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Obituary of Mary Colleen “Connie” Herrmann

Mary Colleen “Connie” Herrmann, 92, died peacefully Saturday, June 24, 2023 at Hardin County General Hospital, Rosiclare, Illinois. She was born February 23, 1931 in Alvaton, Ky to Oscar and Mary Alice Kirby who precede her.
She was predeceased by her husband, Bernard (Bernie) after 64 years of marriage. They were blessed with four children, Michael (Gail) Herrmann, Patricia (Bob) Koch, Deborah (Charles) Soward, and Donna Steinkamp who all survive.
Connie was loved and admired by eleven grandchildren, Samantha Austin, Cassie Belford, Janet Cohorst, Hannah Soward, Robert Soward, William Soward, Sam Herrmann, Ben Herrmann, Alice Steinkamp, Rachel Jessee, and Jack Steinkamp; and 19 great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by two brothers, Howard and David Kirby; sisters-in-law, Virginia Drechsler, Mickey Kirby; and brothers–in-law, Murl Mayes, Robert Frey, Tony Drechsler. She is survived by sisters, Naomi Mayes and Phyllis Frey; and brother Bobby (Gina) Kirby.
The oldest of six children, she was a strong force in her family and pulled from that strength later in raising her own family. Working her way through school, she met Bernie while carhopping at Brown’s Dairy in Bowling Green, KY. They married in 1953, and returned to Bernie’s hometown, Rosiclare, IL where they lived and raised their family for 37 years. She took pride and pleasure in being a Girl Scout Leader, a Twirler Mom, a Band Booster, and many other activities, always willing to lend a hand when and where needed. When the kids were young, she loved to travel and enjoyed camping and hiking with close friends and families.
Not only was she a busy mom and homemaker, she also served on the Boards of the local University of Illinois Extension Service, Rosiclare Community Schools, and Rosiclare Public Library. She also volunteered extensively in her church and hospital auxiliary. An accomplished seamstress, she produced countless sashes, neckerchiefs and altar vestments for her church and youth organizations as well as cherished clothing and quilts for her children and others.
After raising their family, she and Bernie returned to her Kentucky roots, Paducah. Not slowing down, Connie enjoyed being active in the community by volunteering at Lourdes Hospital and AQS Quilt Museum. She never met a stranger and was happiest spending time in small groups getting to know people and building friendships in her neighborhood and in organizations such as the Library Book Club, Homemakers, Bible Study, and most recently the Senior Community Garden. She treasured the strong bonds made at monthly luncheons with close friends. When life slowed down, she moved to Brookstone Assisted Living in Harrisburg, Illinois where she again had no trouble making new friends and connecting with old ones.
Connie will be remembered for her deep faith, her kindness and generosity, her love for family, nature, and community, her warm and adventurous spirit, and “an open heart full of gold.”
Visitation was held from 9:30 a.m. until 11:00 a.m. on Friday, June 30, 2023 at the Works of Mercy Chapel at St. Thomas More Catholic Church, Paducah, Kentucky.
A funeral mass was held at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, June 30, 2023 at St. Thomas More Catholic Church. Burial was at St. Joseph Catholic Church, Elizabethtown, Illinois.
Milner & Orr Funeral Home and Cremation Services were in charge of arrangements.
Expressions of sympathy may take the form of contributions to St. Thomas More Catholic Church, 5645 Blandville Road, Paducah, KY 42001 or to St. Joseph Catholic Church, 15 St. Joseph Road, Elizabethtown, IL 62931.
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