July 30, 1928 ~ December 25, 2017
Betty Herman, a resident of Maplewood Strawberry Hill, died peacefully at age 89 on Christmas morning. A Norwalker since 1957, she was born on July 30, 1928, in Brooklyn, and spent her childhood on Staten Island. Her father Irving David Hirsh was an optometrist, and he and his wife Yetta ran a jewelry store in Port Richmond. Betty graduated from Port Richmond High School, and studied home economics at Syracuse University and Pratt Institute. In 1950 she married fellow Staten Islander Eugene Herman. Shortly after, they moved to Bern, Switzerland, where he attended medical school. During vacations they traveled extensively around the continent, sometimes on a motor scooter.
Upon their return to the States in 1957, they settled in Norwalk, where Eugene set up practice as a general practitioner. While raising their two daughters, Betty devoted herself to volunteer work, serving several terms as president of the local B’nai B’rith chapter and chairing the local Fresh Air Fund committee. She also worked with the Anti-Defamation League and UJA/Federation. She was a skilled seamstress and knitter who made most of her own clothes and many of her daughters’. In the late 1970s she returned to college to complete her bachelor’s degree at the University of Connecticut Stamford branch. She went on to complete her Master of Social Work at UConn Hartford, and worked as a social worker for several years before retiring. Eugene died of lymphoma in 1982. She later had a long relationship with Norwalker Seymour (Sy) Hecht, formerly of Manhattan and the Bronx. In retirement they traveled extensively, volunteered widely, and were a regular presence at Norwalk Community College’s Lifetime Learners Institute, where they took classes and occasionally taught a class. Betty is predeceased by her brother Bernard and is survived by her two daughters and their families, and her nephew Martin Hirsh. Daughter Michele Herman, a writer, lives in New York City with her husband Jonathan Kuhn, and they have two grown sons, Lee and Jeffrey. Daughter Lynette Bassman, a psychologist, lives in Fresno, California, and has one grown son, Jonah. The family asks that in lieu of flowers contributions be made to Americares or the Anti-Defamation League.
A memorial service will be held on Sunday, January 7, at 3:00 PM at Collins Funeral Home. Burial was private.