Thomas (Tom) King Herget died on Feb. 28, 2017, after fighting a short but fierce battle with cancer. He enjoyed life, from his family and many friends to his myriad business and real estate investments, both past and present. More than anything else he loved people, and had wonderful relationships with close friends and business acquaintances near his previous home in the mountains of New Hampshire and his current residences in North Hampton, N.H., Wailea Point, Maui, and Martha’s Vineyard, where he owned homes in Chilmark and West Tisbury. Tom loved spending time on the Vineyard, spending many summers there before building his own home in Chilmark in 2001.
Tom was born in 1943 and raised in the Berkeley Hills of California long before “the hills” were well known. His childhood home was the third house built on the hill, and was sited to overlook San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge. He graduated from UC Berkeley with a B.S. in chemistry, followed by an M.B.A. from the Kellogg School of Business at Northwestern University in Chicago. He met the love of his life at Northwestern, Bonnie Joan Kitchen, also known as Makena Herget.
Married in 1969, the Hergets took a chance and exited from corporate life with Kaiser Chemicals in Oakland, Calif., and Cranford, N.J., to the White Mountains of New Hampshire to raise a family. Tom and Makena took another risky move and bought a farmhouse dating from 1825, which had no electricity or running water, and was sited on 110 acres. Over 30 years, they raised three kids in Tamworth, N.H., where they enjoyed living on the gentleman’s farm raising animals, tending gardens, and enjoying life surrounded by the lakes and mountains. Tom purchased Chick Lumber in North Conway, N.H., later to become Chick Home Center, a premier home building and design center in the Northern New Hampshire, Portland, and Coast of Maine regions. After 39 years, the business was sold in 2013 with plans for other entrepreneurial ventures and to get back to traveling more.
Tom and Makena were fortunate to have traveled extensively throughout the world, and they loved to visit new and exotic places. Their adventures began on their honeymoon in Colombia
in 1969, spent on the Amazon and in Bogotá. They visited 119 countries on every continent, and looked forward to the next trip before returning from the last!
The past few years proved to be very busy and exciting, with the formation of Herget Development Co. and Makena Herget Interiors. They invested in many real estate projects all over the U.S., started a luxury vacation rental business, and attended many meetups with likeminded friends from all over the world.
Tom is survived by his 103-year-old mother, Edith Herget of Walnut Creek, Calif., his loving wife of 47 years Makena Bonnie Herget, and his three children, Amanda Serna and her husband Albert of Truckee, Calif., his son Brad and his wife Emily of Brighton, and his son Tanner of Portsmouth, N.H. Tom also leaves behind three grandchildren who adored Gramps: Tavin, 7, Damian, 4, and Devon, 3.
Tom’s amazing sense of humor, warm smile, and hearty laugh will always be remembered by those who knew and loved him. In keeping with Tom’s love of a great party, the family will host a celebration of Tom’s life in July 2017 in North Hampton, N.H., for all friends and family who would like to join us. Please visit TomHerget.com for additional information.
Tom spent his final days at Hyder Family Hospice House in Dover, N.H., which provided the utmost warmth and compassion. Donations can be made in memory of Tom, payable to
“Friends of Hyder Family Hospice House,” 285 County Farm Road, Dover, N.H. 03820,
or online at friendsofhyderfamilyhospicehouse.org/donate/.