This memorial website was created in memory of our loved one, Walt Herrmann. If you would be so kind to share your stories, pictures, or even a just a few words, it will be a great comfort for his family and friends. It will honor his memory and celebrate the life of a man who left us far too early. Wally, you are in our hearts forever. 

The family appreciates your thoughts and condolences. We are finding particular comfort in people sharing stories and memories of Walt and his wonderful qualities. 

Posted by Amy Overton on July 6, 2019
We remember Wally all through our lives, from high school days to adulthood. We cherish the fun times and laughs. Thank you for hosting us in your California home. Rob and Kim Gatz
Posted by Amy Overton on July 6, 2019
We will miss you and your laugh.
Greg and Lisa Fleming
Posted by Amy Overton on July 6, 2019
Thank you for welcoming us to your home in the Palo Alto area and then serving us hors d'oeuvres and drinks as went to dinner with Denise. Apparently, the Packer game was more interesting. :) Still, in short encounters, you made a huge impression as a caring spouse and best friend to Denise. Sincerely, Laura Love
Posted by Debbie Kling on July 6, 2019
everyone Loved wally. he was my grandfather, and he was the best. my favorite memory was when we went to Whidbee island just the two of us. dale let us sleep in a cargo sized, and shaped house. i enjoyed that trip
                      -Louise Golden
Posted by Amy Overton on July 6, 2019
i'll always remember the card games we had, especially one in particular at your house in Shabbona. We were playing outside on the picnic table. I'm sure others will recall, as well. Walt was a great friend! RIP
Rick Siemers
Posted by Debbie Kling on July 6, 2019
We were blessed beyond words to have you and Denise as our neighbors. I remember when the house came was going to be for sale, I told Denise at work: "not sure the neighborhood needs two assistant principals living next door to each other", but it was the best buy you could have ever done and only strengthened our friendship. You were always there for us or for our kids.
Posted by Amy Overton on July 6, 2019
I will always remember how kind & thoughtful Wally was to me, especially when I was at an education conference in Las Vegas with Denise and 6 months pregnant!  He looked out for me, and made sure that I was taken care of --my impression is that Wally always did that. He made the world a better place, and we can all benefit from his wonderful example.
Posted by Charlotte Golden on April 11, 2019
I thank you all for the kind words, my Grandpa was the kindest, most empathetic person I have ever met, and I am so happy to know other people saw that too. I had so many memories with him, and I can not pick a favorite, they were all perfect. We all miss you, Grandpa.
                                        -Charlotte A. Golden / Herrmann
Posted by Lesa Kelly on April 10, 2019
My fondest memory of Wally was riding the bus to kindergarten with him. He kissed me one day and said “cause we’re friends “. He had a place in my heart for life after that one and only kiss. My heart goes out to his family.
Posted by Jennifer Von Kaenel on April 7, 2019
I only knew him for nine years, but I loved the hell out of him. He accepted me in to the family with open arms and was kind and fun to hang out with. He helped us move and we enjoyed coming to see them at the farm and for family gatherings. He was funny as hell. Great memories visiting them in California, on vacations, etc. He is truly missed.
Posted by Ron Roberts on April 6, 2019
Didn't get to know Walt for very long but he had a lasting impression on me..Walt had signed up to play Senior softball this year and came to a few tryouts in January and February.. All of us coaches would take notes and evaluate the skills of all the new guys. Everyone was raving about the big left- hander that hit the ball harder than we have seen in years...Walt was going to be one of the top 3 draft picks and we were all ready to fight over him. Then about a week before the draft he informed us that he would miss the first 2 months of the season because he had to go back and work on the farm...Well, since I hadn't seen a better natural power hitter in years, I drafted him anyway. We had a few practices and the other coaches always showed up to watch Walt hit.. Well, in our first practice game he twisted his knee and was out of commission to start the season. So we feel sorry that we didn't get to watch the big man roll. We all will share stories of the massive shots that Walt hit over the street and into the front yards to right field..What a beautiful swing he had
Posted by Dennis Harrington on April 2, 2019
