances in college, had a flair for drama, and was known for her chocolate chip cookies. 

Nancy is survived by her four children, Mark (Shelley) Hammes of Cumberland, Marigrace (Tim) Powers of Columbia, Mo., Margaret (Sam Castro) Hammes of Calmar, Iowa, and step-daughter Deborah (Kim) Henkes of McGregor; nine grandchildren, Gabriel (Melissa) Henkes, Matthew (Jessica) Henkes, Jacob Hammes, Samantha (Adam) Street, Anna Powers, Abigail Powers, Joseph Powers, Henry Castro, Madeline Castro; and, eight great-grandchildren, August, Roman, Wynn, and Freya Henkes; Miette and Rory Henkes; Brielle and Anika Street. She is also survived by three brothers-in-law, Donald (Lorraine) Hammes, Michael (Sandy) Hammes of La Crosse, James (Jamie) Hammes of Overland Park, Kan., sisters-in-law, Mary (Gene) Ostrem of Sparta, and Jean (Jerry) Pierce of Gildford, Mont., Phyllis Hammes of Rochester, Minn. and Carol Hammes of Lakeland, Fla., and a half-sister, Sandy Swanson of Chicago, Ill. 

She was preceded in death by her husband Norbert in 2019; her parents, Harold and Florence (Sawvell) Rehm; parents-in-law, Norbert and Marie (Baumgartner) Hammes; two brothers-in-law, Gerald (Phyllis) Hammes of Rochester, Minn. and Leonard (Carol) Hammes of Lakeland, Fla.; and birth parents Carolyn Kennedy and Merlin Maury.

Visitation will be held on Monday, Feb. 21, from 9 to 11 a.m., at St. Mary Catholic Church in McGregor. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held after the visitation at 11 a.m. at St. Mary Catholic Church in McGregor. Father Chris Podhajsky will be the celebrant. Burial will follow at a later date in St. Mary Catholic Cemetery in McGregor. Thornburg–Grau Funeral Home and Cremation Service of McGregor is in charge of arrangements.

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