Donald Ray Hamerla

October 30, 2022
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Donald Ray Hamerla passed away peacefully on Sunday, Oct. 30, 2022 at the Heartland Rehabilitation Center and Nursing Home in Royersford, PA. He was 91. Mr Hamerla was a 66 year resident of King of Prussia, PA. He graduated high school in 1949 from Wasau HS, and earned his bachelor degree in electrical engineering from Purdue University in 1953. With his college graduation, he married his beloved sweetheart Rita Eickholtz. The newlyweds began their family while Don was stationed at Kirkland Airforce Base in Albuquerque, NM as a first lieutenant in the US Airforce. Upon discharge, Donald parlayed his talents into a lifetime career in aerospace engineering at General Electric Company, where he worked on classified projects including ICBMs, the Corona spy satellite program, and patented several items. While at GE he spearheaded an explorer club for young boys. As his family expanded to ten children he cantored and lectured at St. Augustine Church in Bridgeport, PA. He kept his kids entertained and active in sports of all kinds, from football, basketball, baseball, softball, swimming, and the UMHS Crew team – propelling two of his children to the Jr. Olympics, and leading to several college scholarships in crew and basketball. He made sure all his children made it into college and graduated, while also teaching part-time at Drexel University. He encouraged all of his kids to love and respect nature across the globe through his hiking. Most summers were spent in his beloved home state of Wisconsin, where he and the family enjoyed swimming, boating, and visiting family. He traveled widely, from Antarctica and Africa, to Alaska, the Grand Canyon and many more places throughout the US. Married for 69 years, his wife predeceased him by 17 days. Born in Wasau, Wisconsin on October 28, 1931, he was the son of Raymond and Irene (Krueger) Hamerla. Surviving is his loving family of ten children. Five sons: Darrell S (Andrea), Ronald M, Timothy W (June), Lyle E ( Terri-Ann), and Perry A (Sara) ; five daughters: Lucy D (Paul) Hanson, Janice I (Rich) Wright, Alicia M (Bruce) Blair, Sharon K (Robert) Harner, and Diane A (Isaac) Burk ; 17 grandchildren ; and 6 grandchildren. One brother Thomas with sons Paul (Kelly) and Chris (Jody). Relatives and friends are invited to a combined funeral and memorial mass for Donald and his wife Rita Eickholtz Hamerla at: Saint Michael's Church, 101 Saint Michael Drive, Charlestown IN 47111, Saturday Nov. 12, 2022, at 10am. With Internment in Saint Michael's Cemetery. Condolences to the family at


Funeral Service
November 12, 2022

10:00 AM
St. Michael Catholic Church
One St. Michael Drive
Charlestown, IN 47111


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