Mike Hamm was known and respected throughout the county for his work in human services and his gift of friendship to many. When we saw what Ms. Trapp had written as a tribute to Mike we asked her permission to include it with his obituary.
She graciously granted it.
Extraordinary. Remarkable. Incredible. Amazing. Strong. Phenomenal. Astonishing. I was trying to think of a word to describe Mike and just one doesn’t come close to describing how great this man actually was. His incredible stubborn streak and intense determination brought him farther than most and he accomplished so much in his 66 short years. Enjoying and excelling in everything he did from hunting to fishing, gourmet cooking, appreciating good scotch and well cooked ribeye! Mike was a true friend to so many and an amazing role model, he never ever complained when he could have, making me have the utmost respect for him. Mike I’ll forever cherish the memories we have with you - especially our Alabama Adventure! With happiness that you are with Jesus and your earthly suffering is over I am so sad our friend is no longer here. Mike we will miss you dearly you made my world a better place by being in it. Walk freely in heaven and rest easy my friend.
Michael "Mike" Jay Hamm
March 17, 1954 ~ September 13, 2020
Michael Jay Hamm, age 66 of White Cloud, MI passed away in his sleep on September 13, 2020 at Faith Hospice, Trillium Woods, in Byron Center, MI. He walks with Angels. Mike was born in Grand Haven, MI on March 17, 1954 to the late Jay and Jacqueline (Hirdes) Hamm.
He was born with Cerebral Palsy (“CP”). His parents were advised that Mike was developmentally disabled. They refused to accept that and insisted Mike receive a mainstream education without special treatment. He learned early in life that CP would not define him and that it would not place limits on him. Mike participated in varsity athletics as team manager. He graduated from Grand Haven Sr. High School in 1973. Mike went on to earn bachelor’s degrees from Michigan State University (1977), Grand Valley State University (1984); and an MSW from Grand Valley State University (1987).
He was a Mason and was a former member of Trinity Reformed Church (Grand Haven) and was affiliated with other Christian organizations. He spent most of his career as a psychiatric social worker for Newaygo County Community Mental Health. Mike became the Youth Services Supervisor in 1993 and retired as the Adult Services Supervisor. Following his retirement, Mike continued to be an advocate by serving on various boards that provided oversight to non-profits working on behalf of Mental Health Consumers, as well as entities that served people with disabilities.
Mike was kind, charming, witty, a great friend, a classic bachelor and fiercely independent. He loved a good joke. Mike was known for being an excellent turkey hunter (and guide), and was a dedicated bow-hunter into the early 90s. When his CP made it impossible for him to draw a bow, he focused on hunting with a rifle. Some of the animals Mike harvested included whitetail deer, mule deer, red stag, and mouflon sheep. He was also instrumental in developing several chapters of the National Wild Turkey Federation. Mike introduced many hunters to the sport of turkey hunting and donated time, energy, and money to the cause of the National Wild Turkey Federation.
Mike loved watching football, college basketball, and the Detroit Pistons. He enjoyed watching NASCAR with his Dad and was a friend to many. Mike enjoyed gourmet food, fine wines, and scotch. He loved John Wayne. Those that knew Mike knew he was the personification of True Grit. He was a Patriot and a student of American History and especially enjoyed reading books that focused on the military. Mike loved to travel; his last trip (June 2019) saw him travel (by himself) to Normandy, France to attend the 75th Anniversary of D-Day in Normandy, France.
Mike is survived by his aunts, Gwen Myles and Linda (Al) Pontarelli (all Grand Haven); his special friend, Leona Royer (Big Rapids); and a village of great friends, colleagues and co-workers. He was preceded in death by his parents; and a couple great beagles.
The Funeral Service for Mike will be at Trinity Reformed Church on Friday, September 18, 2020 at 11:00 am. Visitations will be held on Wednesday, September 16th from 6 to 9 p.m. at Crandell Funeral Home in White Cloud, and Thursday, September 17th from 6 to 9 p.m. at Klaassen Family Funeral Home. Mike intended his friends and family to have a party where they have a drink and share funny stories about his life. Considering Covid-19, a Celebration of Life will be held in his honor at a later time.
Memorial contributions may be made to Disability Network West Michigan: Mike Hamm Memorial Fund for Outdoor Recreation or the White River Long Beards Chapter of the NWTF: JAKES Events.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Michael "Mike" Jay Hamm, please visit our floral store.
Wednesday September 16, 2020
6:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Crandell Funeral Home
1109 Court St.
White Cloud, MI 49349
September 17, 2020
6:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Klaassen Family Funeral Home
1500 Robbins Road
Grand Haven, MI 49417
September 18, 2020
Trinity Reformed Church
1330 S Ferry St.
Grand Haven, MI 49417