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


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.

Next Up

Kevin Fiala, Jordan Greenway

Wild blanked by Blues; playoff fate is in Colorado's hands

It comes down to the final day of the regular season.

Screen Shot 2021-05-12 at 10.04.32 PM

Number of suicides in Minnesota decreased in 2020

While the number dropped, 723 people still died by suicide last year.

Vikings fans, U.S. Bank Stadium

Ranking the most difficult games in the Vikings' 2021 schedule

The Vikings have some interesting matchups on their 17-game slate.

Spencer Silver

Chemist who co-invented Post-it Notes dies at home in St. Paul

He developed an adhesive that could stick to paper – repeatedly – without damaging the paper.

Danielle Hunter

Here is the official 2021 Minnesota Vikings schedule

How does an early January game at Lambeau Field sound?

Blake Bortles

Amid Aaron Rodgers drama, Packers reportedly sign Blake Bortles

The former No. 3 overall pick is headed to Green Bay.

You Houa Thao

Missing St. Paul man found dead in wooded area

The 73-year-old was reported missing May 8.

YouTube - Jim Klobuchar

Jim Klobuchar, celebrated Minnesota columnist, dies at 93

He died Wednesday after a battle with Alzheimer's.

Jerry Burns

Former Vikings head coach Jerry Burns dies at 94

Burns spent a total of 24 seasons with the Vikings as an offensive coordinator and head coach.


Minnesotan wins wild $700,000 hand in World Series of Poker

John Morgan, 71, CEO of Minneapolis-based Winmark Corp., which owns Play It Again Sports and other used-goods retailers, on Sunday won what poker pro Phil Galfond characterized as "the craziest [poker] hand I've ever seen." An opponent folded with four eights.

Woman still working at the lumberyard – at 92

June Rossum of Evansville is 92 years old and still punching the clock close to 40 hours per week. “I have to get up in the morning to go to work – that’s a must. I thoroughly believe that,” she tells the Alexandria Echo Press.