Les Hemmer
  • 76 years old
  • Date of birth: Nov 27, 1938
  • Date of passing: Sep 9, 2015
Let the memory of Les be with us forever

Thank you to all who came to the memorial service on September 27, 2015. It was a beautiful ceremony that honored the life of a wonderful man. This is the video that played at the service:


This memorial website was created in memory of our loved one, Les Hemmer, 76, who was born on November 27, 1938 and passed away peacefully at his home on September 9, 2015. 

He is survived by his wife, Karen, his son Lance and his wife, Beth, and their two sons, Daniel and Matthew, and his daughter Tara Kling and her husband, Freddy Kling, and their two sons, Isaac and Mason. He is also survived by his brother, Jim, his wife Charlotte, and their family.

Les was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri. He attended Hadley Technical High School where, due to his height, he was recruited to their basketball team, his first organized sport. He then went on to become the second highest scorer in St. Louis during his senior year. He received a full basketball scholarship and graduated with a Bachelors of Education from Southeast Missouri State College. He was honored to play on the team that finished second in the nation in the 1961 NCAA Division II Basketball Championship. 

If you knew Les, you knew him to be larger than life in more ways than one. He was a fun-loving and entertaining man with a fantastic smile and endless wit. He was a natural born leader as well as a great husband, father, and grandpapa. Les worked for various insurance companies throughout his life and eventually opened his own agency. One of Les' passions was the Bible studies he led for many decades. 

If you'd like to share one of your best memories of him, we welcome you to do so in the tribute section below so that we can celebrate his life together.

 In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the MSA Coalition.

Memorial Tributes
This tribute was added by Lynn Lindsay on 9th September 2016

"Missin' ya Big Guy.  Think of you often and the great times we shared.  The laughs and the tears.  They were all good.  It's not gonna be as long as it has been before I see you again."

This tribute was added by Fay Martin on 26th September 2015

"Karen, Tara and Lance,
The miles between Missouri and Florida have put a damper on our get togethers, but I will always remember your visit to Sedalia when the kids were younger. Heck, we were all younger back then.   Even though we haven't seen each other very often over the years, The Hemmer Family remains very special in my heart.  Thank you for posting all the pictures of Les.  It is clear that he enjoyed his role as grandfather.  It is one of life's perks.  My thoughts and prayers are with you as you celebrate the life of a very special man.  Much love, Aunt Fay"

This tribute was added by Jim Campbell on 25th September 2015

"The first time I met Less was when Karen brought him home to meet mom and dad. Being only 10, here was someone truly larger than life. I can still picture Karen lifting her arm straight out to reach around his waist and her head snuggle under his armpit. For many of my young life, I looked up to him not just in stature but as a model of a person to become. I even tried to copy his infectious laugh that frequently caused all around to be bend over with painful joy and laughter. Thank you Les for being a part of my life."

This tribute was added by Lynda Dan on 24th September 2015

"My heart broke when I heard that Les had gone home to be with the Lord. Not for him because he is now healed and whole. But for you Karen and the rest of your family. What a great  loss when you lose the one you have become one with after so many years. And to lose him as a wonderful father, grandfather and friend to those of us who were blessed to call him friend. Just at All Souls, he touched and played a roll in changing so many lives by using the gifts God gave him. And he so graciously used those gifts. You will continue to be in my prayers as you embark on this journey without him. But God gave us children and wonderful grandchildren to walk along beside us. HE will carry you through as HE always does."

This tribute was added by Sally Swift on 24th September 2015

"I only knew Les while he, Karen and I attended the same church. We all became instant friends. I sat in Les' Sunday School class and he was a magnificent teacher. Probably the best Sunday School teacher I have sat under. Aside from that, Les was always a 'gentle giant', very warm and encouraging. It is a comfort to know I will someday see him again as we both sit at our Teacher's feet."

This tribute was added by Pam Chappell on 24th September 2015

"What a gift to me and all my family to have known our brother in Christ, Les.  It's true, as many have said in other tributes, that I quickly see his face with a wide smile when I think of Les.  It seems that Les was full of the joy of living and of being a part of things that involved people, helping folks and fellowshipping, worshipping and studying the Word...... at church.  I am so grateful to Les for teaching two Bible Studies in our small group.  He used his natural abilities to lead and teach and encourage people.  I especially think fondly of how Les reached out in genuine friendship to my son Will!  Will can't stop talking about how he misses Les but is so glad that he will be with him one day in Heaven.  Karen and family..... our hearts are with you and our prayers at this time."

This tribute was added by Kurt Diekmann on 23rd September 2015

"I was so saddened to hear Les, a very dear friend, had passed away.  He and I had been friends for 58 years having met our freshman year at SEMO.  Les was smart, witty, talented and very creative.  I remember in the 70's, he wrote a science fiction novel which looked like a winner to me.  He sent it to a publisher, but never heard back.  Six months later, the same story came out by a different author.  He laughed about it for years.

Through the years we talked often, mostly about family, sports and politics.  On various trips to Florida, Les and I managed to meet for a few hours to spend a little time together.

Karen, Lance, and Tara, Les will be greatly missed by all of us who knew him.  I can see him now standing tall doing a Bible study."

