Robert Mc Donald “Bob” Hamerly, 97, of Shrewsbury died Friday, March 6, 2020. Bob was born in Sioux Falls, South Dakota the only child to Milo and Helen (McDonald) Hamerly.
He was married to the love of his life, Martha (Ostwald) Hamerly for 65 years. Martha died in 2010. Bob leaves his children, Thomas J. Hamerly and his wife Joanne of Sturbridge; and Nancy J. Diterlizzi and her husband, Daniel of Shrewsbury; also survived by three grandchildren, Lisa, Jessica, Robert; as well as four great grandchildren, Thomas, Vivienne, Alexander and Luca.
Bob lost his father at an early age and had to grow up quickly. Being raised on a ranch, he was driving a herd of 40 horses by the age of 12 years old and he was one of the last people to see open-range no fences on the Prairies of South Dakota. He attended a one room schoolhouse and rode his Shetland pony to school every day.
Bob joined the Navy in 1941, and became a hospital corpsman with the Marines. Early in World War II he saw combat at Guadalcanal and other fronts in the Pacific Theater. He also saw combat during his service in the Korean Conflict. He served proudly during his military career of 22 years attaining the rank of Chief Hospital Corpsman (E8). His last duty station was in Worcester Massachusetts.
After retiring from the Navy, he went to work as personnel manager for Norton company for twenty- five years before he retired. In retirement, Bob wanted to get back into being around horses so, he ended up purchasing a spirited palomino horse which he rode frequently. He became a member of the Aleppo Shriners organization, where he was active in the Mounted Horse Patrol eventually becoming the patrols captain. They marched in lockstep with the Palomino horses in many parades throughout the country. Bob also enjoyed playing golf and spending many winters at their Florida home.
Relatives and friends are invited to visit Mr. Hamerly’s family on Wednesday, March 11, 2020 from 10:00-11:00 AM followed by a service honoring his life at 11:00 AM at the Britton-Shrewsbury Funeral Home, 648 Main Street, Shrewsbury. His burial will be held privately for his family.