Douglas Paul Herr passed away at his home in Naples, Fla., surrounded by his loving family on November 16, 2017, due to complications of Lewy Body Dementia.
Doug was born July 1, 1935 in Wishek, N.D., the only child of Gideon and Madeline Herr. He completed a bachelor's degree in accounting with distinguished honors from the University of Minnesota.
Doug met Grace Forss on a blind date in Chicago arranged by friends. They married six months later on August 30, 1958, and recently celebrated 59 years together. The Herrs lived in Evanston, Rolling Meadows, and then Arlington Heights in Illinois where Doug was a CPA at Arthur Andersen & Company. They were blessed with four children. In 1969, the family moved to Danville, Ill., where Doug became the CFO of Hurletron, then Altair Corporation.
In 1973, he resigned his position to help expand the retail craft store started by Grace. The business took off and the retail store developed into a major wholesale distributor of art and craft supplies and a publishing company of "how-to" craft books, Herr's Inc. and Herr Publications. During this time, Doug served as a director and president of the Midwest Craft & Hobby Association and on the Board of Directors of several banks including Palmer National Bank. Although working long hours, he was a loyal fan of the University of Illinois football/basketball teams and later enjoyed many weekends with family and friends at their houseboat on Lake Shelbyville in Illinois.
After selling Herr's Inc. in 1985, they retired to Marco Island, Fla. Doug and Grace sponsored the construction of many homes through Habitat for Humanity. They were also instrumental in starting the Guadalupe After School Program for children of migrant workers, receiving special recognition on their Wall of Honor. A passion for supporting education began when Doug instituted "Dollars for Scholars" at his Wishek, N.D., high school. Over the next 45 years, the Herrs left a legacy of contributing to many schools, individual students and charities to help people achieve their dreams for education and a safe home.
Doug was a longtime member of Marco Island Lutheran Church and Hideaway Beach. He loved to play tennis, go fishing, watch sports, and play cards, particularly pinochle, in intense family competitions. His weekly poker game was a much-anticipated and enjoyed event. Tragically, all of these pleasures and many more including driving, reading, walking and communicating were lost during his brave five-year battle with Lewy Body Dementia (LBD). LBD, a brain disorder and progressive multi-system disease, affects over a million individuals and their families often going undiagnosed as its symptoms closely resemble Alzheimers and Parkinsons.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Gideon and Madeline Herr. He is survived by his loving wife, Grace; his children, Scott Herr and wife Yvonne, Suzy Riesterer and husband Jim, Nancy Churchwell and husband Randy, Kristy Bartos and husband Jerry; and his grandchildren, Adam Riesterer, Jenna Herr Adams, McKinley Churchwell, Alex Riesterer, Becky Herr and Hanna Churchwell.
A memorial page where memories, condolences, photos, and videos may be shared can be found at beachwoodsociety.com. Memorials may be made to: Lewy Body Dementia Association (www.lbda.org), Guadalupe Center (After School Program) or Habitat for Humanity of Collier County.
Published on November 21, 2017