"I've lived a life that's full;
I've traveled each and every highway;
But more, much more than this
I did it my way." - Frank Sinatra (as frequently quoted by Bobby Ann Hermann)
  • 89 years old
  • Born on March 7, 1928 .
  • Passed away on December 25, 2017 .

A life well lived. If I had to choose one sentence to summarize Bobby Ann Hermann, that’s what I would choose. She was the epitome of strength, courage, tenacity, love, humor and zest. I could go through and list her statistics (she was born on March 7, 1928 in Chicago, IL to Laura Luesman and Robert Armour, she graduated college in 1949, she was married twice, had 5 children, 11 grandchildren, and several great-grandchildren), but rather than go too deeply into all of the biographical information, I wanted to write an obituary that captures her essence.

She was tenacious. A defining moment in Bobby’s childhood was when she slipped on a patch of ice and shattered her hip. She was bedridden for months following her hip replacement surgery, and the doctors told her that she may never walk again. She decided in that moment that not only was she going to walk again, but that she was going to walk unassisted at her high school graduation. After months of physical therapy, and her own stubborn determination, she walked across the aisle for her high school graduation. She would go on to face many hardships, tragedies, and loss throughout her lifetime. Her motto was to always keep moving forward no matter what the obstacles. I think sometimes the only way she survived was on sheer grit and determination. If she set her mind to something, she would accomplish it no matter the cost.

She was brave in life and brave in love. She moved across the country twice. She travelled the world. She fell in love twice. She was married twice. She raised five kids, and at the age of 55 she took in two of her grandkids. She committed to everything that she did with passion and gusto – go big or go home was a constant in our lives.

She was razor sharp with her wit and intelligence. She was an avid reader, she would describe it as her chance to escape without going anywhere. And as an adult, she would go on to travel to every corner of the earth. Her zest for life (and for travel) was contagious. I was fortunate to travel with her frequently, and these experiences shaped me in ways I cannot fully articulate. Whether it was the fjords in Norway, the Parthenon in Greece, the middle of Israel, or even Reno, Nevada – there are stories and experiences and memories that are irreplaceable. She ended her travelling adventures on her own terms – with a final, solo trip to Africa at the age of 78! She was constantly tackling projects and involved in the activities of her kids and grandkids. It did not matter if it was a dance class, a softball team, a karate lesson, or a theater performance – she was always there and involved, moving things along until her very last breath.

She was love. Everything I mention above – the bravery, the tenacity, the wit, the involvement. It was her way of embodying love. Love can take many forms, these were hers. And we all felt it.

Christmas was the most magical holiday to Bobby Ann. She was the person that was shopping for Christmas year-round. You knew that if you went shopping with her, that you would end up spending 10 minutes at the register while she counted everything out to make sure she bought the right quantities for everyone in the family. She handmade stockings for every family member (including the animals) and made sure they were magically filled on Christmas morning. Her presents were always immaculately wrapped – it was almost a shame to have to ruin them by opening them. She did her best to make every Christmas feel like something out of this world – exciting and wonderful. It was the spirit that she personified. So, it was only fitting that Bobby made Christmas morning the date she departed from earth and went amongst the angels – we are all certain that she planned it that way.

Bobby Ann Hermann passed away on December 25, 2017. She was preceded in death by her husband Ed, and her son Randy. She is survived by her daughters Rhonda, Dawn, Bonnie and Wendy, by her grandchildren that she raised, Harley and Rachel, and by her grandchildren Jason, Christina, Angela, Ashley, Tory, Lindsey, Brooke, and Mike, and several great-grandchildren. She will be forever remembered and celebrated, her life was well lived.

Posted by Rachel Bertram on July 3, 2019
How could I forget Disneyland? There never was a more devoted Disney fan than Nana - so many happy memories with her at the Happiest Place on Earth!
Posted by Natalie Meissner on June 25, 2019
Going to Disneyland and eating at the Blue Bayou.

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