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Pine Crest Funeral Home & Pine Crest Cemetery

1939 Dauphin Island Pkwy, Mobile, AL

OBITUARY

James Thomas Hamner Jr.

June 30, 1930November 21, 2019

James Thomas Hamer, Jr. passed away November 21, 2019 in Mobile, AL. He was born June 30, 1930 in Aliceville, AL and was the son of James Thomas Hamner, Sr and Sadie Bertha Hamilton Hamner. Jim was a 1948 graduate of Murphy High School and then graduated from The University of Alabama with a B.S. in Elementary Education. Later returning to the University for a M.A. in School Administration in 1955 and his A.A. Certificate in 1966. He was very involved with the Baptist Student Union while in his four years at the University. Many of his friends from those days remained so his entire life. On June 27, 1952, he married Glorris Gunnels, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Grady Gunnels, Sr. They were married 57 years at her death in 2009. They had two children; James Bryant and Gloria Anne. Following graduation, he returned to Mobile to work in the Mobile School System as a teacher and then in 1957, became the youngest Principal in Mobile at Robert E. Lee school. Following Robert E. Lee, in 1959 he became the Principal of Elizabeth Fonde Elementary where he spread his influence over children and faculty members for 33 years. He enjoyed his time there and kept up with his students in the many years following their time at the school. As a highly respected educator, Mr. Hamner touched the lives of thousands of children over his career. He loved to keep up with those students and had a remarkable sense of memory of every child that attended school there including details regarding the former student. Students described Mr. Hamner as being "willing, fair, caring, happy, and busy. These words were reflected on a bulletin board at school when they were asked to describe him in one word. He retired from Elizabeth Fonde in 1992 and went on to work with Student teachers at Spring Hill College for a couple of years. He enjoyed gathering each month at the Retired Teacher's luncheons until no longer able. He will be remembered not only for his dedication to his church First Baptist of Mobile and for his very strong faith in the Lord but for his humble personality and gentle demeanor. He loved Alabama football (Roll Tide). He was totally dedicated to his family, church, and friends. He was greatly loved and will be remembered by all who knew him. Special appreciation to Dr. Noah Whetstone, SAAD's Hospice and special caregivers, Brenda Austin, Linda Daniels, Essie Martin, Shelia McMillian, Cassandra Young, and Laqueta Sylvester for taking wonderful care of him allowing him to remain at home for his last months. Hamner was preceded in death by his parents Sadie Hamilton Hamner and James Thomas Hamner, Sr. and infant son James Bryant Hamner. He is survived by his daughter Gloria Hamner Stewart (Wade), grandchildren Mary Katherine Stewart and Elizabeth Anne Stewart, sister and Brother-in-Law Mary Hamner McDougall (Richard), close cousin Joe Adams (Ginger), cousins, nieces and nephews and countless other relatives and friends. Memorial donations may be made to First Baptist Church of Mobile. Visitation will be held at First Baptist Church Mobile, 806 Government Street on December 2nd, 2019 from 12:30-2:00p.m. with funeral service to follow at 2:00p.m. Interment will immediately follow at Pine Crest Cemetery, 1939 Dauphin Island Parkway, Mobile, AL.

  • FAMILY

  • Glorris Gunnels Hamner, Wife (deceased)
  • James Bryant Hamner, Son (deceased)
  • Daughter and Son-in-law, Gloria and Wade Stewart
  • Mary Katherine Stewart, Granddaughter
  • Elizabeth Anne Stewart, Granddaughter

Services

  • Visitation Monday, December 2, 2019
  • Funeral Service Monday, December 2, 2019
  • Committal Service Monday, December 2, 2019

Memories

James Thomas Hamner Jr.

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Kelly Strahan

November 28, 2019

Mr Hamner was my favorite principle. He was always so good to me and my family. When my sister and I had children he sent us cards! What a fantastic man to do that for students later in life. He made each of us feel important. My heart is saddened but I know he had a wonderful life!

Lee Gibson

November 27, 2019

All 4 Gibson children, Marc, Key, Claudia & myself, attended & loved Fonde. Mr. Hamner did an incredible job running the school. Prayers for his family & friends.

Judy Cosminsky

November 27, 2019

My three sisters and I all attended Fonde. We thought we were so special to Mr. Hamner, but we have found, that all children were so special to him. He made every child and every parent feel important. Many years ago, when I Grandmother passed, he showed up at the visitation because he saw our last name and wanted to let 'his girls' know that he remembered us. It was the kindest gesture. He will be missed. He was a truly great man and educator.

Vonda Helton

November 27, 2019

I have never forgotten Mr. Hammer. I attended Elizabeth Fonde from 1st grade to 5th grade . He was kind and cared about everyone! He will always hold a special place in my heart!

Tamara Pulmas

November 27, 2019

I remember Mr Hammer as a thoughtful man. He always was so helpful to his student and faculty. Those days at Fonde were awesome when he was the principal. He sent me a graduation card when I graduate from highschool. He will truly be missed.

Misty Mobley Henderson

November 27, 2019

He was such an amazing man. My momma said he use to take a nap right after lunch in his office. He told her that a short nap made him refreshed for the rest of the day. I took that on taking a short 10 minute nap every day and it makes a huge difference. He always had a smile and greeted everyone regardless of his day, even students, like me, as if I was the most important person in the world. There will not be another person like him.

Emily Sawyer Blount

November 27, 2019

Mr. Hamner and Mr. J. Larry Newton hired me in 1973 to work at Fonde teaching First Grade. Mr. Hamner was always so kind and had glowing things to say to eveyone. I admired his diligence to his job, teachers and students. I was very lucky to be able to work for him for ten years. After he retired, I stayed in contact with him for a number of years. When a Christmas card from him did not arrive last year, I knew something must be wrong. He always sent cards with beautiful handwritten messages for my family. I shall miss him and his positive outlook on life...he was a fine Christian man and now has arrived to his Heavenly home. Emily Sawyer Blount
Birmingham, Alabama

Lisa Compton Sumner

November 27, 2019

Mr. Hamner was my principal at Elizabeth Fonde from. 1966-71. He was also there when my son attended Fonde in 1986. He told my son what a great student I was and always spoke and knew me by name. He will be missed by everyone who knew him. So sorry for your liss and your family be will be in my prayers

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY