Herman R. Weingart
Herman R. Weingart
  • July 24, 1934 - July 17, 2017
  • North Franklin, Connecticut

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N. FRANKLIN - Herman R. Weingart Jr, 82, died peacefully at Backus Hospital in Norwich on July 17th, 2017 surrounded by his family.

He is survived by his wife Patricia; his children Richard H., Louis (Maria L.) Thomas (Deborah), Maria P. (John), Janet (Donald), Sandra, Stanley, Calvin (Sharon), Robert (Veronica), Christopher (Pamela); his grandchildren James Louis (Raechel), Edward (Jillian), Christen, Gregory (Kathryn L.), Peter, Katharine M. (James A. ), Johanna, Samuel, Kieren, Oren, Zachary, Benjamin, Anna, Luke, Anthony, Patrick; great-grandchildren Kelric, Tailynn, Wyatt, Jaxsen Robert, Autumn, Jack Louis, Emma, Hannah; and his siblings Richard G. (Helen) and Eleanor (Roger). He was predeceased by his parents Herman R. and Mary G. Weingart, Sr.; his infant son James Laurence; his grandson Joseph; and his sister Frances.

Herm was born in Torrington, CT on July 24th, 1934 and grew up on the family farm in New Hartford where he raised Guernseys, cheered for the Yankees, and was active in 4-H and FFA. He graduated from the Gilbert School in 1952 and earned a Bachelor's Degree with Distinction from the University of Connecticut's College of Agriculture in 1956. After graduation he persuaded his parents to move the cows to a new farm in Franklin, CT, a move he may have regretted when his children grew up to be Red Sox fans. While at UConn he met Patricia Henson of Norwich, another undergrad, when they were both delegates to National 4-H Club Congress in Chicago. Herm and Pat both represented the United States and Connecticut as International Farm Youth Exchange delegates in 1957. They each spent six months living and working with farm families; he in Spain and she in Taiwan. On April 12, 1958 they were united in marriage at St. Thomas Aquinas Church on the university campus in Storrs, CT.

Herm farmed in partnership with his parents in Franklin for many years and he and Pat welcomed eleven children between 1959 and 1979. Though very busy with cows and family, he always had time to lend a helping hand to a neighbor and was very active in Connecticut Farm Bureau, various boards and commissions in Franklin, the Jaycees, and with the Connecticut Republican Party. He also served six years in the US Army Reserve and briefly taught vocational agriculture at Lyman Memorial High School in Lebanon, CT. He was a Justice of the Peace for many years as well.

Grandchildren began to arrive in 1982 and Herm reveled in being Grampa. A total of 17 were born over the years and they have many fond memories of riding with him in farm trucks during corn harvest season, cadging rides on his John Deere Gator-on very special occasions some of them even got to drive-and in later years having epic sword fights with him, both participants armed with canes. Each of them eventually became accustomed to Herm's enthusiastic shouts and clapping while he watched UCONN men's and women's basketball games, UCONN football games, and, of course, Yankees games.

In 1986 Herm and Pat sold their cows and he earned his CT real estate license. He spent the next two decades helping folks to find the perfect house. In 1987 he also began his 17-year career as a pesticide field inspector for the CT Department of Environmental Protection. This involved a lot of driving around rural parts of the state and visiting with agricultural producers, so it was a perfect fit. At this time he also became much more active in St. Mark Lutheran Church in Norwich, CT. Dairymen often can't make it to worship service on Sunday morning, but once that necessity was over he was there every week and served several terms on the church council. He also ensured that his children got a solid religious grounding in their mother's Catholic faith during their growing-up years.

After retiring in 2004, he took a part-time position with the USDA National Agriculture Statistics Service and got to do more riding around and visiting with farmers. He also did this for fun. Countless times over the decades, one or more family members, including his kids' spouses, would get the word to hop in the car because "we're going to go for a ride". These adventures sometimes didn't turn out exactly as planned, but they sure were memorable.
Retirement also freed up time for gardening and Herm became famous for his large and bountiful plots. He grew enough potatoes each year to provide for the entire family and his sweet corn was legendary. Still concerned for neighbors in difficult circumstances, he donated untold amounts of fresh produce to St. Vincent de Paul Soup Kitchen over the years.

When gardening season was over, Herm and Pat enjoyed visiting children and grandchildren in various locations around the country. Between various postings for the military service members and several of them moving to the Intermountain West, they saw a lot of the country. Day trips to the mountains and longer expeditions to farm shows are among fond memories. Herm might not have had cows himself anymore, but he was always a dairy farmer at heart. The larger part of his heart belonged to his family. Herm loved Pat dearly and was comforted in his last days by the knowledge that their large and close-knit generations of offspring will continue to support one another. He was a man of honor and taught his children the value of integrity and hard work. He was recognized by his peers for both as the 1969 Jaycess Connecticut Outstanding Young Farmer, the 2001 UCONN Ag Alumni Outstanding Alumnus, and the Connecticut Republicans Fenton P. "Pat" Futtner Award winner in 2005.

The family will hold private graveside services with Military Honors. There are no calling hours. A Memorial Service will be held on August 5th at 11 a.m. at St Mark Lutheran Church, 248 Broadway, Norwich, CT, with a reception to follow.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Herm's memory may be made to the Weingart