Francis John Herr, 78, passed away Wednesday afternoon, June 4, 2008 at O’Connor Hospital in Delhi after a courageous battle with cancer. Fran was born on February 15, 1930 in Hoboken, NJ, the son of the late Henry William and Dorothy (Scories) Herr.
When Fran was a baby in his mother’s arms, the family would journey to Cabin Hill, DeLancey, every summer. In 1941 during the depression his parents bought the 200-acre farm for $900. down with a final purchase price of $2,000. His family moved here permanently in 1942.
Fran started school at age 13. He had to wait a year due to having scarlet fever and the mumps. At age 16, Fran left school and went to work full time on the family farm, shipping milk to the Andes Creamery in 1946. Fran said he “learned a lot from the farmers and it made him what he became in life today.”
On April 17, 1955, he married the “wife of his life,” Grace Evelyn Robson. Although they never had children, they were blessed with their own loving parents and relatives to care for all of their lives.
In 1978 Fran always said “He saw the handwriting on the wall” for farming, and left that industry to go to work full time as a janitor at the Delhi Agricultural and Technical College. He was a proud member of the CSEA Union for 19 years until his retirement.
Surviving are his brother, George Herr, Wolf Lake and several nieces, nephews, cousins and a very special cousin, James Herr Sr. and family. James spent his lifetime growing up on Fran’s family farm, and remained an important part of Fran’s life and decision making of his care until his passing. A special caretaker, Chris Kovba, gave countless hours to take care of Fran’s farm and animals.
Fran’s loving wife Grace, passed away on February 3, 2005. It was then that Fran journeyed everyday to Danny’s Restaurant in Walton for his meals. Owner Wilma Hannan and her daughter Cortnie, were the absolute loves of his life. When Fran was too sick to travel, they prepared meals that were taken to his home. Fran’s fond memories of John Phraner, of Northeast Fabricators, took Fran to his facility and made him a part of that establishment. To the many others he met while dining at Danny’s, you have fulfilled his remaining days with many stories and much laughter.
A graveside service was held at Andes Cemetery on Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m.
Memorial donations in Fran’s memory may be made to the Andes Volunteer Fire Department and EMS, P.O. Box 475, Andes, NY 13731.
Condolences to the family may be made on-line at the website www.courtneyfh.com