William Hammer died Oct. 12, 2023 at his home in Nobleboro, after several falls that contributed to rapid decline. Bill was born in Scandia, Kan. on Oct. 8, 1937, and his lifelong frugal demeanor was a result of the Great Depression’s impact on Midwest farming families during the ‘30s and ‘40s. He learned not to ask for much and this quality persisted until his death.
Bill attended Bethany College in Lindsborg, Kan., where he met and married Nan Justice; he went on to earn a master’s degree in child psychology from the Menninger Institute in Topeka, Kan., when Karl Menninger was in residence. He and Nan moved to New Hampshire in the ‘60s where he became director of the Manadonock Children’s Center; his naturalness working with children helped him pave the way in developing school testing programs to determine learning disabilities at a time when these types of special services for children were rare.
Bill and Nan moved with their three children to Damariscotta in the late ‘70s and he transitioned away from his profession as school psychologist to become a tender of the land, cultivating a large parcel of land in Nobleboro where his Kansas roots had some room to spread. He was unique for men of his time in that he allowed the creative zeal of his wife, Nan, to guide the tenor of their lives together, humble and unabashed to follow her visions of a free-spirited lifestyle.
Later in years, Bill cared for Nan when symptoms of Alzheimer’s limited her independence. Bill’s health began to fail in the years following Nan’s death and he continued to live a simple, quiet life on his land in Nobleboro, until his death this October.
Bill is survived by his children, Lisa Beth Hammer, of Nobleboro, Thomas C. Hammer, of Nobleboro, and Michael W. Hammer, of Ellsworth; Bill leaves seven grandchildren; and is predeceased by one granddaughter.