Robert "Bob" E. Herman, 78, a well-known Williston businessman and owner of Herman Oil, died Saturday morning, Oct. 26, 2013, at his home in Williston, surrounded by his loving family and in the care of Mercy Hospice.
Bob was born the son of local farmers Lawrence and Francis Aileen (Shafer) Herman at Olney, Ill., on Dec. 8, 1934. He was raised in the Catholic faith and baptized at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Stringtown, Ill. He attended schools at Claremont and Hickory Point and graduated from high school in 1953 from Olney High School. While in school he worked for his grandfather, Mr. Shafer, in the family General Store. Here, Bob acquired an interest in business; lessons he would perfect throughout his life. Small-town southern Illinois gave Bob a head start in knowing hard work. At an early age, he left home after high school and came to North Dakota in 1954 where he took a job with Calvart Drilling Company during the first area oil boom where Bob worked 13 years on the oil rigs. He was united in marriage to Sharon Ness at Columbus on Dec. 11, 1955. To this union six children were born. The family lived in many area towns while in the oil field: Bowbells, Kenmare, Bottineau, Flaxton, Stanley and Tioga before 1964 when they moved to Williston. After that experience Bob began his career of self-employment and started Bob's Standard Service in Williston in 1964. He sold that business in 1975 and purchased the Amoco Bulk Plant. This venture grew in time to two bulk plants and two convenience stores, one in Williston and one in Medicine Lake, Mont., both known to the area as Herman Oil. Bob continued these businesses where he took an active role in customer service. He knew his customers both in the oil industry and farm agriculture and he devoted himself to meeting their needs. Bob retired after 47 years as a self-made businessman in 2011 at the age of 76.
Bob enjoyed his career and all of the relationships that he cultivated over the years. He was hardworking, fun, loving and had a good sense of humor. He enjoyed his pilot's license, hunting, mushroom hunting with family in Illinois and his black lab, Sahab. Family was always at the core of happiness with Bob.
He was a member of Our Redeemers Lutheran Church, Elks, ND Petroleum Marketers, Midwestern Oil Jobbers Consortium, NRA, Ducks Unlimited and AOPA.
Bob was widowed in September 2001 when his wife Sharon died in Williston. He was joined in marriage to Rebecca Thompson at Williston on April 10, 2004. Together they continued to make Williston home. Since his retirement, Bob enjoyed traveling the country in his motor home and spending time with his family.
He is survived by: his wife, Becky; one son, Robert Shane (LeAnn) Herman; two daughters, ConiLe (Lloyd) Teske, December Herman, all of Williston; 14 grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; two stepchildren, Wade (Ann) Domres, of St. Cloud, Minn., and Darci (Daren) Herman, of West Fargo; four stepgrandchildren; daughter-in-law, Pam (Monte) Olson, of Australia; two brothers, William "Bill" (Ruth Ann) Herman, of Williamsfield, Ill., and Larry "Bud" (Sandy) Herman, of Claremont, Ill.
He was preceded in death by: his parents; first wife, Sharon; two sons, Robbie Herman and Jeffrey Todd Herman; a daughter, Shari Lynn Herman; granddaughter, Miranda Dawn Teske; and his parents-in-law, Clifford Merriwell and Martha Julie Ness.
A Celebration of Bob's life will be held Wednesday, Oct. 30, at 10:30 a.m. at Our Redeemers Lutheran Church in Williston. Rev. Chris Raiford will officiate and interment will follow at Riverview Cemetery in Williston. A reception, hosted by the women of Our Redeemers for family and friends, will follow the burial service.
Friends may call at Fulkerson Funeral Home in Williston today, Oct. 29, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., and one hour before services at the church on Wednesday. Rev. Morris Kirchhof will minister to the family during their family service.
Friends are encouraged to share their memories and condolences with the family online at (www.fulkersons.com).