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Alfred Alfonse “Al” Hammersmith 1942 - 2021

Alfred Alfonse “Al” Hammersmith, age 78, passed away peacefully Saturday, April 10, 2021, at Via Christi Village Care Center, Hays, Kan. He was born June 28, 1942, in Russell, Kan. to Alfonse and Silverina I. (Quint) Hammersmith. He married Mary Ellen (Hammerschmidt) on Aug. 25, 1966, at Russell, Kan.  

He owned and operated H & B Petroleum of Hutchinson since 1997, and he has always worked in the oil fields. He and Mary made their home in Ellinwood, Kan. for about 30 years, they also lived in Plainville, Ness City, and Hutchinson. He grew up in Gorham and was a 1960 graduate of Gorham High School. He served three years in the U.S. Army, a member of 3rd and 4th Degree Knights of Columbus, and a member of the Church of the Holy Cross of Hutchinson. 

He donated to many organizations locally and across the globe. He had a real passion for supporting Catholic education, especially schools that his grandkids attended. He enjoyed life to the fullest. He loved to camp and fish, play golf, going to the casino, spending time with friends and family, and cheering on the Jayhawks, Chiefs and Royals. 

Above all, his real passion in life was his faith, family and work. He was a devoted husband, Dad and Grandpa. He was proud of his Volga German heritage. He was a model for the importance of prayer, faith and hard work in one’s life. He always cherished the times when his family could spend time together. Finally, you could always count on him supporting his kids and grandkids as he traveled many miles to watch the many activities they participated in.      

Survivors include his wife, Mary Hammersmith, Hays, Kan.; three sons, Joe Hammersmith and wife Karen, Hutchinson, Kan.; Mike Hammersmith and wife, Angie, Hutchinson, Kan.; Tom Hammersmith and wife, Megan, Hutchinson, Kan.; one daughter, Sarah Balthazor and husband, Steve, Hays, Kan.; one brother-in-law, Jim Rathbun, Natoma, Kan.; 12 grandchildren, Mariah Hammersmith, Morgan Hammersmith, Philippe Manga, Alex Hammersmith, Becca Hammersmith, Isaac Hammersmith, Owen Hammersmith, Anna Hammersmith, Eli Hammersmith, Sophia Balthazor, Evan Balthazor, and Lydia Balthazor. He was preceded in death by his parents; two sisters, Darlene Befort-Mattas; Virginia Rathbun; two infant brothers and one infant sister.

Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10 a.m. Tuesday, April 13, 2021, at The Basilica of St. Fidelis, Victoria, Kan. Burial will be in Saint Fidelis Cemetery, Victoria, Kan. with Flag presentation by the Victoria V.F.W. Post No. 1751. A vigil service and a Knights of Columbus rosary will be at 7 p.m. Monday, at Cline’s-Keithley Mortuary of Hays. Visitation will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday, at Cline’s-Keithley Mortuary of Hays and from 9 to 10 a.m. Tuesday, at The Basilica of St. Fidelis, Victoria, Kan. In lieu of flowers the family suggests memorials payable to “The Eli Hammersmith Trust” in care of Cline’s-Keithley Mortuary of Hays, 1919 East 22nd Street, Hays, Kansas 67601. Condolences can be sent via e-mail to or can be left at guest book at

Funeral arrangements provided by

Cline’s-Keithley Mortuary of Hays 

1919 East 22nd Street 

Hays, KS 67601

Great Bend (Kan.) Tribune, April 14, 2021