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Published October 12, 2013, 12:00 AM

Louise Caroline (Hoppe) Hammerstrom

Louise Caroline (Hoppe) Hammerstrom, age 97, of Glencoe, Minnesota, passed away on Wednesday, October 9, 2013, at Glencoe Regional Health Services Long Term Care in Glencoe, Minnesota. Funeral services were held Saturday, October 12, 2013, 11:00 A.M., at First Congregational United Church of Christ in Glencoe, Minnesota, with interment at a later date at Fort Snelling National Cemetery in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Louise Caroline (Hoppe) Hammerstrom was born on November 12, 1915, to August and Charlotte (Ernst) Hoppe at their farm home 8 miles south of Sabin, Minnesota. She attended 1st through 8th grades at Koester Country School on the old "KT" road, which was 1-3/4 miles away from her home. Louise and her siblings walked on the dirt and gravel road even when it was 20 degrees below zero. If there was a blizzard, her Dad gave them a ride on the old fashioned cutter sleigh with warm bricks at their feet. When her younger sister, Grace announced, "I'm going to high school," Louise decided that she would also attend with her sister. Both girls stayed with Grandpa and Grandma Ernst in Barnesville, Minnesota, while attending school. Grace quit school her junior year because she didn't want to have to work for room and board but Louise did. Summers she worked for Mrs. Oliver in Pelican Lake, Minnesota, and graduated from Barnesville High School in 1937. Upon high school graduation she worked for 2 years first in Moorhead, then Minneapolis, and finally Fort Snelling saving money to study nursing at Vocational Hospital in Minneapolis, finishing her PN degree at Franklin Hospital in Minneapolis. With her PN degree, her first job was at Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis, then the Kenner Hospital in Chicago.

Louise Caroline (Hoppe) Hammerstrom

Louise Caroline (Hoppe) Hammerstrom, age 97, of Glencoe, Minnesota, passed away on Wednesday, October 9, 2013, at Glencoe Regional Health Services Long Term Care in Glencoe, Minnesota. Funeral services were held Saturday, October 12, 2013, 11:00 A.M., at First Congregational United Church of Christ in Glencoe, Minnesota, with interment at a later date at Fort Snelling National Cemetery in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Louise Caroline (Hoppe) Hammerstrom was born on November 12, 1915, to August and Charlotte (Ernst) Hoppe at their farm home 8 miles south of Sabin, Minnesota. She attended 1st through 8th grades at Koester Country School on the old "KT" road, which was 1-3/4 miles away from her home. Louise and her siblings walked on the dirt and gravel road even when it was 20 degrees below zero. If there was a blizzard, her Dad gave them a ride on the old fashioned cutter sleigh with warm bricks at their feet. When her younger sister, Grace announced, "I'm going to high school," Louise decided that she would also attend with her sister. Both girls stayed with Grandpa and Grandma Ernst in Barnesville, Minnesota, while attending school. Grace quit school her junior year because she didn't want to have to work for room and board but Louise did. Summers she worked for Mrs. Oliver in Pelican Lake, Minnesota, and graduated from Barnesville High School in 1937. Upon high school graduation she worked for 2 years first in Moorhead, then Minneapolis, and finally Fort Snelling saving money to study nursing at Vocational Hospital in Minneapolis, finishing her PN degree at Franklin Hospital in Minneapolis. With her PN degree, her first job was at Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis, then the Kenner Hospital in Chicago.

While at Fort Snelling, she had met Melvin "Sarge" Hammerstrom in 1939. They corresponded and courted during the war years. It was "Sarge" who resolved not to marry until after World War II. On November 1, 1945, Louise was united in marriage to Melvin Hammerstrom at Presbyterian Church in Moorhead, Minnesota. As a career military man, Sarge's many moves transfers and promotions meant that when possible, Louise packed up and moved again and again. Their first home was in Fort Bennington, Georgia (1 year), Fort Jackson, South Carolina (3 years), Berlin, Germany (3 years) and various posts throughout Germany and Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri (2 years). Sarge was sent to Korea for 16 months. During that time Louise graduated from Kane's School of Beauty Culture in Idaho, earning her Cosmetology License in 1956. When Sarge returned from Korea, Louise joined him at Fort Leonard Wood. All those years of moving surely must have seemed adventurous and even glamorous to family members in Minnesota. Yet it was a strain, often involving many hardships. Military housing for enlisted men was spartan. At Fort Leonard Wood, when the wind blew through the walls, the toilet paper fluttered. Through the razor blade slot in the medicine cabinet, Louise could see her neighbors and hear them also. She stored canned food under the bed. Sometimes military housing was no more than one room and sometimes unavailable. Living off post one year in what was essentially a summer cabin, Sarge carried water in a bucket and the toilet was an outhouse half a block away. In 1958, Sarge retired from the United States Army and they made their home in Glencoe, in the family homestead on the "Railroad Lot" where Sarge grew up. Louise was a nurse at the Glencoe Hospital. She was an active member at the Presbyterian Church in Silver Lake, Minnesota, where she served on the Ladies Aid. In later years, Louise transferred her church membership to First Congregational United Church of Christ in Glencoe. She was also a member of the Glencoe American Legion Auxiliary.

The oldest girl of 7 living siblings, Louise could bake a cake and make bread by the time she was 10 years old. In June of 1925, when sister Rosella was born, Louise, her sister Grace and Mother cooked for threshers and carpenters and took care of the new baby. Because her mother was ill following the birth of Faith, at the age of 13 it was Louise who diapered and fed little Faith and often slept with her so their Mother could rest at night. Water came from an outdoor pump and was carried to the house. When the wind didn't turn the windmill, they carried water to the animals. Kids slept on straw tick mattresses re-stuffed each fall with fresh straw. Theirs was a potato farm. Country kids got "potato picking vacations", a whole week off school to pick 100 bushels of potatoes a day lugging the 60 pound baskets of potatoes down long field rows. Potatoes were stored in a potato warehouse on the farm dug into the earth and covered with a low roof. In the winter, kids helped parents sort potatoes picking out the seed potatoes. Large ones were sold late fall or early spring. Smaller ones were boiled in the "jacket" and eaten at home. Kids were paid 3 cents for each bushel picked and each bushel was sold for just 25 cents. It was on one of those long potato picking days, that young Louise fell off the open flatbed truck landing on her head and suffered chronic back pain the rest of her life. She loved nursing and never lost her love for nursing. Many of her last years, were devoted to helping nurse her husband and her chronic illness, fibromyalgia. Louise also enjoyed gardening and taking care of her home. Like her husband, Sarge, Louise worked hard for everything in her life. But she said, "I accomplished all that I wanted to do. And I had nearly 56 years of a wonderful life with my husband, Melvin "Sarge" Hammerstrom.

Louise entered her eternal rest on Wednesday, October 9, 2013, at Glencoe Regional Health Services Long Term Care in Glencoe, Minnesota, at the age of 97 years, 10 months and 27 days. Blessed be her memory.

Louise is survived by her: Siblings, Leonard Hoppe of Graceville, MN, Faith Krueger of Moorhead, MN;

Nieces, nephews, other relatives and many friends.

Louise is preceded in death by her beloved husband, Melvin "Sarge" Hammerstrom; parents, August and Charlotte Hoppe; siblings, Harry Hoppe, Frank Hoppe, Rosella Krabbenhoft, Grace Larkin.

Arrangements by the Johnson-McBride Funeral Chapel of Glencoe.

Online Obituaries and Guest Book available at www.hantge.com. Please click on Obituaries/Guest Book.

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