Updated April 21
Peter Herrmann, a Vietnam veteran who served in the Navy aboard the aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk, died suddenly on Tuesday. He was 75. Herrmann was the quartermaster for the VFW in Oak Bluffs, and a longtime lover of fishing.
VFW Commander Tom Norbury described Herrmann as the “backbone” of the VFW. “It was his heart and soul,” Norbury said.
Norbury said Herrmann’s passing has hit him “pretty hard,” and he and his fellow VFW members are just in the formative stages of a plan to honor Herrmann.
Herrmann drove for the Vineyard Transportation Authority (VTA). Angie Gompert, VTA administrator, remembered him fondly. “We were shocked and heartbroken by the news of Pete’s passing,” she wrote. “I met Pete in 1990 when I worked at the VFW. He was a man of his word, with a great sense of humor, who served his country and lived his life with pride and honor. He was a man who led with his kindness and actions. People mattered to Pete. He looked out for his fellow vets and the people he loved and cared about the most, his family.
“I was so delighted when we reconnected in 2009 when he started driving a bus for the Martha’s Vineyard Transit Authority. Pete was a great bus driver. He was patient, kind, and incredibly reliable. He always answered the phone at 5 am, willing to cover a last-minute call-out. He happily shared his culinary delights with a select few of his coworkers. We will miss our friend Pete; he’s not the kind of guy you can ever replace. Our deepest sympathies go out to his family, his extended VFW and American Legion family, and friends.”
Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby president John Custer also remembered Herrmann fondly, and reflected on his contributions to the Vineyard’s fishing community. “The Derby Committee recognizes Peter’s passing as a significant loss for our community,” he wrote. “He demonstrated giving back and taking care of others. He loved fishing, and used this as a way to strengthen the Island community. The annual summer fluke tournament was his creation, and he graciously handed it off to another group to facilitate after he had established it. Peter was sincere, dedicated, and generous. He will be missed tremendously.”