Kenneth James Herman, 84, of Richmond, passed away peacefully on May 13, 2023, at Applewood Center in Winchester.
Born to James Wesley Johnson and Marie Herman on Jan. 12, 1939, he grew up in Detroit and enlisted in the U.S. Air Force at age 17. He married Carol Little of San Angelo, Texas, with whom he had two talented, accomplished and well-loved sons, Scott and Michael.
Ken was a proud veteran of the U.S. Air Force. His wide-ranging assignments took him from Texas to Japan to Poland to Syracuse University and to Washington, D.C. After retiring from the Air Force and joining the federal government, he completed a bachelor of arts in Russian and International Studies from the University of Maryland. Overseas assignments with his wife of 47 years, Melissa Rich Herman, included Warsaw, West Germany, Tokyo and Mexico City. Theirs was a true partnership of love and work, and they enjoyed many adventures at home and abroad.
After retirement they settled in Richmond, their home for 29 years, in the company of several beloved rescue dogs.
In retirement, Ken achieved his dream of owning a plane and spent many happy hours in his Cessna 182RG. He served as Wing Commander of the N.H. Civil Air Patrol from 1998 to 2002 and took great satisfaction in volunteering his time with Air Lifeline and Angel Flight.
Once his flying days were over, Ken focused on music, playing bass clarinet and baritone sax with the Westmoreland, Nelson and Winchester town bands, the Brattleboro American Legion Band and the Residential Band. He served on the Board of the Keene Chamber Orchestra, most recently as President Emeritus, and sang with the Chamber Singers of Keene.
Ken attended St. James Episcopal Church in Keene, where he sang in the choir, served on the Vestry and mentored Education for Ministry classes. He had many and varied interests and was devoted to learning as both student and teacher.
Ken was a passionate technophile and enjoyed collecting the latest computers, software, cameras and aviation gear.
Those who knew Ken appreciated his warm heart, quick mind and ready smile. He was known to many, including his special niece, Roxanne Robinson, as having a larger-than-life appearance, with a deep, booming, yet at times soft-spoken voice. He held the place of honorary Dad and grandfather to Roxanne and her daughters.
Ken is survived by his wife, Melissa, of Richmond; his son John Scott Herman (Lorrie), of Chantilly, Va., and grandchildren Emily and Haley; his son, Michael Herman (Collette), of Pace, Fla., and grandchildren Leanne, Elizabeth Gentry and Aileen; and great-grandchildren Bailey, Natalie and Gabriel Gentry; his stepson, Steven Browne (Jennifer), of Mount Airy, Md.. and their children, Kyle, Connor and Delaney; and Steven’s adoptive mother, Karen Ohlrich; his nephews, Brad and Brett Herman, Garrett, Greg, James and Robert Wilson, and Mark Rich; his nieces, Heather Herman Castro and Roxanne Rich Robinson; and his brother-in-law, Robert Rich (Dorothy).
His brother, Philip Alan Herman, predeceased him in 2013.
A memorial service is planned for later this summer at St. James Episcopal Church in Keene.