Sincere condolences to the Herrman family. Walt & I were pheasant hunting / farming buddies. You could not ask for a better person to join you in the field & as a friend. We made a lot of great memories that will not be forgotten. One of my favorites- we were in Minnesota chasing birds , stayed the night at a casino / hotel with or dogs scout & Elvis. Forgot to tell them we had seeing eye dogs. Elvis did a little singing while we were unwinding at the lounge. We were asked to leave the next day. Didn’t bother us, we found a better place that accepted “ service dogs “. Also found a great restaurant, the pheasant pub & grill. Go figure. Great times with great people. Rest In Peace my brother
Posted by Connie DeBlaquiere on March 31, 2019
I was fortunate to have Walt and Denise as my next door neighbors in Sun City Roseville. While I knew Walt for less than a year, I quickly came to consider him a wonderful friend. He would magically appear and help to do such things as help me haul rock to my backyard, assemble patio furniture, or take my garbage cans out. I loved how he beamed with pride when he talked about “the farm” or when he spoke of Denise. One day three neighbors spent an hour plus chasing and rescuing a run away dog. I loved seeing his joy in crunching his new driver. We should all be so thrilled with nature. Walt was enthralled with the views from the patio of his new home.
I will try to honor Walt by being the best neighbor and friend that I can be. I will try to share his joy in taking in the beauty of the moment. My target from the tee on #12 will forever be Walt!
Posted by Jill Gurtner on March 29, 2019
I will always remember Wally’s incredible smile and generous heart! As I walk by the house in the woods, I will fondly recall many nights of good wine, good food and great discussions with dear friends! Sending you all much love!
Posted by Tim Gurtner on March 29, 2019
Denise, Ashley and Amanda and family I'm so very sorry for your loss! Walt was one heck of a man. A few years back I had asked Walt if he'd be able to give me a hand as a bear hunting guide for the season and despite this unusual request falling very near crop harvest Walt said sure I'll help you out but not sure how much help I'm gonna be. Walt arrived to camp and for a couple of weeks he would leave every morning with his 4 wheeler on the truck, a load of bait, couple bottles of water, some fruit and a snack and would be out all day trying to remember our bait site locations in the 3 county area we hunted until his phone GPS was probably full of way points! He would often return home with another ding in his truck or a funny story about something that happened while he was out or how he met someone new. Once the hunters started arriving into camp he wasn't overly confident in his ability but plowed forward and unknowingly become one of the best guides I've ever had! What Walt didn't take into account was the fact that he was a kind, caring, helpful, hard working, and compassionate person. You could find him taking a couple of tagged out hunters fishing, listening to one of their stories, helping another guide recover a bear or surprise the whole camp with a batch of chili after a late cold and rainy night recovering bears. Walt is often talked about in bear camp, local neighbors regularly ask if he was gonna be up so they could stop in to see him, and previous hunters returning to camp would often share a story or ask about him. He will always be fondly remembered and missed by those who had the opportunity to meet him. Peace!
Posted by Lori Hunt on March 23, 2019
I met Walt when he drove all the way to Middleton to see the country breakfast on an early Sunday morning. He was so proud of Denise and the amazing talent of the students at mhs. I remember being struck with how genuine and supportive he was. ❤️
Posted by Dan Man on March 23, 2019
I enjoyed working with Walt at the Health department. He was so good to me at the new job and throughout the time there. What a great guy that will be missed.
Posted by Jeanne Swanson on March 23, 2019
Ashley we are so very very sorry for all of you, your dad was the kindest of gentleman with the best laugh ,( I can hear him laughing now) I think the only time I ever truly heard him mad was when you girls got the green paint all over Amanda. We were truly blessed to have you as Neighbors and were able to share so many moments with your dad, what a great guy❤❤❤
Posted by Tom Bafia on March 23, 2019
What a great guy! I have fond memories of Walt and very glad I got to know him at IOCC.
Posted by Nancy Herrmann Snook on March 22, 2019
I remember how sad I was when you moved from St. Charles, but Madison was amazing. Next it was on to California and you loved it even more. You’ve moved on again, and I like to think you are in your happiest place yet, watching over all of us. Love you Walt.

