On Nov. 6, 2021, Jennifer “Jen” Hamre, loving mother, sister, aunt, friend and passionate advocate for veterans and their families, passed away at the age of 57 surrounded by love at Mercy Medical Center in Springfield, Mass.
Jen was born in Danbury, Conn., in 1963, and was the youngest of three children. In 1968, the family moved to Richmond, where she grew up and graduated from Monadnock Regional High School in 1981. She had a love for the local landscape, particularly Mount Monadnock, and lived in the area for some time. She spent most of her career working in a variety of roles at Peerless Insurance in Keene, where she pursued many different certifications and built lifelong friendships. For several years, she lived in Marlborough, where she was a consistent fixture in the local Cub Scout, Boy Scout and youth sports programs. Even when her son Alan was not out on the field, she could be found cheering on the local children and families and was always there to give them a pat on the back or to “keep them in line” if necessary.
On Nov. 1, 2009, she married her late husband, Daniel Hamre, in Springfield, Mass., where they had already begun to build a life together full of love, laughs, travel, family and community. She quickly found “home” in Springfield, not just because of the city, but because of the family she gained there. It wasn’t long before Jen and Dan’s shared passion for community and volunteering became simply a way of life for the two of them, and she carried this tradition on with unwavering dedication after Dan passed away in 2012.
She was a proud member of The American Legion Auxiliary, as well as the Springfield Veteran’s Activities Committee, and even while fighting a long health battle she was determined to give all she could to promote service over self, to advocate for veterans and their families, and to share all the love she had with her family. She truly viewed everyone in her life as a blessing, even in their most challenging moments, and she never loved with anything less than all of her heart.
Jen was preceded in death by the love of her life, Daniel Hamre; her father, Francis Jillson; and her mother, Jane Jillson Rice. She is survived by her son, Alan Lowe, of West Hartford, Conn.; her sister, Elizabeth “Betsy” Pearsall, and her husband, Bill, of Richmond; her brother, Michael Jillson, and his wife, Tracey, of Winchester; and several nieces and nephews, including Meghann Bergmann, Gregory Tasker, Tanner Jillson, Melissa Hamre, Joshua Hamre, James Maloney, Jared Hamre, Lucas Gallant, Moira Mihalak, Taylor Masters, Ashton Hamre, Sydney Hamre, Bradley Hamre, Lindsey Christoffersen, Gregory Burroughs, Quinton Donohue and Joshua Donohue. She is also survived by her many “adopted” children and grandchildren from her marriage with Dan who she loved dearly and deeply, including Megan, Katherine, Lauren, Patrick, RD, Kevin Aiden, Konnor, Natalie, Jaxon, Cameron, Kaiden and Marcel. Jen will be deeply missed, not only by her relatives and friends, but also by the family and community she was proudly a part of.
Funeral services will be private, and she will be laid to rest at the Massachusetts Veteran’s Memorial Cemetery in Agawam, Mass., alongside her love, Dan. In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that donations be made in memory of Jennifer J. Hamre to the American Legion Auxiliary Unit she was so proud to be a part of: Liberty Unit 430 ALA c/o Mary Magiera, President, 588 Newbury St., Springfield MA 01104.