Herman J DeSmidt, age 90, of Darien, formerly of Minooka, and Mt. Prospect, IL. Beloved husband (49 years) of the late Dorothy C. (Stepp), Loving father of Thomas (deceased) (Cheryl), James (Lynn), William, Susan (James) Gardner, and Barbara (Daniel) Colwell; dear grandfather of Kim, TJ, Cary, Coleen, Nicole, Jimmy (deceased), Sarah, Mitch, and Matt; great grandfather of Mustafa, Jadd, Jackson, Levi and Mason; survived by his loving partner (15 years) Kathleen Tonietto; fond brother of Patricia (Thomas) Paulson and the late Maryann (Earl) Walter; as well as numerous nieces, nephews, extended family and dear friends.
Herman passed away peacefully on February 10, 2021, surrounded by his family.
Herman grew up in Chicago, and spent his summers at their family cottage at Huntley Lake, where he met the love of his life Dorothy Stepp, at 14. During summers at The Lake, he worked at the nearby airport in exchange for flying lessons. At 18, towards the end of the Korean War, he joined the USAF. He was stationed at Elsworth AFB, South Dakota as a maintenance crew chief on the Convair B-36 Peacemaker. Herman and Dorothy were married on June 06, 1953. Herman was passionate about his family, flying airplanes, and was an avid outdoorsman. He loved teaching his children and grandchildren how to hunt, fish, and boat. There wasn’t an opportunity missed to take them all flying in one of the many small general aviation airplanes and gliders that he owned over the years, flying out of Dacy Airport and Clow Airport in the early years. After raising their family in Mt. Prospect, he and Dorothy enjoyed many years living on the airstrip at the Chicago Glider Club in Minooka, where he could keep his airplanes and toys in the hangar next to the house. Herman was an Industrial Machinist by trade. He retired in 1991, after 27 years of service to the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago. He spent his career at MWRD-GC as a machinist, machinist foreman, and assistant master mechanic at the main Stickney Plant, and finished his career as a Master Mechanic at the Calumet Treatment Plant. Herman was always operating, fixing, or refining some sort of machinery, big or small, or building or restoring some project. It gave him great joy to share his mechanical knowledge and skills with his children, grandchildren, and friends. He spent his later years with Kathy, living at Carriage Green Country Club, playing golf and wintering in Arizona. They moved in 2019 to an easier life at Aspired Living in Westmont, spending time with their friends and family. He was dearly loved by his family and friends.
Due to COVID -19 concerns a celebration of life will be planned at a future date.
In lieu of flowers, donations on Herman’s behalf can be made to: Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) - Support Aviation Scholarships – Flight Training, https://www.eaa.org/eaa/youth/aviation-scholarships (select General and Flight Training) or Seasons Hospice and Palliative Care, Seasons Hospice Foundation 8537 Solution Center, Chicago, IL 60677, Credit Card Donations: seasonsfoundation.org
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