Oregon City-born priest dies from coronavirus
Jim Herrmann, an ordained priest since 1970, who served thousands of parishioners and those in need of attention and counseling at senior-living centers, died from the coronavirus on Thursday, May 14, in Minnesota.
Herrmann, 82, was born in Oregon City in 1938. He attended the St. John the Apostle Catholic School in Oregon City, and went on to graduate from West Linn High School in 1956. He received his bachelor's degree in forest management from Oregon State University. As a young forester, he worked in various outposts in Oregon before joining the U.S. Army. While in Germany, he felt the calling for a different career and explored Catholic teaching orders. He was ordained as a priest in the Crosier Order in Fort Wayne, Indiana. His first Masses were conducted in various parts of Oregon, specifically his alma mater St. John the Apostle.
Herrmann managed the business affairs for the Crosier Order at their lakeside headquarters in Onamia, Minnesota. That regional facility of 250 acres, overlooking Lake Onamia and Lake Mille Lacs, boasted the order's first tree farm. In Minnesota, he served on various boards and hospital organizations to advise them on best business practices.
Herrmann and his best friend and colleague, Father Lyle Ehmke, were often dispatched to Tokyo to serve in Japan's International School. There, students from 34 countries were provided American education opportunities in all subjects while learning cultural histories, art and practices of Japan.
Herrmann's love for the Japanese culture led to his highest-level recognition in the Tea Ceremony, where he was trained to share that tradition with Americans. He saw the tea ceremony as "the highest level of hospitality that the ceremonial provider dedicates to his guests."
Herrmann was the son of Bernie and Lois Herrmann, and one of five children including Robert Herrmann and Nancy Herrmann, both deceased, and Jerry Herrmann and Margie Herrmann Ross.
"He was a friend to all and reached out to everyone with encouragement," his surviving siblings said in a joint statement.
A service will be held in Oregon City when it is safe to do so.