Obituaries Announcements

Leo Raymond Hammes
Lauer Funeral Home in Seneca
Seneca, KS

Leo Raymond Hammes, 83, of Seneca, Kansas, passed away on February 11th, 2024, at Nemaha Valley Community Hospital in Seneca.

Leo was born on October 1st, 1940, to Lawrence & Cora Stallbaumer Hammes. He was the 9th of 12 children. Growing up he worked on the family farm and helped his father with his custom corn shelling business. Leo graduated from Baileyville High School in 1958. After graduation and a year of work, he joined the Army National Guard March of 1959 and was discharged March 1963 at the rank of PFC E-3. He was attached to the Btry “A” 2dHowBn 130th Arty. Upon completion of active duty returned to working on the farm.

Leo- life changed when he met the love of his life, Mary Jane Rottinghaus of St. Benedict, at a dance in Marysville. He decided to go to work in Kansas City, then began school at Central Tech Institute to get a degree in Electronic Technology. On May 9th, 1964, Leo married Mary Jane at St. Mary- Church in St. Benedict, KS.

After graduation Leo worked for Western Electric in Lee Summit, MO for two years. He then moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico to work at Sandia National Laboratories for seven years. He returned in 1973 to Seneca, Kansas to purchase a farm four miles south of Seneca to raise hogs and farm the ground. He and his brother Gerald worked together on each other- farms planting and harvesting.

Leo loved electronics, computers, and tinkering, so during this time, with his brother Kenny, Leo founded a company, Seneca Aptronics. He designed and patented an electronic acreage counter, which he manufactured and sold. Leo also wrote and sold a computer program, HogFarm64, for the Commodore64 computer to manage livestock. He retired from farming in 2008 and moved into the town of Seneca.

Leo was a member of the Knights of Columbus, served on the Community National Bank board of directors, served on the Rural Water District, and a longtime member of Sts. Peter and Paul Parish where Leo was an extraordinary minister of Holy Communion for a time. Leo and Mary Jane were the Honorary Chairs of the Archbishop- Call to Share Campaign in 2012.

Leo enjoyed working—his nickname in younger days was “Gunner,” but he also was a well-known jokester, liked bowling, watching sports, and being with his family and grandchildren.

Leo was preceded in death by his parents, Lawrence on November 30, 1993, and Cora on July 15, 1975; his brothers, Donald on November 21, 1967, Gerald on May 16, 2021, and Kenneth on November 15, 2022; and sisters Dorothy Bergman Schraad on January 19, 2017, Cleta Mae Haverkamp on December 8, 2020.

He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Mary Jane, and five children: Deborah (Doug) Rethman of Seneca, David (Tarese) Hammes of Seneca, Gary (Kristine) Hammes of Topeka, Father Greg Hammes of Olathe, and Cindy Hammes of Austin, TX; three brothers, Alvin and Galen of Seneca, and Larry of Topeka; three sisters, Bernice Heiman of Baileyville, Mary Rose Feuerborn of Richmond, and Jeanette Becker of Seneca; 14 grandchildren; Ethan (Nikki) Rethman of Seneca, Cody Rethman, Dylan (Jenna) Rethman, Kyle Rethman, Cassidy Rethman, Colten Hammes, Dominic Hammes, Mariana Hammes, Joel Hammes, Max Hammes, Nicholas (Sara) Hammes, Julia Hammes, Cecilia Hammes, and Samuel Hammes; 3 great-grandchildren, Easten and Bristol Rethman, and Lawerence Rethman.

Rosaries will be prayed at 2 and 6 PM on Wednesday, February 14, 2024, at the Lauer Funeral Home in Seneca. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11:00 A.M. on February 15, 2024, at the Sts. Peter and Paul Church in Seneca, KS. Burial with military honors will follow at the Sts. Peter and Paul Cemetery.

Memorials may be left in his memory to Sts. Peter and Paul School, Nemaha Valley Community Hospital Building Fund, or other wishes sent in care of the family.

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