BRUNSWICK – Merry Hermans died on June 22, 2020, 10 days after his 92nd birthday.
In November 1927, as the Winooski River in Waterbury, Vt., Rose 20 feet above its banks, Dascomb Rowe carried himself safely through the turbulent and turbulent waters and up three flights of stairs, his pregnant wife, Ruth , and their two young children, Ernestine and Alan. Two months later, on a brutally cold winter day, Ruth was thrown from a runaway horse-drawn sleigh. Miraculously, she gave birth on June 12, 1928 to Mary Ellen Rowe, who soon realized that her essential soul – joy, grace, sunlight, optimism – was better reflected as Merry.
And at the age of 13, so it has become.
Merry, Ernie, Alan and their younger brother, Steve, grew up in a tradition that valued education. His father, Dascomb Rowe, was principal of Waterbury High School. Her mother, Ruth McLachlin Rowe, was an English professor at Vermont Junior College. Of course, it wasn't always that easy to be the principal's daughter and she would remember shaking the school corridor just to see her father's massive presence: “Everyone go to class. Miss Rowe, you go to my office. Merry graduated as a valedictorian and noted a favorite quote in her yearbook: "Knowledge is power". The love of sport was also a fundamental belief. "Stretch", as Merry was known, has played varsity basketball for four years, winning the gold ball during his state championship season in his last year. Love of music was also a driving force and she sang across the city like a young woman with her trio: The Sunshine Lassies, and wondered aloud for a possible future as a night club singer.
Instead, he continued his education at the University of Syracuse, which turned out to be a really wise decision. He earned a B.A. in English and, above all, he met the love of his life, George Hermans, during a blind date at a local drinking venue, The Orange. After a wonderful and lively love affair, George and Merry got married in 1950 in Vermont and then returned to Syracuse where Merry worked for an insurance agency while George completed his studies at New York State College of Forestry. In a short time, Merry gave birth to his three children: Michael in 1952, Stephen in 1953 and Linda in 1954. At that time, George and Merry had moved to the North Shore of Massachusetts and then settled in Topsfield in 1956. children Merry went back to school and holds a Masters in Education from Salem State College, taught maths at Masconomet Regional Junior High School, and then worked at Family Mutual Savings Bank. Merry's life in Topsfield was full of things he loved: his family, his music and his love of sport, games and competition. Merry sang in the congregational choir. She became an avid tennis player after teaching the game and was a wonderful doubles partner. He could play for weeks without a double mistake, for "there is no excuse for a double mistake". She and George won the one and only "Nimbledon" tennis tournament in Topsfield. Like her father, she was an intelligent and daring bridge player, earning many master points. Merry enjoyed playing and teaching his family. In fact, he enjoyed on a bridge day during the last week of his life. In basketball, tennis and bridge, Merry could play with his children and teach them his views on the game, while taking them all to school with his classic running hook shooting, corner shooting and finesse agile.
In 1973, after their children graduated from high school, Merry and George moved to Kennebunk and began the next phase of life. He continued his love of sport, playing tennis with friends and family. In the end, the joy that Merry gained from tennis changed from playing to observation, but she and George continued to dance in Maine and at Rockingham Ballroom in New Hampshire. He joined the Seaglass Chorale and sang throughout Maine and in Italy. They enjoyed traveling to many destinations around the world. In 1984, Merry discovered his new calling as a librarian at the Kennebunk Free Library, where he remained for 25 years and became a valuable institution in itself. He worked in each of the sections of the library. With a gentle smile, Merry answered a child's question, and when an older person asked for advice on finding the perfect poem, it was Merry who could provide exactly what he needed. Upon her retirement at the age of 79, her community collected her generous contributions to Merry Hermans & # 39; Day, where she was proclaimed a hero of the Kennebunk Free Library.
When they decided to downsize in 2014, Merry and George had the extraordinary fortune of landing in the loving community at Birch Meadow in Brunswick. They had fun with their many new friends and the many People Plus activities. Merry continued to teach her family well. Such was his love of poetry that at every family gathering every assistant, regardless of age, knew how to arrive prepared with a poem or two to recite and the attention to listen to Merry's reading of his favorite poem of moral complexity: Richard Cory by Edwin Arlington Robinson. As she grew older and could not move easily, she would still make the effort to listen to her favorite pianist, the Bowdoin artist in George Lopez residence, whose concert she would rarely miss. One of his happiest moments was Lopez's 90th birthday concert. We will miss you very much. It radiated intelligence, kindness, positive energy and cheerfulness. He loved sunrises, waterfalls, poetry, singing, playing and watching tennis, bridge and friendly competition in games of all kinds. Above all he loved George, and George loved him. They have been a great match and so I am looking forward to sharing their 70th anniversary on September 12, 2020.
Merry survived by George; and their three children, Michael Hermans and wife Kathryn Hermans of Temple, Texas, Stephen Hermans and partner Suzanne Stone of Exeter, NH, Linda Hermans and husband Richard Goldman of Dresden, and their beloved ex-daughter-in-law Debra Perou of Exeter, NH They have 10 grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren, Judson Hermans and his wife Emily and their son Ross, Adam Amir and his wife Noal and their son Rumi; Tucker Hermans and wife Kelly; Brett Hermans and his wife Reeve and their children Whimbrel and Dunlin; Rachel Goldman-Stewart and his wife Tiffany and their children Queen and Cam; Benjamin Goldman, Sarah Perou Hermans and her husband Pooya, Phillip Hermans, Corrie Hermans-Webster and her husband Tom and Wendy Goldman.
The arrangements are entrusted to Kincer Funeral Home, 130 Pleasant St., Richmond, ME 04357
For those who wish to express their honor for Merry's life and memory, please consider making a donation in honor of Merry to promote the work George Lopez, the artist Robert Beckwith in Resindence at the Bowdoin College, whose music touched and animated Merry's heart and brought her much joy. Please send donations to
Bowdoin College, intended for George Lopez music programs for:
Bowdoin College Music Department
For the attention of: Delmar D. Small, administrator
9200 College Station, 9 Gibson Hall
Brunswick, ME 04011-8492
Obituary: Earl Thomas Eastman