Herm Griesbach was an Air Force meteorologist, then an artist


Colonel Duane M. Griesbach, USAF (Ret.), age 90, most recently of Roscoe,  served in the U.S. Air Force. After retiring in 1980, he returned to school to earn his Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville in 1984. He then began his second career as an artist, which he continued for the rest of his life. Watch a short video of his work and his studio, with interview.

Known to most as Herm, he passed away on Monday, August 29, 2022. 

Herm was born in Beaver Dam, WI on February 9, 1932, the son of Walter and Bernice (Seering) Griesbach. While pursuing his bachelors in wildlife management, Herm played on the Badger football team at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. He was unsuspectingly set up on a blind date with a young nursing student named Shirley Ann Meyer. They were married on January 22, 1955. Known as Sammy, she preceded him in death on March 16, 2011 - the love of his life, and the feeling was mutual.

Serving as a meteorologist, Herm's Air Force tours of duty included Goose Air Base in Labrador, Canada (-22°F to 83°F), Hickam AFB in Hawaii (61°F to 90°F), and the Pentagon in Washington DC (can be hot), where he was part of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Herm was one of the founding members of Messiah Lutheran Church in Lebanon, IL. Among his greatest passions were Wisconsin football (Badgers and Packers), scavenging at local flea markets for treasures to use in his artwork, and McDonald’s Mocha Frappés.

Those left to honor Herm’s memory include his children, Leslie (Peter) Minko, Linden (Carol) Griesbach, and Laurel Almeter; grandchildren, Nadena (Joseph) Barnett, Shaina Berry, Blake Minko, Warren Minko, Timothy (Kristi) Griesbach, Anna (Rod) Tucker, Mary (Brian) Huff, Andrew Almeter, and Audrey Almeter; great-grandchildren, Nathan, Caleb, Zoe, Noah, Maddy, Aria, Xander, Rosie, and Brave. He is predeceased by his parents and his wife Sammy.

A celebration of Herm’s life will be held at Messiah Lutheran Church in Lebanon, IL on September 24, 2022, at 11:00 am and at Bethesda Covenant Church2101 East State St. in Rockford, IL on September 25, 2022, at 1:00 pm. Interment will follow with the family on September 26 at North Burnett Cemetery in Burnett, WI.

You may express your condolences with flowers or by donating in Herm's name to Hospice of Southern Illinois, www.hospice.org, whose founding director was Sammy Griesbach.

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