Cover photo for Lois Hammer's Obituary
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1930 Lois 2023

Lois Hammer

October 7, 1930 — May 17, 2023

Lois Mardell Norby Hammer passed away peacefully in her sleep in Dillon MT on May

17, 2023 after a brief illness. She was a much beloved teacher in MN, SD, IA, and

Montana; a life-long learner, who was always interested in what was going on in the

world; a creative and beautiful knitter, sewer, and quilter; and always the patient

teacher, also taught her grandchildren how to knit and embroider. She was exceedingly

generous with her time and attention to her children, grandchildren, friends and family,

and the kindest woman possible to everyone she met.

Lois was born October 7, 1930 in Soldier IA to Henry and Sarah (Rustin) Norby. She

grew up on the family farm, helped her dad in the barn, loved participating in 4H, taught

herself how to play piano, and always did well in school. She attended Augustana

College in Sioux Falls SD, where she met her life partner Bill Hammer of Lead SD,

whom she married in March of 1951. They were married for 62 years when Bill died in

2014. Lois began her career as a teacher at the School for the Deaf in Sioux Falls SD

after her graduation from Augustana, and she continued to positively impact the lives of

children with special needs for the next 50+ years. She was a working mom when that

was not the norm, and set a wonderful example of perseverance when she went back to

school at Augustana to get her Bachelor’s degree in 1968. She and Bill moved in

Worthington MN in 1958, where they both taught, raised their children, and made many

dear, life-long friends. In 1978 they embarked on another adventure, moving to their

place on Rock Creek just outside Missoula MT, where Lois began the process again of

creating community with people in the valley and children in Missoula and Clinton. She

also became quite an outdoorswoman, hunting elk and deer with Bill. Her grandchildren

have sweet memories of time spent on Rock Creek, and numerous ways that Grandma

made them feel beloved, including making the best peanut butter shakes, applauding

performances on the deck, and so many moments of her warm presence and attention.

Lois and Bill moved from Rock Creek to Dillon in 2013, and in her 10 years of living in

Dillon, Lois became a cherished member of First Presbyterian Church of Dillon and a

much loved resident of The Legacy (now Beehive)

Being the always proud Norwegian, it is fitting that Lois passed through the thin space

between this world and the next on Sytennde Mai (Norwegian Constitution Day). She

loved a good Ole and Lena joke, especially when it was told by her dear friend (and

fellow proud Norwegian), Ron Loge.

Lois was preceded in death by her husband, parents, sisters Agnes and Marjorie and

brother Gerald. She is survived by children Eric (Sandra McIntyre) Hammer of Dillon

MT, Joy (Kevin) Miller of Maple Grove MN, and Lori (Steve) Laughlin of Spearfish SD;

granddaughters Maren Miller and Anna (Michael) Miller-Sherman, grandsons Colin

(Nicole) Laughlin and Kyle (Beth) Laughlin, great-grandchildren Magnus and Bjorn

Sherman and Grace and Emerson Laughlin. A celebration of Lois’ life will be held at

First Presbyterian Church on Thursday, July 20 at 10am and memorials

are preferred to: the family (c/o Eric Hammer, 2200 Carter Creek Road, Dillon MT

59725), First Presbyterian Church of Dillon (24 South Pacific Street, Dillon MT 59725),

or Beaverhead County United Way Backpack Program (

"If you are interested in seeing a video of the service, please contact the family."
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Lois Hammer, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Celebration of Life

Thursday, July 20, 2023

4:00 - 5:00 pm (Pacific time)

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