This tribute was added by Jamie Leggett on 23rd September 2015

"I'm so sorry for your loss.....I really wish I could have spent a little more time getting to know Uncle Les but I did always have a huge respect for him and his family...god bless the family and this is truly a wonderful "forever missed" memorial"

This tribute was added by Wanda Stanley on 22nd September 2015

"My prayers are with all of you.  Les fought the good fight and he is now in the presence of Jesus.  Thinking about all the years we worked together are very special to me.  I would go in his office and we talked about Jesus and so many times we prayed together.  Karen, I was always confident that you and Les prayed for me every morning when you had your prayer time together.  He was called Mr. Malpractice by his clients and I learned so much from him.  We had fun times teasing each other because I am so short and he was so tall.  This is a better world because of Les."

This tribute was added by Alice Johnson on 17th September 2015

"I heard of Les's "graduation" just yesterday and and enjoyed a long chat with Karen today.  Jerry and I were apt. monitors and Karen and Les moved in  above us with Lance (one week old!).  Jerry says when he first opened the door to find Les standing there....he was looking into Les's belt buckle!  We immediately bonded with Karen and Les and spent many an hour running back and forth up and down stairs, carrying babies....and trying to get a hand or two of bridge played!  We enjoyed so many years of friendship with the Hemmer's, although our paths separated when we all moved to different parts of Florida.  Fond, fond, memories live on forever  in our hearts!!  Les is - and will be greatly missed!  (Alice Denson Johnson)."

This tribute was added by William Giessing on 17th September 2015

"Karen, Lance, Tara and families, I was sadden to hear of Les passing but sing praises to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ that he chose Les to become a believer and through Christ dead and resurrection paved the way for Les to have a new life, an eternal life of joy and thanksgiving.
Les was a junior at SEMO when I enrolled as a freshmen and joined him on the basketball team. The two years we played together are some of my most memorable moments. He was friendly, dependable and very competitive. Having a chance to see him and play more basketball in St. Louis post graduation was also special. He always had a smile on his face and a kind word to say. I know you know that you had a special husband and dad in Les, and just remember all the fun times you had together."

This tribute was added by Charles Tucker on 17th September 2015

"Karen, Lance ,Tara and familes.  WE are so sorry of the passing of Les. We knew Les as our daughter married into the family. We always heard many nice and funny things that Les said.and did.  We know he will be sorely missed.  Pat and Charles"

This tribute was added by Chris Taylor on 17th September 2015

"Karen and Lance and Family,
Heaven has received an awesome man this day, while his work is done here on earth he has left behind a great legacy of loving caring and God fearing family members. Les has had an impact on my life, he was so committed to aligning himself with God each day that it really helped teach me what it takes to walk close with our heavenly father.
I am also very grateful that his teaching abilities will be passed down through Lance, that gift will change many lives over the years to come.
We love your families, and are praying for the peace that can only come from knowing that God has called him home because he wanted to enjoy his company for a while until we get there to see him again.

Love you Guys"

This tribute was added by Betty Stanley on 16th September 2015

"Keeping an old friend like Les is a joy.  Meeting Les through my friend, Karen Campbell, was a special happening when we were at SEMO.  He was silly, funny, and a real person.  I was sometimes a tag-along with Les and Karen and a fourth at Bridge when a partner for me was located.  He always made me feel  welcome.  I can see him now in his letter jacket, standing tall and smiling, the center of attention.

Visiting the Hemmers in Jacksonville brings to mind an account of Les who would trap squirrels in their yard then drive them several blocks away and release them.  Karen laughed and said, "Those critters would return to be trapped and taken for a ride again and again."  

I will keep the memory of Les in my heart.

Betty Lewis Stanley"

This tribute was added by Karen Rauch on 15th September 2015

"Don and I knew Les and Karen through All Souls Anglican Church.   We were immediately feeling "at home" with this sweet couple.  Many blessing to the family and God grant you peace and grace."

This tribute was added by Lee Johnson on 15th September 2015

"Everyone's life is richer and smarter because of the friendship and tutelage of Les Hemmer.  "He fought the great fight and won the race"  :Les, you will forever be missed and remembered, for you touched so many lives."

This tribute was added by Lynn Lindsay on 15th September 2015

"I'm gonna cry over this for a while and try and get back to it tomorrow.  Hard to see the keys on this keyboard right now.    Lynn"

This tribute was added by Mannyt Marguy on 14th September 2015

"To the Hemmer Family.  Colette and I extend our sincere condolences and sympathy for the recent passing of your father.  While we know you will miss him dearly, we also hope that you will find comfort in knowing we will be praying for you all in the time ahead.  

Lance, I know you are grateful to have such an honorable man as your dad, and we are confident that you brought him great pride in watching you grow up as a son, a man of God,  and a dedicated father of two awesome young men.  All the things he shared with you, his faith, time, values, and humor, all of which remain in you -- we encourage you to focus on the blessings God bestowed on you over the years, rather than his passing.  He will always be a part of who you are, and he will live in you in so many ways!  Rest assured that we will continue to lift you and your family up in prayer in the time ahead!"

This tribute was added by Beth Hemmer on 14th September 2015

"This past week, I lost my Father-in-Law. He was such a big guy in so many wonderful ways.....big in stature, big in personality, big in love, big in humor, and big with family. I couldn't have asked for a better Father-in-Law. He was so kind and loving, very funny, an amazing Dad to my husband and his sister, a wonderful Grandpa to the boys, a great husband to my Mother-in-Law, and a great man of God in so many ways! He definitely led by example, and has left a wonderful legacy behind with his children and Grandchildren. I feel blessed to have known him and been a part of his life for 27 years. I have much to thank him for. There will definitely be a big (and tall) void in our lives, but we can be thankful that he is no longer suffering and is in Heaven, which is what he so looked forward to! ~Beth Hemmer"

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This memorial is administered by:

Tara Kling


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