Leave a Tribute

Recent Tributes
Posted by Amy Overton on July 6, 2019
We remember Wally all through our lives, from high school days to adulthood. We cherish the fun times and laughs. Thank you for hosting us in your California home. Rob and Kim Gatz
Posted by Amy Overton on July 6, 2019
We will miss you and your laugh.
Greg and Lisa Fleming
Posted by Amy Overton on July 6, 2019
Thank you for welcoming us to your home in the Palo Alto area and then serving us hors d'oeuvres and drinks as went to dinner with Denise. Apparently, the Packer game was more interesting. :) Still, in short encounters, you made a huge impression as a caring spouse and best friend to Denise. Sincerely, Laura Love
his Life

On Sunday, March 17, 2019, Walt Herrmann passed away at the age of 56. He was a loving husband, a wonderful father to 2, and an exceptional grandfather to 8. 

Walt was born on March 2, 1963 in Dixon, IL to Paul and Shirley (Hackman) Herrmann. He graduated from Shabbona High School in 1981. On November 25, 1983, he married Denise Louise Kumnick. They raised two daughters, Ashley and Amanda. He farmed the family farm in Steward, IL and retired from the DeKalb County Health Department. 

Walt and Denise lived in Shabbona, IL until they moved to St. Charles, IL. Their door was always open and they were incredible hosts, generous to a fault, and friends and family enjoyed their pool parties. In 2006, they moved to Wisconsin. They then hosted in a beautiful wooded home where that door too, was always open. On Saturday mornings, people would travel up for the weekend, enjoy the farmer's market, and Walt would grill up steaks and fresh vegetables purchased at the market. Several years later they moved to California. Walt loved living in the year-round sunshine that allowed him to bike, swim, and visit the ocean. 

He had a passion for the outdoors, athletics, and traveling. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, hiking, swimming and golfing. He was known for his quick wit, mischievous grin, and his thoughtful and generous spirit.  

Walt was preceded in death by his mother, Shirley. He is survived by his wife Denise, his two daughters, Ashley (Michael) and Amanda (Matt), his 8 grandchildren, Charlotte, Louise, Henry, Teddy, Abel, Reid, Grace, and Miles, his father Paul and siblings Joe (Siam), Curt, Mike (Sue), Cathy, Pat, Nancy (Dan), Dave (Stephanie) and numerous nieces and nephews. 

There is no formal memorial at this time. If you wish to honor Walt then please consider sending him your love as you do something that he enjoyed:

-Watching a beautiful sunset
-Going above and beyond to help a friend or family member
-Watching wildlife
-Telling a corny dad joke 
-Swimming laps
-Eating a delicious steak
-Showing kindness to a stranger

In leu of flowers if you wish to make a donation, please consider one of the following causes.

Recent stories
Shared by Devon White on April 28, 2019

Exactly a year ago, Uncle Wally came with my Dad to my Annual Habitat for Humanity Prime Rib Dinner Fundraiser. So, this weekend sitting at our same table again, he was definitely missed when our same table mates asked where my uncle was this year. Uncle Wally could talk farming, he could talk travel, family, music, and he would always make me laugh some way or another. The pictures I have aren’t the best, one because one is candid. And two, because when I did ask for a pic of him and my dad, he held up the bidding paddle in front of his face. You can’t be mad though, it captures his joking nature and how he got Dad to laugh. 

Something so important to me to share was how consistent he was with family, and caring about you. Uncle Wally was always there for family gatherings and would always ask how you are, what’s new, and really engage and care about your answer. And he remembered those things the next time he would see you and check in on your progress. The past couple years whenever I saw him he’d always invite me, (and Idel), out to California to stay so that we could experience San Francisco and Cali life. He was always encouraging of your passions and that is super special in a family member. He didn’t have to come to my Habitat dinner and sit through that terrible magician, but he did. Just like he didn’t have to invite us rowdy White girls out to swim in St Charles so many times as kids. Such fun memories there with him, Dad, Aunt Denise and the girls in the summer and their 4th of July parties. 

You, your smile, and your laugh are truly missed. I’ll carry the memories with me forever. Rest In Peace 

Family and Friend

Shared by Beth White on March 30, 2019

I knew Walt most of my adult life with him first being a friend of my brother, a brother to my dear friend Nancy and the boyfriend then husband to my sister, Dee and then good friend to Ed.  We were connected in so many different ways.  He was my friend, he was my brother in law whom I cared for and about immensely.  His large presence will be deeply missed and deeply remembered.

