April 18. 1921 - Dec. 20, 2010
Ferd J. Herres, 89, died peacefully Dec. 20, 2010, in his home at Wheatland Village in Walla Walla with Audrey, his wife of 68 years, at his side.
He was born April 18, 1921, in Pomeroy, to German immigrant parents, Michael and Mary Herres. He was the fifth of their 10 children. He grew up on the family's farm, where cow milking and other chores inspired him to explore other career options after graduating from Pomeroy High School in 1938. He attended Washington State University where he received a B.S. in agricultural education in 1942 and was an ROTC commissioned officer. While at college, he met Audrey Beechinor one Sunday after Mass. From that day forward, they were devoted to one another. Ferd and Audrey married at St. Patrick's Church in Walla Walla on July 12, 1942. Ferd was immediately called into military service in the infantry but was transferred to the Air Force where he became a B-17 bomber pilot. Capt. Herres flew 33 missions between England and Germany during World War II. He and his crew survived a bailout on their last mission, landing on the coast of England. Ferd received the Distinguished Flhing Cross for his "...extraordinary achievement, professionalism, capable leadership, courage, coolness and skill as airplane commander."
Returning to civilian life in Pomeroy after the war, Ferd and Audrey opened a business, Farm Home Supply. Through the years, they owned and operated a hardware store, a Case farm implement dealership and Chevy car and truck dealership on Main street. He was steadfastly loyal to his large extended family, community, church and college. He contributed his time and expertise to a variety of organizations, including the Garfield County Hospital Board, Pomeroy Chamber of Commerce and Knights of Columbus. He was an avid WSU Cougar supporter and fan.
At the corner of Seventh and High Street, Ferd and Audrey continually opened their door and hearts to countless people who shared stories, meals and overnight stays. They offered a kind of hospitality that reflected their generosity and deep sense of community. Ferd was appreciated by all who knew him for his quiet, good nature, friendly smile and dry sense of humor.
His tenaciousness and discipline were apparent in all he did. Ferd worked full time at his business until age 78 when retirement became necessary due to heart surgery. When confronted with the challenges of Parkinson's disease, he met them head on, learning all he could about the disease and taking informed action to maximize his enjoyment of life. He and Audrey participated actively in a Parkinson's support group for over 10 years. Benefitting from their characteristic teamwork and courage, Ferd continued to live a functional and productive life. They moved to Wheatland Village in Walla Walla in 2008.
In addition to his wife, Audrey, Ferd is survived by their three children, Jerry Herres (Libby) of Kennewick; Carolyn Michael and Virginia Wise, both of Olympia; six grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; one sister; and three brothers. He was preceded in death by one grandson and five brothers.
Condolences may be sent to Audrey Herres, 1500 Catherine St., Apt. D 216, Walla Walla, WA 99362 Phone: 509-529-3395 before 7 p.m.
Memorial gifts may be made to Garfield County Hospital, Holy Rosary Parish in Pomeroy or the Sisters of the Holy Names in Spokane.