Thomas J. Herman, 86, a lifelong resident of Harshaw, died on Saturday, Sept. 8, 2012, at his home. He was born Aug. 31, 1926, to Martin and Carrie Preston Herman, on the farm where he lived all of his life.
He graduated from Rhinelander High School and was the only son of a farm family. Immediately following World War II he volunteered as an interim Merchant Marine assigned to work on a relief ship, taking livestock to Italy. On Oct. 23, 1948, he married Dorothy Busche. Tom followed in his father’s footsteps, raising potatoes for all his working years. His children still grow potatoes on the same land, and also grow Christmas trees and boughs for the family’s wreath business. Tom was a substitute mailman in Harshaw for 24 years. Until just a few years ago, his early morning practice was to drive through the roads of Harshaw, checking his fields, watching for wildlife and checking on neighbors. Day or night, he was always willing to stop whatever he was doing to help a neighbor in need. His proudest accomplishments were his 12 children. Tom was an avid trout fisherman and deer hunter. The November hunting season was a 9-day event that drew family and friends to the Herman farm. Although not a traveler by nature, Tom and Dorothy went to California, Oregon, Virginia, Florida, Colorado and Nebraska – always to visit family. A highlight of his life was a trip to Switzerland to the area where his father was born and from which his grandparents immigrated. He enjoyed visits with his young grandchildren and taking them to the corner store for candy. That became such a ritual that all the children called it “Grandpa’s Store.” A favorite pastime of Tom and Dorothy was attending and bidding at auctions. He was always fascinated by the sight of a newborn fawn and took many movies of them with his 8mm camera.
He is survived by Dorothy, his wife of nearly 64 years; his children, Judith (Roger) Wiff of Spring Valley, John (Jody) Herman of Rhinelander, Sandra (Joel) Herum of River Falls, Cynthia (David) Schmitz of Rhinelander, Peter (Donna) Herman of Menomonie, Sharon (Kenneth) Kremsreiter of Harshaw, Richard (Kelly) Herman of Harshaw, Laura (Robin Capen) Herman of Harshaw, Gay (Jeff Christensen) Herman of Cottage Grove, MN, Greg Herman of Harshaw and Glen (Mindy) Herman of Harshaw; 19 grandchildren; two step-grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; two step great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews. Tom was preceded in death by his son, Ben; by his sisters, Alice Penton, Elizabeth Michie, Edna McNown, Elsie Gerhardt, Ruth Lundgren, Helen Hill and Zella Busche; and by his parents.
A memorial service for Tom will be held on Saturday, Sept. 15, at 11 a.m., at the Carlson Funeral Home. Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m. on Friday at the funeral home and from 10 a.m. until the time of service on Saturday.
(Carlson Funeral Home)