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Herman J. Bierbaum


1918 - 2014 | Obituary Condolences
Herman J. Bierbaum Obituary
Bierbaum, Herman J.Herman J. Bierbaum, beloved husband, father, and grandfather, died peacefully in his sleep on July 30, 2014 at St. Martha Manor in Downingtown, PA, at the age of 96. He is lovingly remembered as a devoted spouse and parent, a dedicated and successful businessman, and for his great sense of humor and adventurous spirit. Herman was born January 28, 1918 in Bethlehem, PA, to Michael Bierbaum and Marie Kugler. He was baptized at Holy Ghost Catholic Church and was a life-long member of the parish, where he served as lector in his adult years. Herman attended Holy Ghost elementary school and Liberty High School in Bethlehem, graduating in the class of 1936, and he served on the reunion committee for 78 years. While receiving treatment for a torn leg tendon at Sacred Heart Hospital, he met a young RN, Rosina Agnes Sacks, who would later become his wife. Herman served in the army in World War II as Staff Sergeant in the eye clinic of a medical unit, and he sent daily letters to Rosina and to his mother - they are treasured to this day. On May 15, 1946, Herman and Rosina were married at Saint Peter's Church in Coplay, PA. They have five children and five grandchildren, and they recently celebrated 68 years of marriage. Herman worked with his father, Michael, and brother, Albert, for many years at Bierbaum's Meat Market in South Bethlehem. As a result of his great love for boating, Herman started Bethlehem Motorboat Sales in the 1950s, and became one of the largest marine dealers in eastern Pennsylvania. He served as the first president of the Bethlehem Boat Club on the Lehigh River, and planned wonderful family vacations at Lake Wallenpaupack. In the 1980s he also owned and operated a boat rental and touring business on Lake Nockamixon. In addition to boating and water-skiing, Herman enjoyed attending auto races and musical concerts. He was always involved in a multitude of "projects" - from the science fairs of his children to the creation of an enormous "Star of Bethlehem" for his home. He loved to travel with his family both in the United States and Europe; a special highlight was meeting Pope John Paul II in Rome in 1983. During his retirement, Herman was an outstanding volunteer at the Lehigh University Zoellner Arts Center and at the annual conference of the ASMS, a scientific society. He has been a devoted parent and grandparent, and very involved in the lives of his children and grandchildren. He is remembered for his gentleness, humor, wisdom, humility, loving spirit, and contagious zest for life. Herman and Rosina moved to Moravian Village in Bethlehem in 2005, and then to St. Martha Manor in Downingtown in 2013. The family is extremely grateful for the many aides at both facilities that helped them continue rich and fulfilling lives. Herman is survived by his wife Rosina and their five children: Michael (and wife JoAnne Matty), Veronica (and husband Carleton Howard), Rosina Marie, Mary-Margaret (and husband Pat McGinty), and Anne-Marie Tarrant (and husband Mark). They have five grandchildren: Benjamin Howard, Madeline Bierbaum, Zach Bierbaum, Daniel Howard, and Araceli Tarrant. Herman was preceded in death by his parents, Michael and Marie, and by his siblings, Michael, Clara, and Albert. Services: A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 3 pm on Saturday, August 9, at the chapel of St. Martha Manor, 470 Manor Avenue, Downingtown, PA 19335. A Mass and interment in Bethlehem will also take place at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Herman's memory to his life-long parish, Holy Ghost Parish, 417 Carlton Avenue, Bethlehem, PA 18015, or to the parish of his nephew, Father Francis Sacks (Fund for the Poor at St. Joseph's Church, P.O. Box 376, Emmitsburg, MD 21727).
Published in Morning Call on Aug. 5, 2014
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