Richard Lee Hammel 66 of Harlowton passed away peacefully at his home on December 8, 2013, surrounded by his loving family. Richard’s positive attitude never wavered during his long battle with cancer. Richard was born May 3, 1947 in Basin, WY the son of Donald C. and Virginia M. (Abney) Hammel.
He attended schools in Basin, Shawmut and Harlowton, Montana graduating from Harlowton High School in 1965. He graduated from Montana State University with a B.A. in mathematics, and later pursued graduate studies at the University of Montana. He worked in numerous jobs during his life, including summers during high school at the Moore Ranch near Two Dot. On November 18, 1966 he was united in marriage to Karen Finstad in Idaho Falls, ID and renewed their vows on September 7, 2007 in South St. Paul, MN. He and his good friend Roger Terwilliger owned a concrete and steel building construction business in the 1970’s in Bozeman, MT. He also worked in Helena and the Seattle area. He retired from Xcel Energy where he worked at the Prairie Island Nuclear Power Plant near Red Wing, MN. Richard & Karen moved from South St. Paul, MN to Harlowton following his retirement from Xcel Energy in March of 2013.
Richard served in the Montana National Guard from 1965 to retiring as a Major in 1987. He received two Meritorious Service Medals for outstanding service while a member of the Montana National Guard.
He is survived by his wife Karen of Harlowton; two sons Brent (Shawna) of Billings, MT and Brooks (Lisa) of Park City, MT; grandchildren Cody, Sydney, Seth and Lane Hammel and Trenton Paluch; one sister Carol Albini of Waterbury, CT; one brother Don (Donna) of Billings, MT; aunt and uncle Alice and Chester Skilbred of Harlowton, MT; mother-in-law Doris Finstad of Thief River Falls, MN; sisters-in-law Dorothy Finstad of Thief River Falls, MN and Darlene (Ken) Rhoden of Algonquin, IL; brothers-in-law Terry Finstad of Tigard, OR and Wendell (Shelly) Finstad of Rock Springs, WY; numerous cousins, nieces and nephews.
Funeral Services for Richard Lee Hammel will be Friday, December 13, 2013 at 2:00 p.m. in the Perkins Chapel with interment to follow in the Harlowton Cemetery. Visitation will be Thursday, December 12th, 2013 from 4 to 7 pm in the Perkins Chapel. The Perkins Funeral Home is assisting the family.
Friends are asked to make memorials to the Wounded Warriors, Montana National Guard Fund for Families, United Hospital Foundation of St. Paul, MN or the charity of their choice and they may be left with the Perkins Funeral Home, PO Box 313 Harlowton, MT 59036.