Karl’s spirit left this physical world on September 20, 2020, on a beautiful fall day. We are sure he passed by Pine Creek to check out the bass fishing and then returned to catch the Bald Eagles play soccer. He was so thankful for the love and care of his family through the months of very difficult health problems. In spite of the limitations and hardship of illness he was always positive, optimistic, determined, and retained his sense of humor. Nothing was more fun than ragging on friends and players to get a reaction or let them know what he might be thinking. Karl always felt so blessed by his life, the love of his family, his devoted wife, the many players he coached, and his community, to which he unconditionally gave his time without hesitation. He cherished, respected, and was so proud of his three children, their spouses, and his four grandchildren.
Karl is survived by his wife G. Lynne Herrmann—his best friend and love since age 16—whom he married on December 22, 1961 in Cleveland, Ohio. In addition to his wife, Karl is survived by his children, Bonnie Diane Leonard and her husband Peter John Leonard (Westerville, OH), John Paul Herrmann and his wife Nataly Tina Stuard (Arlington, VA), Kurt Karl Herrmann and his wife Maria Herrmann (Lock Haven, PA); four grandchildren, Rachael Lynne Leonard, Sarah Irene Leonard, Maxwell Stuard Herrmann, Stella Mabel Herrmann; a dear cousin June Martin (Lakewood, OH); and a dedicated LHU soccer community.
Karl was a 1957 graduate of John Marshall High School in Cleveland, Ohio, where he lettered in baseball, football, and track. He joined the Ohio Army National Guard in 1957 when he graduated from high school. He managed to fulfill his Army obligation as he attended both Oberlin College in Ohio and The Pennsylvania State University. He received his B.A. in Liberal Arts from Oberlin College in 1961, finished his Masters’ degree in Health Science from Penn State in 1962, and became an ABD (doctorate candidate completing all the course requirements) at Penn State in 1965.
While at Oberlin, Karl lettered in baseball and soccer. He was All Ohio Conference in baseball 1960–1961. His ERA of 0.29 set a school and Ohio Conference record and was second in the NCAA in the USA. His prowess as a pitcher attracted the attention of the NY Yankees. They tried to recruit him, but he decided to marry Lynne and accept an assistantship at PSU. He said, “I am not sure my slider broke enough.”
Karl joined the faculty of Davis and Elkins College in Elkins, WV (1962–1964). There he taught all the academic health science courses (anatomy, physiology, and kinesiology) and coached soccer, swimming, basketball, and baseball. He always laughed that he also had to do the team laundry. In 1965 he was asked to join the faculty and coach at Lock Haven State College for a one-year replacement—a position that lasted 32 years. His teaching focused on health sciences. He loved the discussion-oriented teaching in his classes and his students loved him. At LHU Karl coached baseball, was assistant basketball coach, and varsity tennis coach. As varsity soccer coach, his record was 71-29-16. He coached three Division One All Americans. He was inducted in the Oberlin College Athletic Hall of Fame for his baseball achievements and the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame for soccer coaching and promoting the sport.
Karl was the director of the Lock Haven City Tennis Tournament for 14 years. He was co-president (with Lynne), head referee, and starter for the Lock Haven Area YMCA swim team for 14 years. He is fondly remembered for organizing in 1975 the first youth soccer program in Lock Haven and introducing AYSO soccer to the Lock Haven area. It was early in the history of local soccer, but in 1980 he managed to petition the community leaders and the KCSD Board to introduce soccer at Lock Haven High School. (Although the players had to raise the money for the first team). Around 1990 Karl secured funding through a state grant and many fundraisers for the purchase and development of a beautiful soccer facility out on the Farrandsville Road. He had the ability to reach out to people and make things happen in the community. Karl served on numerous boards, including the LHU Foundation Board and the YMCA Board.
A quote from his daughter Bonnie tells so much: “Dad’s love of life was evident in his connections with people from all walks of life. He ice-fished, played tennis, rode the stationary bike at the Y after his legs were injured, organized the area’s youth soccer program, ran swim meets, participated in a friendly faculty stock club, volunteered at the women’s shelter, avidly read history, and discussed politics with widely diverse groups of people. By his unpretentious example, we—his children—learned that all people deserve to be treated fairly and with dignity.”
There will be no gathering or service at this time. Memorial contributions may be made through Donald G. Walker Funeral Home, 231 High Street, Lock Haven, PA 17745, tel: 570.748.5329, to The Karl Herrmann Foundation Scholarship (the scholarship goes to members of the LHU men’s soccer team who demonstrate leadership on and off the field and also succeed in the classroom) or to the Lock Haven Area YMCA.
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