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Dave Herrman, former school board member, dies at 88

Herman was a 'calming factor,' says La Cañada City Councilman David Spence.

April 04, 2012|By Daniel Siegal, daniel.siegal@latimes.com

This week La Cañada Flintridge residents remembered former La Cañada Unified School Board member Dave Herrman for his dedication to local youth and charitable causes. Herrman, who was 88, died on March 27.

Herrman, who worked at Jet Propulsion Laboratory, served on the La Cañada Unified School District board from 1975 to 1984.

He volunteered at the Lanterman House and served on its board, was a founder and president of the La Cañada Flintridge Tournament of Roses and helped start the La Cañada Kiwanis-AM club.

City Councilman David Spence said Herrman was a voice of reason when the school board faced controversy.

“He was a very effective communicator of ideas in his time on the school board,” Spence said. “He was just a calming factor. He had a very great ability to look at controversial issues and try to decide the best approach to resolving them.”

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A graduate of Ohio State University who served three years in the U.S. Navy during World War II, Herrman moved to La Cañada in 1962 to work for the Royal McBee Computer Corp.

He ended up working at Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Leslie Herrman, one of his three daughters, said Herrman didn't often talk of his work, which involved overseeing classified documents at the lab. Instead, she said, Herrman filled his days with his work at the school district.

“He would go to every school. At lunchtime he would talk to the teachers; because he'd been a teacher, he was very aware of their point of view,” she said.

“All of his life has been given to volunteering, and much of it has been to the service of children.”

Joyce Rugyok, who like Herrman was a president of the AM-Kiwanis club, said Herrman's impact was most strongly felt from his work with the Key Club programs at Franklin High School in Los Angeles and St. Francis High School in La Cañada.

“The Key Club was so close to his heart,” she said.

Herrman is survived by his sister Genevieve Bryant Herrman, and four children, David Herrman III, Leslie Herrman, Joan Bradt and Suzanne Namba.

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