Jude Hermsen, 1933-2021


Jude (Amos) Ervin Hermsen, 87, passed away Oct. 7, 2021, after a 3-week struggle with a breakthough COVID case at St. Elizabeth Hospital in Appleton, Wis.

He was born in Little Chute, Wis., on Nov. 2, 1933, and fondly remembered his youth and friends of Little Chute. His father, Henry Hermsen, passed away when Jude was young so he was raised by his strong, single mother, Susan Hermsen. 

Jude attended St John’s College in Minnesota and ultimately graduated from the University of Minnesota. He started his studies in architecture and was a truly talented artist but, alas, not a mathematician, so he finished in Marketing and started his job hunt.  Early in his work life Jude was traveling and met a beautiful woman, Shirley Hancock. Jude tirelessly wooed Shirley and they were married on Nov. 29, 1958. Jude and Shirley had five children together and spent the rest of their lives loving and caring for each of them.  

In the early years of their marriage, Jude had multiple sales and marketing positions, mostly in building and construction. Along the way he picked up wonderful carpentry skills and was especially adept at cabinetry. After moving to La Porte, Ind., in 1979, he continued in the building trades until he found a new interest and purchased a small shipping business, Parcel Port. They say one is fortunate if he loves his work, and with Parcel Port Jude found that love.

After he retired in the early 2000s, Jude filled his time traveling with the love of his life, Shirley, and spending as much time with their children and grandchildren as they possibly could. Jude also found new time to exercise his green thumb and always had flourishing plants inside and a bountiful garden outside.

Jude was a storyteller. Anyone who crossed Jude’s path likely spent at least a few minutes listening to his stories. No story was ever too worn out to tell again … and again … and again. In fact, if you listened to Jude’s stories enough, you had to wonder just how many jobs one individual could possibly have worked. Joking aside, Jude was indeed a hard worker and also a perfectionist, which sometimes stung him. Regardless of the pain, though, he did not compromise his values.

Jude should be remembered as a father, husband, veteran, artist, avid woodworker, gardener, and friend to many who crossed his path.

Jude is survived by his children, Paula Lanoue (husband Tom), Gregory Hermsen (wife Nancy), Linda Mahoney (husband Dave), Bradley Hermsen (wife Nanette), and Christopher Hermsen. He is also survived by several grandchildren: Michael Lanoue (wife Jessica), Nicholas Lanoue (wife Tara Siebolt), Jessica Hermsen (boyfriend Wilson Roach), Joshua Hermsen, Matthew Mahoney, Claire Mahoney, Bryce Hermsen (fiance’ Janine Romy), and Bennitt Hermsen. Jude is also survived by the latest family addition, great-grandchild Ryan Lanoue. Jude is also survived by his sister, Gretchen Kamps (husband Richard).

Jude was preceded in death by his wife, Shirley (2017), and his siblings, Ralph Hermsen, Rachel Webers and Jerome Hermsen.

There will be no immediate services but a date will be set for a Celebration of Life in Waukon, Ia., in the future, where Jude will be laid to rest with his wife, Shirley.

Donations in his name may be made to St Paul’s Elder Services of Kaukauna, Wis.

Messages of condolence may be posted below.

4 Responses to “Jude Hermsen, 1933-2021”

  1. Michael McDermott

    Oct 11. 2021

    So sorry to hear, Both Jude and Shirley were great people to be around in our days of leadership at the YMCA. Great examples of kindness and generosity.Peace to the Hermsen Family .

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  2. Anna at Tillinghast

    Oct 11. 2021

    Peace to your father/grandfather and to all of you. His picture above and the story you have written shows he must have enjoyed and had a wonderful life. Keep close to your heart your story above and remember to share your stories of him along with his stories. You never know when a story can help someone; maybe just a feel good moment or day. What away to be remembered!

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  3. Chris Hawkins

    Oct 11. 2021

    Everyone always enjoyed both your parents at St. Peter Catholic Church and listening to stories told by both your parents.. I miss seeing them but their friendship will always be cherished. Hope everyone in the family is doing well.

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    • Chris Smith

      Oct 12. 2021

      Another wonderful Laportean has been taken from us, to live in heaven. Jude, you will be missed!
      Jude & Shirley were our wonderful neighbors when we moved to La Porte so many years ago. In those days, no one had fenced-in yards, so the kids could play and run from yard to yard. We met when our kids built a fort under Hermsen’s giant evergreen. They were kind enough to let the fort remain for an entire summer!

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