Landscapes 08

Eric Fred Tamm

September 6, 1929 ~ January 4, 2022 (age 92)


Eric F. Tamm

September 6, 1929 ~ January 4, 2022

This week a “character” was laid to rest.  You’ve probably seen him about town, a tall man with a western hat and boots.  A man with a smile that made others smile.

Born of immigrant German parents in Milwaukee, WI, Eric attended Washington High School.  After graduation he worked as an architectural draftsman apprentice for one of Milwaukee’s finest residential architects, and at the same time attended evening classes at Layton School of Art.  Eric served in the United States Army in military intelligence during the Korean War.  After his service, he met Joan E. Kellenberger and they were married in August of 1955, in Wauwatosa, WI.  They had two children, Mark and Lynn. 

Eric’s career in architecture encompassed many design disciplines from his early years of residential design followed by religious and institutional and later, industrial design, which he enjoyed the most. With a solid career in design as a base, he branched out on his own. He founded Alpine Plywood Corporation; leaving that in the mid-1970’s he started his own enterprise as president and owner of Diversified Contractors Group, a holding company that eventually grew to incorporate four different companies in the design and build field he so enjoyed.  During this time, he was also president of Sport and Shield Shooting Club and partner in his wife Joan's business, Oakhill Enterprises which owned and operated three retail stores.

In April of 1980, Eric and Joan semi-retired and they moved to Hayward.  Retirement didn’t last long as Eric took a job with The Stubenrauch Associates, an architectural firm starting up in Hayward, which led him to the large Swedish engineering firm, Axel Johnson. His position there was lead sales and supervisor of various installations in the Northeast and Midwest U.S. and the Canadian Maritimes. After years of travel for Axel Johnson, Eric and Joan decided to settle down, again. In 1989, Joan and Eric purchased a building and started Nor-Wis Water Conditioning, later adding Once a Tree Woodcrafters, to pursue their passion for art and design, specializing in carved and stained-glass doors and one-of-a-kind furniture.  In 2007 the name was changed to Artisan Design Works in which Eric was still active at the time of his death. 

During his lifetime he served on several boards starting with president of Camp Nominee special needs children’s camp, board member and past president of Hayward Area Development Corp and a founding board member of Habitat for Humanity in Hayward.  He was a faithful member of the First Presbyterian Church of Winter. 

Eric enjoyed hunting, fishing and traveling with his wife, Joan.  He and Joan also shared a mutual love and appreciation of music, art, literature and years of love for each other and their family. 

He is survived by his beloved wife of 66 years, Joan; his son, Mark Tamm of Hayward; daughter, Lynn Tamm of Gordon and his grandchildren: Victoria Durand of New Berlin, WI and John (Alecia) Gruna, and great-granddaughter Gracie Gruna.

He will be laid to rest privately in Greenwood Cemetery in Hayward.

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