I remember after my mom passed away from suicide when I was 15, my brother hosted a party at our house while my Dad was out of town taking a reprieve and resting from the realization he had lost his wife to her battle with mental illness and he was now a single Dad.  We were playing cards at the kitchen table - Walt wanted to hear my story, he was truly interested and cared how her death impacted me - he listened intently and to lighten the conversation injected some humor.  He felt so deeply what others felt - ALWAYS.  I often thought he carried how others felt inside of him.

Walt was a amazing cabana boy, griller, admirer of sunsets and the outdoors - he liked adventure, anything outdoors, good food - I could go on and on.  We had a lot of great times together and even some hard times together.  Walt would do anything for anyone - anytime, anywhere!  Walt picked Dee, Nancy, Kristen and I up after a Bryan Adams concert - seemed like a good idea to leave our car at the Martini Bar.  He cleaned the pool in St. Charles impeccably, he offered rides to the airport, he loved the farm and their piece of heaven where he would grill steaks and make a fire so we could see the sunset then eat marshmallows. He drove a dozen of us in the motor home down to RIPS for my Dad's bday - took a while for us to find where the gas tank was on it but within minutes, we were plugging back along down Rte 39!  We walked the beach in CA and danced at few concerts and cheered at baseball games.  So many memories.

Walt was the guy that would challenge you on your thoughts, opinions, feelings...he loved a good debate, he loved a bad debate - he loved to debate!  I sometimes thought it was harsh but came to know and understand that was his way of expressing himself, sharing his prospective, showing he cared - right or wrong, it was his way to make sure you were  strong in your conviction, opinion and prospective.  He was a dreamer, thinker and student of life, religion and politics...he had strong opinions and viewpoints.

I love the "Walt Herrmann walk/swag", his passion, his love, how proud he was and the fact he openly expressed it about Denise, Ashley, Michael, Amanda, Matt and especially, all the grandkids - his siblings too.  Nancy held a special place in Walt's heart.   When you look at the photos here - THAT is who Wally was inside.  He said more then once "I am the lucky one".

We all have struggles and often, we don't know what people are going through or experiencing  in their lives because we don't walk in their shoes -  they hide it, they show it but we don't wanna see it or we are so preoccupied with our own life and issues, we don't take the time or effort to ask or get involved.  Or, we just don't know what to do.

Acts of kindness and getting involved when someone is hurting - those are things we can do.  Walt did this for others in so many ways.  I recently talked to a local woman who could hardly speak as she told me, "Walt helped me when I was down and really needed it".  I feel a deep ache in my heart that my mom is not here, his mom is not here...that he is not here and many others.  We have to work harder to find solutions, support, understanding and healing for those that are struggling and are ill - spiritually, physically, emotionally and mentally.  I renew my commitment!  I love you Walt and praying for your peace and peace to all of your family and friends.  Love, Beth    

Golfing in Jamaica

Shared by Kristen Edecker on March 23, 2019

We've gone on vacation several times with Wally & Denise over the many years that we have been friends.  One of our favorite trips (many years ago!) was to Jamaica.  There were eight of us in the group, the Davis's, the Pickwells, the Herrmanns, and the Edeckers.  One day, the entire group decided to go golfing at a local course not far from our hotel.  The guys were in one foursome and the girls in another.  There were no golf carts allowed on this particular course; we had to use caddies!  Not something that any of us were accustomed to (caddies at IOCC?), but off we went.  In the girls group, Denise and I shared a caddy.  Both of us had stashed a huge amount of extra golf balls in our bags, planning ahead for poor golfing, but our caddy did a great job, carrying our very heavy bags (I guess the bags got lighter as the round went on...I know I left many golf balls in Jamaica) without complaint.  We gave him a healthy tip at the end of the round...we gave him quite a workout and he totally earned it!  Their tips were a very big part, if not all, of their salary.  The guys got to know their caddies pretty well during their round.  Lots of healthy golf banter back and forth, and the guys learned how little these caddies had in their lives.  When our group got back together for cocktails and golf stories, we learned what Wally gave as a tip.  His caddie's golf shoes were falling apart so Wally gave him his own golf shoes.  They were new, he'd only worn them once or twice himself.  He literally took the shoes off his feet and gave them to someone who needed them.  Totally selfless.  Totally kind.  Nobody else thought to do this.  That was Wally and it's something I'll always remember about that trip and about him.