George B. Herman Jr., 94, Devils Lake, formerly of Brinsmade and Bismarck, passed away early March 21, 2019, at CHI St. Alexius Health, Devils Lake.
Funeral services for George will be held at 3 p.m. Sunday, March 24, at Bethel Evangelical Free Church, Devils Lake, with the Rev. Rick Porter and the Rev. Bryce Harcey officiating. Burial will be in Garden of Memories, Brinsmade Cemetery, in the spring.
Visitation will be held at the Gilbertson Funeral Home, Devils Lake, from 6 to 7 p.m. Saturday with a time of prayer and sharing at 7 p.m. Visitation on Sunday will be at the church one hour prior to the funeral service.
George Beaver Herman was born on the farm near Brinsmade, Oct. 14, 1924, the fourth child born to George Sr. and Elsie (Gerig) Herman. He attended country school one mile north of the farm and graduated from Brinsmade High School in 1942. In 1946, he married Martha Matson. He rented a farm from his parents in the spring of 1947, when he launched a long and successful career in agriculture as a crop farmer and also a beef cattleman. In 1967, George married Elda Collette Bowlds from Broomfield, Mont., a widow with two children, Steve and Deanna. He joined a farming partnership, Hermansdale Farms, in 1964 with his brothers, Dwayne and Ardon. At the time, George had a small herd of registered Polled Hereford cattle which grew in herd size under the partnership. George became very interested in entering Polled Hereford shows, so he showed cattle in Valley City, Minot and Miles City, Mont. In his final years as a cattleman, George earned champion bull honors four consecutive years. During his time in the ranching business, George served as director and vice president of the Montana-Dakota Polled Hereford Association. With the growth of the partnership and its grain farming operation, the partnership decided to sell the entire herd and concentrate on crop farming. The herd was sold to a ranch in Alabama and counting cows, calves and yearling bulls, they shipped 240 head by rail from New Rockford.
George was involved in community and church work and served as township supervisor, Benson County Farm Bureau President and 4-H Club leader. He was very active in the Christian and Missionary Alliance Church in Brinsmade and later at the Bismarck Baptist Church serving in both as Sunday school superintendent, song leader, clerk, treasurer, trustee and deacon. In recent years he attended Bethel Church in Devils Lake.
George had a close relationship with Jesus, his Savior. He had a deep faith and cared greatly about all his nieces and nephews and their personal relationships with Christ. His caring and loving concern for all of them was evident for decades and his love, as well as Collette’s, was greatly respected and appreciated. He was so close to many of them they seemed like sons and daughters and he made a special effort to reconnect with family members who did not live close to home, keeping up with their lives. George treasured the time he and Collette spent with Steve, Deanna and their families.
Though he had little formal education beyond high school, George was a lifelong learner with a keen interest in history, literature and art, an avid collector of books, bison replicas, stamps, coins, toy tractors. artifacts and historical items. George was a sports fan and especially enjoyed following the Phoenix Suns and North Dakota State University Bison. He was very involved in unraveling the Herman and Gerig heritage, which he greatly admired and appreciated. The history of rural North Dakota and the Benson County area was especially interesting to him. Proud of his roots in the rural Brinsmade area, he and Collette lived in one of Brinsmade’s few remaining homes as the village slowly vanished around them. George and Collette enjoyed traveling and spent many winters in Arizona. They loved God’s creation and photographing it, including photos of all 53 county courthouses in North Dakota and many historic barns. George played an active role in the noteworthy Brinsmade Centennial Celebration of 1989 and marveled at how the town came alive with thousands of visitors during the event. In George’s final years, he relocated to Devils Lake where he could be close to family, his farm roots, and the Benson County countryside he cherished.
George is survived by two brothers and four sisters-in-law, Dwayne (Bonnie) Herman, Devils Lake; Dale (Ruth) Herman, Fargo; Ruth Herman, Devils Lake; and Audrey Herman, Brinsmade; stepchildren, Steve (Jean) Bowlds, Bloomfield, Mont.; Deanna Eggum, Billings, Mont., step-grandchildren, Jason (Danielle) Bowlds; Stacey Bowlds; Angie (Nick) Bowlds-White; Cale (Lindsey) Eggum; Craig Eggum (fiancee Megan); Coltan and Heather Buxbaum; step-great-grandchildren, Chloe, Percy, Keegan, Gabriel, Ella and Liam; brother-in-law, Floyd Boje, Glendive, Mont., and Collette’s nieces and nephews, Darlene, Gary, Kathy, Robin, Wendy and Kim.
He also is survived by 35 nieces and nephews: Laurel (Paul) Reynolds, Keystone, S.D.; Louis Hoglund, Pelican Rapids, Minn.; Jeff (Lu) Hoglund, Fargo; Ruth (David) Scott, Belvidere, Ill.; Ken (Kathy) Ellingson, Downers Grove, Ill.; Caryl (Dennis) Harris, Gilbert, Ariz.; Art (Donna) Ellingson, Mountain Lake, Minn.; Becky (Steve) Spurgeon, Show Low, Ariz.; James (Val) Ellingson, Farmington, Minn.; Tim (Fritzie) Ellingson, Blaine, Minn.; Wendell (Sue) Herman, Fargo; Wes (JoEllen) Herman, Dallas, Texas; Donita (Rick) Lenz, Buffalo, Wyo.; Rollin (Michelle) Herman, Devils Lake; Jodi (Duane) Decker, Vancouver, Wash.; Jay (Dawn) Herman, Champlin, Minn.; Dianne (Rick) Porter, Spirit Lake, Iowa; DeVon (Cheryl) Esau, St. Peter, Minn.; Terry (Mary) Esau, St. Louis Park, Minn.; Tammy (John) Engstrom, Mountain Lake, Minn.; Brenda (Phil) Harder, Mountain Lake, Minn.; Darryl (Karen) Bargen, Mountain Lake, Minn.; Darla (Dennis) Becker, Blaine, Minn.; Bryan (Janell) Bargen, Mountain Lake, Minn.; Brad (Sherri) Bargen, Butterfield, Minn.; Randy (Debra) Herman, Fargo; Reg (Eileen) Herman, Minnewaukan; Robyn (Kevin) Thompson, Minnewaukan; Rhonda (Tim) Auen, Lake Havasu City, Ariz.; Peter (Tammy) Herman, Stoughton, Wisc.; Heidi (Greg) Wiens, Olathe, Kan.; Daniel (Heidi) Herman, Minnewaukan; VerDale (Lori) Herman, Fargo; Varen (Nancy) Herman, St. Michael, Minn.; and Verona (Kevin) Winkler, Fargo.
Preceding George in death were his parents, George, Sr. and Elsie Herman; his loving wife, Collette (Bowlds) Herman; brothers, Donovan Herman and Ardon Herman; sisters and brothers-in-law, Iris (Willard) Hoglund, Phyllis (Kenneth) Ellingson, Carol (Gilbert) Esau, Delores (Eddie) Bargen; nephew and niece, Willard Hoglund Jr. and Marcia (Hoglund) Schwarz.
Memorials may be directed to the George and Elsie Herman Scholarship Fund at Crown College in St. Bonifacious, Minn., Bethel Church or the charity of the donor’s choice.