“To The Last Man”
In Memory of Bradley Dale Hammer
Bradley Dale Hammer was born October 2, 1940, to Doris (Conrad) and Glen Hammer, the first of three children. Brad attended school in Albert Lea, MN, graduating high school in 1959. After high school, Brad worked for Paige and Hill, Berglund Sporting Goods and later went to basic training in 1963 to further his commitment to a country he so loved. Serving in the Minnesota Army National Guard (Company A, 1st Battalion, 135th Infantry), Brad achieved the rank of First Sergeant and was awarded several medals of commendation throughout his 27 years of service. Many who served with him would still refer to him as “Top” long after he retired (1990). While serving his country, Brad became a police officer with the Albert Lea Police department in August of 1965, reinforcing his desire to serve his community.
On August 27, 1966, he wed Linda Kay Olson (deceased 2023) continuing to live in Albert Lea to start a family. On June 26, 1967, their first born arrived, Chad William Hammer and later came Jace Bradley Hammer (both Albert Lea, MN) on October 1, 1971. Brad and Linda later divorced (1980) and Brad took on the responsibility of raising his sons shortly thereafter. After retiring from the police department (1981), Brad bartended and delivered motorhomes for Winnebago, preferring trips to the intermountain west which captured his soul when it came to its picturesque landscape and the history it had to offer. Most who worked with Brad enjoyed his sarcastic sense of humor and quick wit. Brad loved recreational shooting which even led him to become the President of the Albert Lea Rifle and Pistol Club for many years. In August 1992, Brad underwent heart transplant surgery and defied the odds for over 30 years as one of Mayo Clinic’s longest living recipients.
Brad was preceded in death by his parents, Glen (1976) and Doris (2005), and his brother William (Bill) Hammer (2008).
Survivors include his two boys, Chad (Julie) Hammer of Albert Lea, MN and Jace (Jill) Hammer of Littleton, CO; granddaughter, Jayden Kay Hammer (Albert Lea, MN), grandson, Andre Chace Norman (Littleton, CO), sister, Glenyse (Robert) Styve (Marcell, MN), and sister-in-law, Janice (Hove) Hammer (Albert Lea, MN) along with many nieces and nephews, including their children, all of which referred to him as “Uncle Brad” and that he absolutely adored.
Brad was a great father, a true friend, and a no-nonsense type of guy. He loved kids, wildlife, authentic westerns, oldies music, shooting guns, hunting, being with family and friends, watching the MN Twins, and Fox news. He was a true patriot, his favorite holiday was Independence Day, loved fireworks celebrations and parades, and never missed an opportunity to thank a fellow servicemember for their service. He was a longstanding member of the American Legion, NRA, and always looked forward to
National Guard reunions. Many who knew him loved his personality and integrity. He will truly be missed and is now at peace.
End of Watch 3/24/2023.
A memorial service for Brad will be held on Saturday, May 20, 2023 at 2:30 pm at United Methodist Church, Albert Lea, MN. Burial with military honors will be held at Graceland Cemetery. Visitation will begin at 1pm on Saturday May 20th at the church.
The Memorial Service will be live-streamed via the Bayview/Freeborn Funeral Home Facebook page at: https://fb.me/e/VH7zcUmj