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Cribbage fan, 92, passes away at bar holding a winning hand

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Sitting in his favorite bar, playing a game of cribbage and holding a winning hand – there was no more fitting way for Don Hamann to go.

The Star Tribune reports the 92-year-old passed away at the Moonshine Bar and Grill in Princeton on Jan. 5 while playing his favorite game, having previously told his wife Shirley that he "wanted to go on a good day."

"It was a good day for him," his granddaughter Karlyn Coleman told the Star Tribune. "Beer, cards, time spent with my grandmother and friends."

Bartender Heidi Thompson told the newspaper Hamann visited the bar "every Tuesday for card day," and his obituary printed in the Princeton Union Eagle describes the role cards played in his life.

Saying his greatest love was his family, he taught rummy, cribbage, "how to have a good time" to his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Almost every year from 1988 onwards, their Christmas gift would be a "family weekend" at a hotel playing cards and games.

Coleman revealed the inspiration she got from her grandfather's love of cribbage in a Facebook tribute shortly after his death, saying she learned the following:

  1. Take time to sit down with family and friends. A game of cribbage allows you to catch up without saying too much. It is hard to get in an argument when you are busy counting cards.
  2. Count your cards carefully. Every point counts. Don't be careless and throw good things away.
  3. Always hold out hope for a good cut & a good crib. You never know what will happen until the card is flipped, and even if the cut is bad, you can still keep pegging away.
  4. One point. Two. Sometimes it is the slow, steady movement down the board that will put you ahead.
  5. And if you get skunked – laugh – because that is all you can do, and then shuffle the cards and start again.

"Thank you grandpa for teaching us all so much," she said in the post.

According to his obituary, Hamann was born in Bogus Brook Township on July 5, 1923, and was married to his wife Shirley for almost 67 years.

You can read the full obituary here.

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