Herman, Gunter Fredrick
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October 25, 1918 - February 20, 2013
Gunter Herman, 94, passed away of respiratory failure on February 20. Born in Berlin, Germany to Fredrick and Alice Hermann, youngest and last survivor of three children (Hans, Ernst), he was educated in Germany, England and Switzerland. In 1934, when Gunter was 16, he and his family fled Nazi Germany and eventually settled in Los Angeles. Gunter attended and graduated in 1942 from U.C.L.A. where he was active in on-campus and off-campus theater. At U.C.L.A., Gunter met Elizabeth Carbee, the managing editor of the Daily Bruin, and, in June 1943, he and Betty were married. Thus began a devoted union that flourished for a remarkable 70 years. In 1942, Gunter enlisted in the U.S. Army and was recruited into the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the wartime intelligence agency. He served his new country from November 1942 through April 1946, much of that time behind enemy lines in Germany. In 1943, Gunter proudly attained U.S. citizenship. Following the war, he became a part-owner of Evans and Reeves Nurseries in Brentwood, the "nursery to the stars." In July 1954, the nursery was commissioned to handle landscape development at the new Disneyland Park in Anaheim. Among other projects, the landscaping of the Beverly Hilton Hotel and the coral trees along San Vicente Boulevard in West Los Angeles form a lasting legacy of their efforts. When Evans and Reeves ultimately closed its doors, Gunter worked with the California Department of Employment (now the Employment Development Department) until his retirement. Through the 1950s and 1960s, he volunteered as a first aid instructor with the American Red Cross. In his later years, he and Betty enjoyed traveling, visiting more than 100 countries around the world. We will remember Gunter as a most devoted husband and a generous and constant father, a loyal friend and a proud American, a lover of all things botanical, a supporter of the cultural arts in and around Los Angeles, a lifetime Bruin fan, and a man of puckish good humor. He is survived by his wife Betty, by his children, Peter Herman (Bonnie) of Bonsall, Erica Rodriguez of Monterey Park, and Michael Herman (Candie) of Beverly Hills, and by his grandchildren (Daniel, Adriana, Justin, Monica, Samantha, Patrick and Emily). Donations are gratefully welcomed in Gunter's name to the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Doctors Without Borders, and the San Diego Zoo.
Published in the Los Angeles Times from Feb. 26 to Feb. 28, 2013