Morganton Dr. Alfred Wilson Hamer Jr., 87, of Morganton passed away Monday, Jan. 28, 2019. Born in McColl, S.C., Nov. 19, 1931, he was the son of the late Dr. Alfred Wilson Hamer and Mary Freeman Hamer. Dr. Hamer practiced obstetrics and gynecology in his hometown of Morganton for 40 years until his retirement in 2005. He has served as a Burke County commissioner, a Burke County School Board member, and for over 30 years served as a member of the Morganton City Council and Mayor pro-tempore. He also has held leadership positions in numerous professional, civic, and community service organizations. Dr. Hamer received both his undergraduate and medical degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Following an internship at the Medical College of South Carolina, he returned to Chapel Hill for his residency in obstetrics and gynecology at North Carolina Memorial Hospital (now UNC Hospitals). Dr. Hamer served in the U.S. Air Force for two years, first as assistant chief of the OB-GYN Service at Eglin AFB Hospital in Florida and then as chief of that service. He established Medical Heights OB-GYN in Morganton in 1965 and served his patients for four decades. Throughout his medical career, he delivered an estimated 6,000 babies. While building his own practice, Dr. Hamer started the Maternity Clinic at the Burke County Health Department, significantly improving access to high-quality care for the area's financially disadvantaged population. In 1997, the North Carolina Public Health Association honored him with its Distinguished Service Award. Dr. Hamer is a Fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology. He has served as President of the Robert A. Ross Obstetrical and Gynecological Society at UNC, and he is a recipient of the Ross Society's Distinguished Alumnus Service Award. Dr. Hamer served as president of the medical staff at Grace Hospital in Morganton and as a member of the hospital's Board of Directors. He also was on the medical staff of Valdese General Hospital in Valdese and was an OB-GYN consultant for both Broughton Hospital and Western Carolina Center in Morganton. In 1996 he was a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at UNC. Dr. Hamer was a past president of the Burke County Medical Board and the Burke County Council on Alcoholism. He had been a preceptor for nursing students at Lenoir Rhyne College in Hickory and Western Piedmont Community College in Morganton. Dr. Hamer's record of civic engagement and leadership includes service as president of the Redevelopment Commission of Morganton, which played an indispensable role in the renewal of the city's downtown area and in attracting new businesses and industries to the community. In 2013, Dr. Hamer was awarded the prestigious honor of being inducted into The Order of the Long Leaf Pine Society for his contributions to the state and his community. In his retirement, Dr Hamer devoted his time to volunteering at the History Museum of Burke County, Burke Hospice and Palliative Care and the Burke County Correctional Center. He was an active member of Rotary and a member of the Sons of the Revolution. Dr Hamer was a member of First United Methodist Church where he served on the church Council, the Church Health Team, the Pastor's Discretionary Team and the Gifts and Memorials Committee as well many other committees and boards throughout the years. He was most recently involved in the Aldersgate Sunday School Class and the Keepers Senior Adult Group at the church. Dr. Hamer is survived by his children, Amanda Rotenstreich (Kenny) of Greensboro, Melissa Horn (Tom) of High Point, Kristan Erwin (John) of Morganton, and Wilson Hamer (Dorothy) of Morganton; and grandchildren, Josh and Alex Rotenstreich, Ramsay and Dillon Horn, Huntley and Holland Erwin, and Collins and Eliza Hamer. In addition to his parents, Dr. Hamer was preceded in death by his wife, Diane Huntley Hamer; and sister, Ella Wolf Billings. The memorial service will be held at 1 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 16, at First United Methodist Church with the Revs. Dana McKim and Lynn Webber officiating. Military honors will be provided by the U.S. Air Force. The family will greet friends in the church fellowship hall following the service. Memorial contributions may be made to Burke Hospice and Palliative Care; or the History Museum of Burke County. Sossoman Funeral Home and Crematory Center is assisting the family with the arrangements. Condolences may be sent to the family by visiting www.sososmanfh.com.

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