American Veteran 01

William Ray Hamma, Sr.

April 17, 1931 ~ December 17, 2021 (age 90)


William R. Hamma (Bill) passed away peacefully at his home in Durham on December 17, 2021.  He was 90.  Born on April 17, 1931 in Mt. Clemens, Michigan, he was the son of the late William M. Hamma and Katherine G. (Harrison) Hamma.  A Korean War Veteran, Bill loved his country and actively served in both the Air Force and Army from 1950 to 1957.  Following his time in the military, Bill continued his service to the United States Government by working at the Veteran’s Hospital in West Haven as a carpenter/locksmith for more than 30 years.  In 1957, he met and married the love of his life, Mabel (Mickie) Gastler, before settling in Durham in 1960.  An avid reader and aficionado of U.S. military history, it was not uncommon for Bill to amaze his family and friends by being able to effortlessly recall significant details of military operations, tactics and technologies employed during the Civil War, WWI, WWII and the Korean War.  He was also quite adept with his hands and loved to tinker with all things mechanical.  It was not unusual to find him in his basement on the weekend restoring antique clocks and furniture, a passion that carried over into a successful antique business with his wife, Mickie.  Bill also loved the outdoors and could often be found both planting Christmas trees in the spring and cutting trees for customers in December at the tree lot next door to his house.  He truly loved meeting and chatting with all of the different people who would come for a tree and many became multi-year returning customers.  His children feel they would be remiss if they didn’t mention the weekends spent outside during their childhood cutting wood for the winter as well…something they thought was akin to punishment but that Mickie and Bill thought qualified as quality family time.  His children thought the annual family vacations on Long Lake in Maine were much better.  A loving and devoted family man, Bill is survived by his wife of 64 years, Mabel (Mickie) Hamma, his daughter Cathryn (Vincent) Melvin, his son William, Jr. (Elisa) Hamma and his son James (Maria) Hamma, as well as 7 grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.  He is also survived by his sister, Mary Caffrey, and was predeceased by his daughter Carolyn (Phillip) Caffrey in 2018.  His family will miss his gentle and fun-loving nature, his amazing smile and the dry sense of humor that typically came out during family card games.  A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, May 7, 2022 at 10 a.m. graveside at Mica Hill Cemetery in Durham.  In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Middlesex Health Hospice Program, 28 Crescent Street, Middletown, CT 06457.  To share memories or send condolences to the family, please visit

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Graveside Service
May 7, 2022

10:00 AM
Mica Hill Cemetery
Mica Hill Road
Durham, CT 06422
Guaranteed delivery before the Graveside Service begins

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