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Harland Thomas Hermann, Sr.

Harland Thomas Hermann, Sr.
Harland Thomas Hermann, Sr.
- June 22, 2018

Harland Thomas Hermann, Sr., was born and raised in Lincoln, NE.  He graduated from Valley High School in 1936 at the age of 16, completed his undergraduate degree in pre-med from the University of Nebraska Lincoln in 1939, and completed his doctorate in medicine from the University of Nebraska Omaha in 1943.  He was the first of three brothers who became physicians.

Harland interned in Omaha before entering the US Army in October of 1944.  He was assigned to the famous 442nd Infantry Regimental Combat Team as Battalion Surgeon, and stationed in Italy.  As the war ended, he was reassigned to Fitzsimons General Hospital in Denver, CO, as ward officer in the tuberculosis section and was promoted to Captain.  Upon completion of his military service, he returned to Omaha and re-entered residency in internal medicine 1946-1947.  He joined a Psychiatry-Neurology group practice as a specialist in Psychosomatic Medicine, and this association lasted 9 years.  During this time, he was part of the faculty for the University of Nebraska Medical School as an instructor in psychiatry.  Then, in 1956 to further his education, he became a career resident in neuropsychiatry at the VA in Omaha for three years, completing his fellowship and obtaining his Board Certification in Neuropsychiatry.

Harland met the love of his life, Jean Mary Ellison, a beautiful lab tech, and they were married on February 28, 1948.  To this union, which was to last over 70 years, were born their three children:  Tom, Lucy, and Richard.

In 1959, Harland joined the Veterans Administration.  He and his family moved to Fort Meade, SD.  There, he was a staff psychiatrist and, later, Chief of Psychiatry and Neurology.  Harland, Jean, and family enjoyed 19 years at Fort Meade.  In 1979, he and Jean moved to Mitchell, SD, where he joined the Dakota Mental Health Center serving as a psychiatrist for the South Dakota Public Health Service.  During those years, he also traveled in that capacity to Huron and Chamberlain, and to Sioux Falls where he taught medical students as Clinical Associate Professor in Psychiatry for the University of South Dakota School of Medicine.  He retired from government service in 1986 and returned to the Black Hills residing in Sturgis and later in Rapid City, where he continued a limited consultative practice of psychiatry.

Harland received many honors and awards during his 50 years of practice.  Much more than the awards, however, he cherished the relationships he developed with co-workers and fellow teachers in caring for patients and educating students of medicine.  In 2014, the South Dakota State Medical Association recognized his 50 years of medical practice and dedicated service, and he also received a lifetime achievement award from the South Dakota Psychiatric Association.

While Harland was appreciated for his scholarly insights and genuine caring in his practice of medicine, he also loved to share his gifts of owl carving and landscape paintings.  He was truly in his element in his studio that many dubbed the “owl factory” where he carved, signed, and numbered over 2,500 owls.  Those fortunate to receive one of his owls would also receive a note stating, “Whoever owns a Hermann Owl will make wise and happy choices.”  Harland was forever on the lookout for the perfect piece of wood that would eventually become a numbered owl.  His love of and knowledge about nature were evident to many and showed in his many landscape paintings.

In Harland’s earlier years, his passion for fishing led to many family vacations at Lake Okoboji and later to wonderful times at Bear Butte Lake.  Harland’s blood pressure, and Jean’s, would rise whenever the Nebraska Cornhuskers would play football, especially if they were playing Oklahoma.  His red Nebraska cap and a red sweater were always within reach.

Together, Harland and Jean welcomed many to their home.  Harland always offered quiet wisdom and support, and enjoyed sharing with his “Millstone Coffee Group.”  Many appreciated his ability to listen.  Harland knew the joy of communication, emailing and FaceTiming family, friends, and acquaintances until, in February of 2017, a stroke robbed him of his ability to speak clearly and use his hands to type.  He gradually came to understand that his life was drawing to a close and after Jean passed away in May of 2018, he very much wanted to follow her.  We are all glad he is with Jean again.

Harland T. Hermann, Sr., 99, passed away peacefully on June 19, 2018, surrounded by family members and loving carers at Westhills Village.

Survivors include two sons, Dr. H. Thomas (Terry) Hermann, Sturgis, and Richard L. Hermann, Los Angeles, CA; a daughter, Lucy Moore (Gareth) Stevens, Hubertus, WI; six grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; his brother, Dr. Lee (Jan) Hermann; and close family friend, Scott Moses.

He was preceded in death by his wife; his parents; and one brother, Gordon.

Memorials have been established to the Sturgis/Meade County Historical Society and the Sturgis or Rapid City Libraries. 

Visitation and luncheon to be held at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, June 26, 2018, at St. Francis of Assisi Parish Hall, 1049 Howard Street, Sturgis, followed by memorial services, with military honors, at Black Hills National Cemetery at 1:00 p.m.

Condolences may be sent to the family at www.kinkadefunerals.com.

Phone number: 605-347-4455
E-mail: [email protected]
Address: 1612 Junction Avenue, Suite #1
Sturgis, SD 57785