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Arlene Hammer

Updated: Oct 6, 2022

Kathryn Arlene (Shelker) Hammer, 89, of Des Moines, passed away on Saturday, October 1, 2022, from Alzheimer’s.

Arlene was a 50’s style housewife and embraced that family lifestyle. She kept an immaculate house, always had fresh baked cookies ready to eat, was a scout leader, helped out at church wherever she was needed, never said no to a slumber party, and was our most faithful cheerleader. She loved to entertain and liked nothing better than having the basement full of hungry teenagers.

She was a woman of many talents and tried and excelled at many things. She played basketball in high school and loved sports her entire life. She made quilts, cross stitched, and needlepointed. She has also made ceramics, square danced, played golf, and bowled. Although she and John lived on Lake Panorama for 30 years, and owned a cabin on a Minnesota lake, she never tried to swim.

Arlene loved everything Christmas. She over-decorated the house, bought Christmas ornaments as souvenirs, baked enormous quantities of Christmas cookies and candies, cooked a huge Christmas dinner, wrapped all the presents with an abundance of tape, and was known to dress up as Santa Claus from time to time. She even wore ugly Christmas sweaters before anyone would dare to call them ugly!

She was silly and fun and made our lives better. We will miss her dearly.

Arlene is survived by her 3 children, Mike (Lori) of Panora, Pam (Steve) Stark of Wichita, and Suzi of Urbandale; 8 grandchildren; 9 great-grandchildren; and siblings, Marilyn VanZee and Jack (Becky) Shelker.

She was preceded in death by her husband, John; stillborn daughter; and sisters, Juanita Davis, and Sharon Cassady.

Private family services will be held at a later date.

Memorial contributions can be addressed to St. Cecilia’s Catholic Church and sent to Brooks Funeral Care at 7975 University Blvd. in Clive, IA 50325.


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