A chapter in the life of Richard Frederick Herminghaus has come to an end as he passed away on April 30, 2006 in the company of family, friends, and the caring staff at St. Vincent’s Health Care Center. The story began in Butte, Montana when Richard was born on May 12th, 1915 to Richard Frederick Herminghaus Sr. and Grace Dullenty Herminghaus.
The family moved to Billings and Richard attended Broadwater Elementary and Billings Senior High School. He had a life-long career at the Hart-Albin Company where he began working as a stock clerk while in high school. He retired as Vice President of Merchandising but continued as a member of the board of directors until the store closed. Richard loved his job and always said if he had it to do over again he would make the same choice. He was well suited for a career that engaged him with the public, and was a handsome symbol of all that the Hart Albin Company represented: classic style, innovative thinking, and a commitment to service.
Richard’s sense of duty and adventurous spirit took him to Debden, England where he served in the US Radio Signal corps during WWII. From his post, he traveled to Cambridge, London, Dublin, and many small towns across the English countryside. Given the choice of a hearty stout or India Pale Ale, he most often chose the latter—a taste that is shared by the next generation.
When Richard returned to Billings, Montana after the war, he was made an exceptional offer to work for Hart Albin’s. This was the start of a long-term association with his boss, Russ Hart, a man he greatly admired.
Richard was an avid gardener and loved being out of doors whether fishing, hunting or walking. As a long time member of the Yellowstone Country Club, he was still golfing into his 90th year. Richard was a Friend of the Library, a voracious reader and traveler, and visited many places in the world, both physically and through the books he read. A devoted Catholic, Richard was a member of St. Patrick’s Parish for over 80 years. In his life and career he made many contributions to Billings, as a volunteer and an active member of this community.
Richard’s wry sense of humor and ready smile will be missed by all those who knew him. Under the zodiac sign of Taurus this description fits him well:
The salt of the earth
Whose purpose if steady
For Joy and Good Fellowship
He always was ready…………
Richard is survived by Bonnie, his wife of 59 years, his 4 children Susan and Stan McNickle of Wamego, KS; Trisha and husband Joe Kurtak of Anchorage, AK; Ellen and husband Scott Wallace of Oklahoma City, OK; and Rich and Beth of Corvallis, MT, Sisters Helen Walsh of Billings and Alma Jean Jondrow of Gladstone Michigan.
Richard has 7 grandchildren, Candy McNickle Kadau, Bill, Dan and Ken McNickle, Carly, Jenny and Cole Herminghaus and 4 great grandchildren along with numerous nieces and nephews.
A vigil will be held at Michelotti-Sawyers Mortuary at 7 PM on Wednesday, May 3rd, and a funeral mass will be said at 12:00 PM at St. Patrick’s Co-Cathedral on Thursday, May 4th.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to St. Vincent de Paul; Billings Area Catholic Education Trust, P.O. Box 31158, Billings, MT 59107; St. Vincent Foundation, or the charity of your choice.