SOUTH DEERFIELD - Dr. Herbert F. "Herb" Hempel, our wonderful, loving, caring and witty father passed away Thursday, July 24, 2014. He was the eternal optimist.
The Guest Book is expired.
Born June 21, 1920, in Yonkers, New York, Herb was the son of the late Herbert Carl Paul Hempel and Dorothy (Narr) Hempel. Herb lived in Harrington Park, New Jersey, for 46 years before moving to South Deerfield, in December 1997. Herb was predeceased by his wife Trudy who died in 2006. They were married for 60 years.
Herb graduated from Colgate University in Hamilton, New York, in 1940 where he was a member of the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity and where he also played varsity football for the Colgate Red Raiders. He graduated from Cornell Medical School in New York City in December 1943 as a radiologist. A United States Veteran, Herb was a Captain in the U.S. Army from June 1945 to 1947, stationed at Camp Cook, California, and at Fort Lewis, Washington.
Herb was the director of the Radiology Department at St. Lukes Hospital in New York City from 1948 to 1958 and had a private practice in New York City from 1958 to 1994. He was an associate radiologist at Calvary Hospital in the Bronx, New York, beginning in 1992 until he retired from medicine in 1997 at the age of 78.
A former member of the Bangs Community Center in Amherst, Herb attended the weekly New Options discussion group for several years and the exercise group that met at St. Brigid's Church in Amherst.
Known as "Gramps" to many, Herb leaves his son Paul Hempel of Boulder, Colorado, and his partner Rachel Richards; his three daughters, Marilyn Stepanovich of Yreka, California, Janice James and her husband Tim of South Deerfield, and Karen Barshefsky and her husband Bruce of Worthington; nine grandchildren, Jessie Hansen and her husband Niels, Sam Coonrod and his wife Lesli, Chris Coonrod, Amanda Stepanovich, Solana James and her partner Jesse Laford, Dylan James and his wife Jess, Ryan James and his wife Sarah, Ben Barshefsky and his wife Jess, and Laura Cocca and her husband Tom; and seven great-grandchildren, Sarah, Brendon, Ashley, Grace, Luke, Sophia and Harper. Herb also leaves many longtime friends including Skip Nay, Bob Zickel, Janet Kosack, as well as close friends of his children, Bob and Bill Maurer, James Hennessy, Chuck Wisnyi, Don Vezza, Kristin McCarthy, Steve Hickey, Phil Sperling, Patty Lewis and Madelyn Battistoni, among many others.
Herb and Trudy traveled often with their friends and he will be remembered for his zest for life, singing karaoke while on vacations in Rhode Island, and especially for his wonderful sense of humor. He was an avid golfer and reader and loved to listen to big band era music and watch musicals of that era. Herb was a lifelong New York Giants, Yankees, Rangers and Knicks fan. He also out preformed everyone in Jeopardy!
Herb loved all animals, especially his dogs and cats. In his memory, contributions can be made to the Dakin Pioneer Valley Humane Society, 163 Montague Road, Leverett, MA 01054.
A celebration of his life with family and friends will occur in the fall.
The Wrisley Funeral Home, Sugarloaf Street, South Deerfield, has charge of arrangements. Expressions of sympathy are available at www.wrisleyfuneralhome.com.
To sign a Guest Book, express condolences, share memories and read other obituaries, go to www.gazettenet.com/obituaries.
Wrisley Funeral Home
90 Sugarloaf Street South Deerfield, MA 01373
Published in Daily Hampshire Gazette on July 29, 2014