Gary Randall Herrmann, 80, retired dairy farmer and resident of the Cross Bridges Community near Columbia, Tenn., died Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2012 at Williamson Medical Center.
A native of Cherokee, he was the middle son of the late Edward G. Herrmann and Laura J. Dewar Herrmann. He spent a large part of his youth on Spreading Elm Farm, owned by his grandfather, a state legislator, and his grandmother, a Victorian landscape artist. Spreading Elm Farm was widely known for Shorthorn cattle, which Gary showed around the state of Iowa with his uncle, Bob Dewar. He also enjoyed time spent with another uncle, John Dewar, Iowa State Veterinarian. Later in his youth, his parents moved to Fort Madison, where his father managed the Iowa State Prison Farm and his mother practiced as Doctor of Osteopathy.
His high school years were spent in Davenport, where he was president of his senior class. Being a strong athlete, he participated on the track team and was a medalist with Drake Relays. Having been pursued by several colleges, he accepted an athletic scholarship with University of Tennessee, Knoxville. During his UT football years and under the direction of Coach Robert Neyland, Gary Herrmann and the Tennessee Volunteers won their first national championship, the 1951 Cotton Bowl and advanced to the Sugar Bowl in 1952. After earning his Bachelors Degree in Animal Husbandry from UT Knoxville, he fulfilled his ROTC commitment serving in the U. S. Army in Fort Benning, Georgia and Fort Ord, California.
Upon returning to civilian life, he leased a dairy farm in Rural Retreat, Virginia, where he raised Holstein cattle. In 1963 he moved his family and livestock to Columbia where he joined in partnership in the dairy operation and was farm manager for Jewell Farm. In 1967, he settled in the Cross Bridges Community and purchased Larkwood Farm (the old Hill place) from Lark Stanton from Shelbyville. He was affectionately known as "mayor of Cross Bridges" due to his constant care and concern for all area happenings. He and his faithful employees were always available to help the entire community, especially during inclement weather. In 2002 the Herrmann family sold Larkwood Farm and enjoyed building their retirement home remaining in the Cross Bridges Community.
Survivors include his wife of fifty-nine years, Phyllis Hampton Herrmann of Cross Bridges Community; one daughter, Christy H. Herrmann of Ringgold, Ga.; one son, Bret H. Herrmann of Mt. Pleasant; two brothers, Edward Paul (Dolores) Herrmann of Kirksville, Mo.; George Allen (Janice) Herrmann of Moline, Ill.; nieces and nephews.
The family suggests memorials to Hampshire United Methodist Church, P. O. Box 171, Hampshire, TN 38461 or UT Foundation for Livestock Judging Team Endowment, University of Tennessee, 107 Morgan Hall, Knoxville, TN 37996-4502.