Patricia Marie (Hammer) Hunstad Obituary

  • Patricia Marie (Hammer) Hunstad

Hunstad, Patricia Marie (Hammer) Pat of East Gull Lake, formerly of the Twin Cities area, lost her battle with dementia on September 28. while his body has succumbed, his spirit lives on with his family and friends. Pat was God’s gift to Mary and Wally Hammer after more than 8 years of childlessness. She was born in St. Paul on January 9, 1939. An only child, Pat shared her formative years with her parents, learning to fish with a drop line, play poker and care for others. His school career was marked by achievements, both academic and extracurricular. She attended Monroe High School (class of 1957) in St. Paul where she was class officer, head cheerleader, and homecoming queen. Her professional career included part-time jobs, babysitting, and after high school, over 5 years with Minnesota Mutual Life, where she met her husband, Bob. Pat’s most important career has been as a caregiver. It started with the birth of Pat and Bob’s first child, David John. After several hospital stays during the first year, David was diagnosed as mentally handicapped. From then until his death at the age of 3½, David was Pat’s number one priority, and she did everything she could to prolong his life and make it as comfortable as possible. Fortunately, three healthy children followed, and each of them received the same focus on caregiving that was Pat’s trademark. Illness within the family, Bob’s heart attack, his mother’s uterine cancer and brain tumor, and his father’s dementia brought out new aspects of Pat’s caring abilities. As an only child, the burden of coping with her parents’ challenges was on her alone. Through her dedication and energy, she helped them as best she could and managed their transitions to new stages in their lives, impacting them in many positive ways. His mother’s last years before her death were among the happiest thanks to Pat’s guidance and good choices. Pat’s happiest caregiving has been for her four grandchildren. With two working parents, these grandchildren needed daycare, and Pat willingly stepped up. Those 12 years of caring for her beloved grandchildren provided some of Pat’s fondest memories. Her positive impact on her grandchildren was greatly appreciated by their parents, as well as the grandchildren. Pat was a lifelong Minnesota sports fan, but especially enjoyed hockey, including high school tournaments, the North Stars and the Wild. Any grandchild activity—dance recitals, track and field tournaments, hockey, football, and baseball—would bring Pat to the sidelines and to the bleachers to cheer on his loved ones. A late sporting interest was football as she cheered on her two grandsons in their bids for state high school titles and also cheered on the Johnnies and her grandson of all conferences. Pat is survived by Bob, her husband of 59 years, her daughters Kathy (Terry) Mergens, Mary (Jim) Boerjan and Susan; four grandchildren, Maria (Aaron) Krook, Chis (Brooke) Mergens and Zack (fiancée Maddie) and Jake Boerjan; great-grandchildren, Cooper and Kennedy Krook, as well as other relatives and friends. Pat was predeceased by her parents and her son. The Christian Burial Mass will be held at 11:00 a.m. on October 3 at All Saints Catholic Church on Carlson Lake Road. Visitation will take place one hour before mass in the social hall. Burial at the Saint-Thomas des Pins cemetery. All participants are invited to lunch in the church social hall. Papers requested from All Saints Church in Baxter/Brainerd or the Alzheimer Association. Arrangements have been entrusted to the Brenny Family Funeral Chapel, Baxter.

Posted on September 30, 2022

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