Herbert Ernst Vogel, 85
Herbert Ernst Vogel, 85, passed away on August 23, 2013, in Mountain Home, Arkansas. From 1974 to 1993, Herb and his wife Katharina (Katy) owned and operated Home Style Bakery on Church Street. Herb was always happy to look up from his cake-decorating table, dressed in white with a white baker's cap and his apron spotted in a variety of icing colors, and see kids enjoying his Smiley-Face cookies or other treats. He was known for his variety of breads for which a number of customers regularly drove hundreds of miles. He was extremely concerned about quality and often said, "You have to give the people something" in his familiar German accent.
Herb was born on April 7, 1928, in Zerbst, Germany, near the river Elbe to Wilhelm Vogel, a butcher, and Margarete Pelzer Vogel. His mother passed away when he was 9 years old and his father remarried to Erna Richter. Being a boy during the post-World War I period and following economic depression left a lasting impression on Herb - he never let anything go to waste. He was raised in Zerbst, near the castle of Catherine the Great. As soon as he turned 14, he became a Baker's Apprentice in the nearby city of Dessau. As a young apprentice during World War II
, he had to endure many hardships including the death of his older brother, Willie, an avid soccer player, on the Eastern Front. Shortly after the War, his father and stepmother passed away within a short time of each other. Young Herb escaped from what was then East Germany to West Germany in 1949, and then, after working as a baker in West Germany, immigrated to New York City under sponsorship from his uncle, Otto Vogel. He traveled on the ship Italia and arrived in the United States on April 10, 1952.
Herb met Katharina Hoesch at night school learning to speak English in 1952 and they became engaged on his birthday in 1954. He married Katy on December 31, 1954, and together opened Vogel's Bakery in South Ozone Park, New York. Herb became a U.S. citizen in 1957. His first son, William was born in 1959 and Herbert John was born in 1968. Herb was a member of the Baker's Association in New York City and a certified Master Baker by the Retail Bakers of America. His recipe for true New York cheesecake has been served in fine restaurants across the country. After many years in New York, Herb, Katy, and two sons were drawn to the Ozarks by the beauty of the area and the prospect of buying Home Style Bakery.
Herb always said, "I always try to do the right thing", and he did. He was always generous and there to help people in need. When the milk strike occurred in New York City in the 1960's, many of his customers with small children did not know what to do. Herb drove to Connecticut each day after working long days, and brought back milk to distribute to people in the bakery. He would encourage us each to do good deeds for people in need and not seek any credit for an act of kindness.
He also had an impish sense of humor; sometimes, at the dinner table, he could get his sons laughing uncontrollably with just a glance. He loved good music and good food. He was so happy while fishing or on the way there, that he often just had to break out in song. However, he was an extremely hard-working man that amazed many people by the very long hours he cheerfully worked. The bakery was very important to him, as were the many dedicated customers.
He was also a stubborn man and fiercely proud of his wife, two sons and three grandchildren. Herb is survived by his wife of 58 years and life-long partner, Katy; his son William (Alice of Olympia, Washington) and son Herbert (Betty of Springdale, Arkansas); three grandchildren Karl, Sarah and Benjamin; as well as his sister Margarete (Gretchen) Richter and her daughter Regina Burkhardt in Maulbronn, Germany.
Thank you to all the people that made his last days comfortable.
Visitation at Kirby Funeral Home, 600 Hospital Drive, will be from 5 to 8pm on Tuesday, August 27, and the funeral will be at 10am Wednesday at the Redeemer Lutheran Church, 353 Highway 5 North, Mountain Home, Arkansas, with Reverend David Gadbaw officiating.
Burial will be in the Mountain Home Cemetery. Please call Kirby Funeral Home at (870) 425-6978 for more information. Memorials may be made to the
>. Arrangements are by Kirby and Family Funeral and Cremation Services. Visit an online obituary and guestbook at www.kirbyandfamily.com