Dennis (Denny) A Hermann, age 76, of Swansea, IL, passed away peacefully on Thursday, August 15, surrounded by his family.
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Dennis was a kind and loving son, husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle. He was born July 30, 1943 in Belleville, IL. He was preceded in death by his parents George and Ruby Hermann. He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Mary “Julie” (Rauckman) Hermann of Swansea, his children Lesley (Patrick) Donahue of Swansea, Trayc (Chris) Foutz of Swansea, his grandson Colton Hicks of Fairview Heights, his granddaughter Mara Foutz of Swansea, and his beloved sister Sandy (Bill) Kuehn of Swansea.
Dennis had a green thumb and his back yard was filled with many species of plants and countless hostas which were shared with everyone. He enjoyed many outdoor activities throughout his life including fishing, water skiing, tennis, hiking, canoe floats, baseball, softball, touch football, golf and his version of frisbee golf. There was no shortage of games, cards and dice in the house. “Come on, let’s go play…” was his favorite phrase. He was sure to include everyone around him, young and old alike. Rules were changed to be sure that everyone had fun. All were pulled in by his enthusiasm and huge smile.
He enjoyed serving on the Tennis Committee at the Elks club, where he could be found playing in the Friday night tournaments. For more than a decade, Dennis and Julie played with their many special friends in The Sunday Golf Group.
Dennis was an exceptional Civil War researcher and educator, providing many presentations of living history in Southern Illinois. He was instrumental in identifying graves of civil war veterans and procuring proper markers for those in St Clair and nearby counties, and as far away as Maryland.
Being an avid reader, he could often be found in his overfilled library. Every inch of his bookcases was filled. He was excited whenever he found a civil war book that he didn’t own, much to the chagrin of his family whose home was filled with boxes of books. More shelves were brought in. As the girls moved out, their bedrooms became a library annex. (No empty nest syndrome for Dennis.)
His love of books was not limited to the civil war. He volunteered year round for the St Louis Book Fair, which funded youth literacy and education. Family was recruited to volunteer for the Book Fair sale days and his grandson was recruited to help in the book depot where donations were sorted and priced.
As the saying goes “He never met a stranger. Just a friend he hadn’t talked with yet.” That was Dennis. He was a joyful and effusive man.
Dennis is also survived by brothers and sisters in law Richard (Carol) Rauckman, William (Gigi) Rauckman, John (Pam) Rauckman, Susan (Dennis) Newman, Beeper Bennett, Jim (Shirley) Rauckman, and many nieces and nephews. And preceded in death by brother in law Bill Bennett.
All friends and family are invited to the Celebration of Dennis’ Life. 2-5pm, Sunday, August 25, 2019, at Tavern on Main, 301 East Main, Belleville, IL 62220. Parking is available on the street and behind the building.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St Clair Associated Vocational Enterprises (SAVE), Hospice of Southern Illinois or the organization of your choice.