Dorothy Ruth Hammerbacher, beloved matriarch, devoted friend, and quiet humorist passed away peacefully on Thursday, May 6, 2021 surrounded by her family. She was 97 years old.
Dorothy was born February 15, 1924 in Saginaw, Michigan to Marietta (Sheridan) Klatt and Frank Klatt. She is predeceased by her parents as well as her brother, John Klatt, sister, Marie Klatt Peaphon, and grandson, Matthew Hammerbacher.
Dorothy was a graduate of Saginaw High School and for many years, enjoyed coordinating reunions for the Class of ‘42. After high school, she joined Michigan Bell Telephone Company, and spent most of her 14 years there as an executive secretary in the engineering department. During these post-war years she built wonderful life-long friendships. She was elected president of a local sorority, Beta Gamma in 1947 and joined many other social clubs including her championship bowling team.
Dorothy had an adventurous spirit, travelling widely in the US and abroad at a time when few working women had the opportunity. She and her friend Eileen were featured in the Saginaw News for their 1952 tour of Ireland and the United Kingdom, highlighting their transatlantic journey on the HMS Queen Elizabeth. Not long after her return home, she met a certain handsome young man while dancing at the Golden Glow.
On May 1, 1954 she married Albert (Al) Hammerbacher at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Saginaw. He preceded her in death on October 20, 1989.
Dorothy and Al built a home on the Hammerbacher family farm in Kochville Township and raised six wonderful children: Ann Satkowiak (Ron Emrich); Brian (Cathy) Hammerbacher; Lori (Mike) Williams; Neil (Katie) Hammerbacher; Gail (Paul) Steih; and Gary (Sandra) Hammerbacher.
Dorothy and Al instilled a love of travel in their family, packing their van every August for memorable road trips to places like Disney World, National Parks, Washington, DC, and hotels with pools if everyone chipped in.
Dorothy was proudly known as “Grandma Hammer” to her grandchildren and was a frequent spectator at their many sporting and extracurricular events. They are Sara Satkowiak (Jesse Helm); Amy Satkowiak (Jonathan Towe); Christopher (Alexandra) Hammerbacher; Ashley (Christopher) Lemieux; Benjamin Williams (Marina Criso); Abigail Williams (Richard Chalmers); Eric Hammerbacher; Maggie (Ashwin) Trehan; Emily (Armen) Hratchian; Kat Steih; Meredith Steih (Ken Haddad); Juston Hammerbacher (Kelsey Lane); and Baylie Hammerbacher. Dorothy had five great-grandchildren: Lucy, Samuel, and Michael Hratchian; and Henry and Theodore Trehan.
Dorothy had many nieces and nephews including Kay (Klatt) MacVicar, Deann (Peaphon) Anderson, Linda (Peaphon) Fitzpatrick and Audrey (Hammerbacher) Palmrueter who were especially close to her heart.
Dorothy found strength in her Catholic faith and was a long-time member of St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church and a more recent member of Holy Spirit Catholic Church.
In her later years, Dorothy continued to love travel, musical theater, outdoor concerts and sports--always cheering on the Fighting Irish. She delighted in listening to big band standards and her favorite singers, Barbra Streisand and Andy Williams. Most of all she treasured spending time with her children and grandchildren--entertaining them with her quick wit and wonderful stories over a bowl of ice cream.
Dorothy valued her independence as she advanced in age, but was grateful for the support and companionship of her children and their families. Those who lived nearby cherished the opportunity to care for her: Lori & Mike and Neil & Katie in Saginaw, and Gail & Paul in Ann Arbor, in whose home she spent the last year of her life.
FUNERAL SERVICE: A Funeral Liturgy will take place at 11:00 a.m. Tuesday, May 11, 2021 at Holy Spirit Catholic Church, 1035 N. River Road, Saginaw. Rev. Fr. Peter J. Gaspeny will officiate. Rite of Committal to follow at Roselawn Memorial Gardens. For those that are unable to attend the service, you are invited to join remotely by going to the following web address: https://client.tribucast.com/tcid/5609924657 , the livestream will begin at approximately 11:00 a.m.
VISITATION: Family and friends will gather at Deisler Funeral Home, 2233 Hemmeter Rd. (off State) on Monday, May 10, 2021 from 5:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. Visitation will continue at the church on Tuesday from 10:00 a.m. until the time of Mass.