Memorial Service for Paul Hamel on August 8

   Life Stories | Posted on August 4, 2021

UPDATE: A memorial service for Paul Hamel will take place on Sunday, Aug. 8, at 7 p.m. in Pioneer Memorial Church. It will also be available to view at


Paul Hamel was born Aug. 8, 1919, in Kintyre, North Dakota, to Mahlon Glen and Irene Emma Flentie Hamel and died July 5, 2021, at his home in Berrien Springs, Michigan, surrounded by his wife and family.

He was preceded in death by his first wife Beatrice Nelson Hamel, his son Glen Hamel, his parents Mahlon and Irene Hamel, his brothers Louis and Neal Hamel, his sister Beryl Hamel and one grandchild.

He is survived by his wife Esther Hensel Hamel, his sons Carl, Gary, Loren and Lowell Hamel, his brother Lyle Hamel, 18 grandchildren and 23 great-grandchildren.

Paul was a veteran of WWII including duty in the European Theater of Operations. He served as professor of music and chair of the Andrews University Department of Music from 1946 until his retirement in 1986, in the building that now bears his name. He was also an historian, scholar, author, pilot, world traveler and avid reader. He was a member of Pioneer Memorial Church on the campus of Andrews University and a life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

In the last hours of consciousness, the recurring refrain on his lips was “It is well, it is well with my soul!” Paul left his home draped in the flag he loved and served, flanked by an honor guard of family.

His life is celebrated by family, friends and numerous former students. Please remember the entire Hamel family as they grieve his passing.



It is a heart felt sorrow to hear about Paul. There is a good day coming & we shall be glad & rejoice. Dale
Posted by: Anonymous
09/11/2021 at 6:39 PM
Russell Staples, Dr Hamel aided many young muscian's to enrich their talents; in addition he was a great community leader- a gift continued by his family.
Posted by: Anonymous
08/06/2021 at 5:46 PM
Our friendship with Dr. Hamel goes back a long way. In the 1960s, while we worked in Korea, he helped us purchase a trumpet and a trombone for our boys, and shipped them to us, so they could start music lessons. Later, we came here to work, and we always enjoyed the many programs of the Music Department under his leadership. Still later, our older son became a music major and was helped toward his career by Dr. Hamel, especially when he recommended him to become the band director at Southwestern MI College while he was still a student. And our other children were blessed by the many benefits of playing in other ensembles under his chairmanship. We have continued to enjoy a friendship with him since his retirement, and we have appreciated also that he gave us two good doctors who have helped us with health issues for several years now. I pray that Esther and the rest of the family may feel God's comforting arms around them during this difficult time.
Posted by: Anonymous
07/23/2021 at 02:20 AM
Our prayers are with you, Hamel family. You lost an extraordinary person who has left a legacy of impact on this campus, this community, and around the world. What a privilege to have known him in person, and that we see him again.The Baumgartner family
Posted by: Anonymous
07/16/2021 at 4:17 PM
A giant has left us. In the resurrection life I hope he leads a musical organization that I can join. Robert M. Johnston
Posted by: Anonymous
07/15/2021 at 10:24 PM
Our condolences to the family for a remarkable person, Dr. Hamel. We have loved, appreciated, and admired him. He will be missed from the Upper Room Sabbath School and from our lives. The Gallos family.
Posted by: Anonymous
07/15/2021 at 6:16 PM

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