Norman Lee Hamann Sr, of Kalamazoo, passed away, surrounded by family, on May 31, 2022 at the age of 86 after a long illness. Norm was born in Gypsum, Ohio on January 27, 1936, the son of the late Leonard and Agatha Hamann.
He attended Wayne High School where he graduated in 1954. His childhood was a happy one shared with his younger sister Kay. As a boy he was a member of the 4H club, in high school he worked summers at the local hardware store. Once on a whim he decided to see if he could turn his Dad's Model A car 360 degrees in the garage. He succeeded. That attention to detail and patience would serve him well as an architect, After high school Norm attended The University of Michigan where he graduated in 1959 with a Bachelor of Architecture degree. Norm's career as an architect spanned several decades. He was one of the principal founders of Diekema/Hamann Architects. His most notable projects in Kalamazoo include the current Burnham and Flower Insurance Group building on the Kalamazoo Mall which was featured in a National Geographic article in 1977, and Martell's restaurant (formerly The Black Swan) which recently received an AIA Michigan honor award. He led by example and was mentor to many young architects. Norm was the epitome of integrity in all that he did. In 1987 he served as president of AIA Michigan (American Institute of Architects), was awarded the gold medal in Architecture in 1990, and served on several commissions and boards.
Norm married Berta Steigenberger in 1959. They settled in Kalamazoo and raised five beautiful children. Summers were spent at Crystal Lake in Frankfort, MI where he built the family cottage in 1972 known as "The house in the sun". Norm had a gift for creating beautiful spaces for his family to enjoy. After Berta lost her battle with cancer Norm met his lovely Laura and they married March 13, 1993. In 2006 Norm designed and built his second cottage in Montague, MI for Laura. Those who were blessed to know Norm saw a life lived in kindness and of service to others. He enjoyed listening to music and traveling abroad. In retirement Norm looked forward to his annual spring trips to Aruba with Laura. Never one to sit still, Norm was always working on the next project. He was a self-taught artist. His early graphite pencil drawings and later his acrylic landscapes and still life paintings now grace the homes of his family and friends. In his later years Norm became an accomplished baker and cook. His biscotti's were absolutely delicious.
Norm is survived by his wife Laura, sister Kay (Norm), his children, Norman Jr. (Kathryn), Yvonne (David), Richard, Robert (Ellen), and Thomas/Tony (Kari) and his grandchildren: Christine (David), Alexandra (Robert), Danielle (Andrew), Jacob (Brittany), Katrina (Sasha), Peter, Megan, Kara, and great-grandchildren Eleanor, Henry and Caleb, Laura's sister Janet (Tim) LaVasseur and many nieces and nephews. Norm's beloved basenji, Max, was with him to the end.
Visitation celebrating the life of Norm will be held on Saturday, June 4, 2022 at 10:00 a.m. followed by a service at 11:00 a.m. at St. Luke's Episcopal Church 247 W. Lovell Street, Kalamazoo, MI. A reception will follow at the church for family and friends.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Bronson Health Foundation, Centrica Care Navigators, The Innocence Project or the Michigan Architectural Foundation. Avink, McCowen, & Secord Funeral Home and Cremation Society, Schoolcraft,
While visiting www.amsfuneralhomes.com please take time to sign Norman's guestbook and/or share a memory with his family.
The Hamann family is being cared for by the Avink, McCowen & Secord Funeral Homes and Cremation Society, 129 S. Grand, Schoolcraft, MI 49087. (269)679-5622.