Former Brookings resident, Carl M. Herman, 85, passed away peacefully Oct. 27, 2011, surrounded by family at the Feather River Hospital’s Hospice House in Paradise, Calif. He had been battling lymphoma for more than a year.
Carl was born March 21, 1926, in Council Bluffs, Iowa, to Clara Belle (Van Cleave) Herman and William Elmer Herman. He spent his childhood on the family farm in Glenwood, Iowa. Carl attended the “Old Pacific” Grammar School and Glenwood High School.
He joined the U.S. Navy in March 1944. He served aboard the battleship USS Massachusetts BB-59 (Bill Haley’s flagship for the Fast Carrier Task Force), participated in the Battle of Leyte Gulf and the invasions of Okinawa and Iwo Jima. He was discharged as water tender third class.
Just this past June, Carl was given a trip of a lifetime by the Northern California Honor Flight Program. He was flown to Washington, D.C., and escorted to the World War II Memorial where he told us he was greeted with respect and admiration by children and adults who thanked him for his service. This acknowledgment was a very proud part of his last year.
Carl married Jeannie Herbison, Sept. 16, 1960. Together they raised two children, Pam and Michael.
Carl enjoyed hard work. During his life he worked on the family farm in Iowa; the Pike’s Peak Railroad; the Union Pacific; and worked as a limestone cutter. Carl worked for the Ford Motor Company assembly plant for 35 years and was known for his specialty work there in custom car painting and repair. In 1980, when the Pico Rivera, Calif. plant closed, he became a student at Los Angeles Trade Technical College, to become a cabinetmaker. He started “Carl’s Custom Cabinets” in 1982 and continued to do woodworking through the rest of his life. A skilled craftsman in everything he attempted, his motto was “I would fight for a 1/16th.”
In 1987, Carl and Jeannie moved to Brookings to live by the ocean. Dad loved fishing and this was his dream come true. He volunteered in salmon restoration, had his own boat and spent happy hours on the sea. Carl and Jeannie became active participants in the Chetco Pelican Players. Carl built theater sets for dozens of plays that Jeannie participated in as a singer, actor, and director. Their home was a pleasure to visit and the summertime brought all the grandchildren to play on the beach, and up on the Chetco River.
When Jeannie died in 2000, Carl continued to live there but his heart wasn’t in it. He spent the next three or so years in Brookings, and in 2004 Carl moved to Chico, Calif., to be near his daughter Pam, her husband Mike and their daughters Paloma and Carmen. Among other activities he joined the Butte Rose Society and enjoyed learning a new hobby. He continued to do many crossword and jigsaw puzzles, walked his dogs, did figure carving, and listened to country music every day.
Carl was a dog lover. “The Boys,” Shaggy and Sampson, filled his hours with special companionship and entertainment. He loved landscaping, the racetrack, growing roses, casino gambling, and making his famous spaghetti sauce. He was a “union man,” an opinionated Democrat, and he also possessed great gentleness and love for family and friends.
He is survived by his daughter Pamela Herman Bush, son-in-law Michael Robert Bush, their children Carmen Jeanette Bush of Chico, Jeanette Paloma and her son Deakin; son Michael David Herman and his children Nicole and Joshua Herman of West Covina, Calif.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his beloved wife Carol Jeanette “Jeannie” Herman; three brothers Robert, Earl, and Harry; and his dear cousin Gladys Hamilton, whom he considered a sister.
Memorial contributions may be made to Feather River Hospital Hospice House 1289 Billie Road, Paradise, CA 95969 or to Honor Flight Inc., 300 E. Auburn Ave., Springfield OH 45505.
Submitted by the family.