SINGER JEANNIE HERMAN DIES

August 15, 2000 11:00 pm

Jeannie Herman died quietly in her sleep early Sunday morning only a week after a musical tribute to her was held at Redwood Theater.

She was at Curry Good Samaritan Center when she died from pancreatic cancer, the family said.

About 300 friends and well wishers attended the musical tribute, which raised $1,800 for the American Cancer Society.

Jeannie was there in a wheelchair, dressed in beaded splendor, to wise crack and sing a little with Bob Ward.

Jeannie was born April 25, 1930, in St. Joseph, Mo. When she was 4 years old, her family moved to Hollywood, Calif., where she lived until she met and married Carl Herman, Sept. 16, 1960.

The couple made their home and raised their two children in West Covina, Calif., where she started her singing career, which began one night in 1965, when an impromptu rendition of Youre Nobody Till Somebody Loves You in a West Covina night club ended with a job offer.

She sang in night clubs and lounges around Southern California until the Hermans moved to Brookings in 1987.

Another impromptu rendition at the Elks Club soon propelled her to the singing stage again.

Dorian Gray, one of the first members of Banana Belters along with Jeannie, said recently, She took over the band.

Next she discovered The Chetco Pelican Players, and dragged husband Carl down to the theater to help build sets, and was soon singing on that stage.

She could belt out a song like nobody else, said close friend and fellow performer, Bea Drago. She was an up person and always made me laugh.

Drago said Jeannie was an enthusiastic supporter of the players, always willing to help out in any way.

In addition to singing in the musical variety shows, she directed, acted, and served on the board of directors of the players, often providing creative ideas, according to other board members.

As assistant director of Blythe Spirit, she came up with an idea that delighted audiences when Madame Arcati rode across the stage on a bicycle.

We all just feel this big debt to her, what she gave us at the theater and how she helped us all, Sandy Harper, another friend and fellow player said.

Drago added, She was a bright light in the sunshine of Brookings. Well all miss her.

The cast of The Quilters, the musical currently playing through this weekend at the Performing Arts Center, dedicated their Sunday matinee performance to Jeannie Herman, who was always a great trouper.

She is survived by her husband Carl, children Pam Bush and Michael Herman and grandchildren, Paloma and Carmen Bush and Nicole and Joshua Herman.

A private memorial service will be held at a later date.

In lieu of flowers contributions can be made to the Chetco Pelican Players.