George Hermans

Hermans 1Brunswick-At 94, while suffering deeply from the loss of his beloved wife Merry,  George Hermans decided to start piano lessons, an act emblematic of so much of the wonderful spirit he brought to his life: love, courage, curiosity, respect, creativity, and joy.  He brought to the world uncountable small acts of kindness, a hand held, a smile given, a supportive word, a bike fixed, a repair made, an accurate suggestion, a timely and even untimely joke.  He possessed the ability to  make a person smile, to make one feel recognized, to appreciate the goodness in others, to listen and to learn.  Then, George’s superb memory often allowed him to remember more about another person than that person knew about themselves.   George could make you feel heard while he allowed you to enter his world.  He passed these gifts along to his children and those who knew him and loved him.


George was born on June 9, 1927 in East Rochester, New York the fifth of six children of  John and Jeannette Hermans.  He loved his now deceased siblings Chuck, Jeanetta, Marie, Marguerite, and Gertrude.   Growing up during the depression, he survived deep and stinging poverty and childhood illnesses.  He recalled the early death of his youngest sister, his own severe sickness, and the loss of his family’s home and car notwithstanding his efforts delivering papers and groceries, and washing windows at the Five and Dime.   


And yet, he benefited greatly from his high school vocational education where he overcame his  rejection for a position in the auto mechanic school to enroll in the carpentry and craftsmen program where he learned about the workings of  radio mechanics, the machine shop, welding and carpentry.  His high school yearbook from the 1944 Edison Technical and Industrial High School of Rochester, New York noted that “Herman” enjoyed his participation in the Lady of Victory Shop, the Engineering Club, the  Aviation Club,  the Glee Club,  Dramatics, the Baseball team, and the Service Corps.   


At age 17,  George enlisted in the United States Navy where he was told that he was too young to die on a submarine.   Instead,  the Navy made him part of the force training for the imminent land invasion of Japan.  When World War II ended he toiled building quonset huts in Okinawa until his discharge.  

These difficult experiences  did not constrict George’s world view. Through the GI Bill,  he was able to attend Syracuse University where he earned a degree in forestry and where at age 94 he attended his 70th college reunion.   He remained a voracious reader and learner throughout his life.  While George was the first of his family to go to college, all ten of his grandchildren have earned graduate degrees.  


Most important, it was at Syracuse that he found his guiding light, love, and his love for Merry.  They first met during a blind date at the Orange, a local watering hole of some repute and now considerable familial fame.   Their storied  marriage was well documented in several publications.  When a local newspaper was looking for a Valentine’s Day story regarding a married couple, it chose George and Merry who were celebrating their sixty-third year of marriage.  They advised, in its title, Count Your Blessings and Not Your Problems.    To those lucky enough to share their adventure with them, sweet lessons of loyalty, fun, forgiveness,  gratitude and ballroom dancing were provided.  


George and Merry raised three children, Mike, Steve and Linda and were lucky enough to enjoy ten grandchildren and eight  great grandchildren. 


Over their near seventy year marriage, spanning homes in Syracuse, New York,  Beverly, Danvers, and Topsfield, Massachusetts, and Kennebunk and Brunswick, Maine,  George held many sales and executive positions in the building products industry, while also earning a masters in business administration from Northeastern.   Eventually, George moved to Maine where he joined Deering Lumber as its general manager.    By  his mid-fifties, George was ready for a change; he wanted more freedom and began to sell doors and windows for Morgan Products Ltd.  In short order he became a superb salesman and  in both 1984 and 1985,  the company presented him with its  President’s Award for Salesman of the Year.  


But even with such distinction and success,  George was not vocationally fulfilled for he had long wanted to be his own boss.  And so, late in his career he decided to start his own business where he worked as an independent manufacturers’ representative for a wide variety of building products including state of the art insulation and beautiful spiral stairs.  


He loved the challenge and loved the travel.  For New England, he knew every road, small and large.  He traveled before GPS.  Once she came into existence, he could start and finish a good argument  with the woman in someone else’s phone as to the best road to take.  When you were lost, a call to George would set you on the correct course.  More importantly, from ever so frequently enjoying a delicious personal experience himself, George knew and was willing to share the best and closest  ice cream shop on every byway. 


George brought his unique joy to so many other ventures as well.  He sang and he sang.   He loved the natural world.   With children and grandchildren in tow,  he scrambled up and down  Mount Katahdin at age 76. His Kennebunk yard, front and back,  was full of all plants imaginable.  He adored his time spent on the water, the fish caught and released and never caught.  Every moment in the forest was special. In retirement he became a Master Gardener and many revered his compost.  He volunteered refurbishing bicycles; he conserved before recycling existed.  And, George loved every game imaginable-tennis, croquet, golf, softball, bridge, oh-hell,  cribbage, dictionary,  pinochle, and tripoli amongst many.  He relished being with others and never seemed to care if he won or lost.  It was enough to play in good company.


George Hermans died on August 1, 2023.  He and his family are grateful to all who cared for him, especially those kind people at Mid Coast Senior Health and CHANS Home Health and Hospice.  He is predeceased by Merry and is survived by their three children, Michael Hermans and wife Kathryn Hermans of Temple Texas; Stephen Hermans and partner Suzanne Stone of Exeter, N.H.; Linda Hermans and husband Richard Goldman of Dresden, and their beloved former daughter-in-law Debra Perou of Exeter, N.H.  They have 10 grandchildren and 8 great grandchildren.  Judson Hermans and wife Emily and their children Ross and Leon;  Adam Amir and wife Noal and their child Rumi;  Tucker Hermans and wife Kelly;  Brett Hermans and wife Reeve and their children Wimbrel and Dunlin;  Rachel Goldman-Stewart and wife Tiffany and their children Queen, Cam and Kobe: Benjamin Goldman and fiance Yona Koch-Feinberg; Sarah Perou Hermans and husband Pooya; Phillip Hermans and wife Rubia; Corrie Hermans-Webster and husband Tom; and Wendy Goldman. 


Arrangements are under the care of Kincer Funeral Home 130 Pleasant Street, Richmond, ME 04357 where a celebration of life will be held on August 11, 2023 at 11:00 a.m. in person and on Zoom as well.  A reception to follow.


Meeting ID: 760 4849 2574

Passcode: 293143