Richard (Dick) J. Hermsen Sr. of Elma, Washington passed away peacefully at Mother Joseph’s in Olympia with family by his side on March 3, 2013. He was 88. Dick married Valeria H. Banaszak, his best friend of 64 years, on May 1, 1948. She survives him at the family home.
Dick and Val had four children, Richard (Rick) Jr., Michael (Janet), Michelle, and Jeff. He is also survived by numerous grandchildren; great-grandchildren; nieces and nephews; a brother, Donald and sister, Patricia Smith. He loved spending time with family.
Dick grew up in Tacoma; graduated from Bellarmine Prep, CPS (UPS) and Oregon State University receiving his Master’s in Education. He started his educational career at Mary M. Knight, also teaching at Napavine, White Pass, started his administrative career as principal at Eatonville and retired as an administrator of Elma High School in 1981.
He was a lifetime member of the Elma Eagles, Elks #593, VFW and the Lions Club. He once reigned as District Governor and was involved in many of their services. He was a leader and also a sports enthusiast. He served in the U.S. Army, World War II, from 1943 to 1946. 57 years later he was awarded the Bronze Star.
Dick was preceded in death by two brothers, Joey and Jack (John); and his parents Dorothy and Joe Hermsen.