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Herman “Shack” Duane Sherman Jr.
February 6, 1935 to December 23, 2023
Our beloved Father, Herman “Shack” Sherman Jr., passed in the morning of Saturday, December 23, 2023, at his home in Hoopa surrounded by his children and grandchildren. He was 88 years young. He was born in Arcata and spent his early years in Hoopa, Arcata, Blue Lake, and Leggett. He followed his father in falling giant redwoods, but Hoopa was always home.
Herman “Shack,” and his wife, Patricia Bussell Sherman, of 60 years, raised their three children, Jill, Duane, and Lesley, on the Hoopa Indian Reservation. Herman proudly served in the United States Army and was a recognized sharpshooter.
Herman lived by his motto of being of service to his tribe and community. As an elected Tribal Councilmember for many years during the 70s Herman worked on some of the most important legislation in Hoopa’s history. Herman also served as an elected School Board Member of the Klamath Trinity Joint Unified School District. The Sherman home was a scene of “Politics and Coffee” with tribal chairmen, councilmembers, and local community leaders coming and going after discussing issues of the day. Herman’s father, Herman Sr. came to live with the family. Herman’s children felt privileged to learn tribal history and politics at the knees of their father and grandfather.
Herman’s love for the Lord and Savior is well-known and respected by many. He served on the North Coast Baptist Association and a proud member of the Eureka Lions Club as well as a member of the American Legion Post. Herman was also proud to have met and spoken with Governor Ronald Reagan (later President) on tribal affairs for the State of California. Herman was also the first Indian Child Welfare Response Coordinator and served as the first Indian Child Welfare Commission.
Herman is survived by his children, Jill Sherman-Warne and her husband Jim; Duane Sherman Sr and his wife, Kayla, and Lesley Sherman-Hunt and her husband Tim and his youngest GG Sherman and adopted sister Meme; and sister-in-law Darlene Mesunas and husband Jim and sister-in-law Ethel Davis Allen. Herman is also survived by his grandchildren; Troy Fletcher Jr., Cody Fletcher, Josh Sherman, Phylecia Sherman, Duane Sherman Jr., Tashone Rice, Briaunna Sherman, Tyler Hunt, John Yu, and Jerry Yu; His great-grandchildren: Cody Fletcher Jr., Hazel Fletcher, Raayoy Fletcher, Dane Sherman, Reagan and Celeste Sherman, and Vienna Coscoe . His nieces and nephews, Arnold Davis and Connie, Stevie Jarnaghan and husband Joe, Elizabeth Davis, Robyn Reed and husband Ron, Raylene Davis, Beverly Cole, Theita and husband Wayne Callagan, Vicki Mattingly, George Mattingly, Fred Mattingly, Timothy Bussell Sr, Gordon Bussell, and Anita Bussell, Eliane Jones and husband Alan, John Gutierrez, Yvonne Jackson and husband Roger, Walter Whitehurst Jr, and Leonard “Spam” Ferris. Shack was especially close to several of his great nieces and nephews; Farrah and Louie Gamino, Nicole Ferris, Melissa and Curtis Kane, Joe Davis and Kayla. He has numerous great-nieces and nephews when was pleased to know and love. Grandpa Shack will be dearly missed by family and friends.
At 18, Herman joined the U.S. Army with boot camp in Fort Campbell Kentucky, and was stationed at Fort Hood Texas, interestingly serving with Elvis Presley. Growing up hunting Shack easily earned recognition as a sharpshooter. While in the service he became the lead cook. Anyone who served with him would tell you he was up for a good bar fight or two. Once he left the service he came home and married his wife Patricia, the love of his life. Shack and Patricia loved family and maybe this was because they were both the youngest (babies) of their families, so they took in their niece Yvonne Rowe, and nephew, Fred Mattingly, during their high school years. The home was always filled with nieces and nephews coming and going.
Herman became a strong man of faith and determined he would rather hold the hands of his children than that of beer cans. This changed him drastically and his focus became his church. This didn’t mean that his hunting days were over. Trips to Oregon to stay at Clare’s Camp with the family enjoying days of hunting. Sometimes his children had to share the back of the truck with a hitchhiking buck. It was always amazing how many bucks would be hitchhiking late at night. Shack was also known to pick up any hitchhiker, much to his kid’s dismay, as they had to share the backseat. During the Hoopa Fish Wars Shack remained calm during the arrest of his son Duane and his father Herman Sr as they were arrested not once but twice for simply engaging in their traditional subsistence practice. Those were hard times that pitted tribal members who were law enforcement agents against their own people.
Having survived serving on the tribal council, the Fish Wars, Herman became the proud owner of “Sherman’s” restaurant, which meant long nights for him and his kids. Following his time as a restaurant owner he became the first Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) program officer for the State of California. This work formed the foundation of ICWA in California. Herman and his nephew Johnny G. were always good to be building one thing or another. When not building something for his wife, he could be counted on to be hunting with Johnny G. Later he enjoyed the fresh crab delivered to him by Johnny G. Family friend Andy Sadis was always a regular to watch football games on Sundays. Herman always enjoyed Pancake Sunday and was a staunch 49ers fan! Herman was always full of fun! When visiting San Diego he won the big shrimp-eating contest between him and his son-in-law Jimmy. He loved joking with family and friends. He also loved scary movies on Friday nights he, Lesley, Tim, Tashone, Tyler, and Kaylee would watch two or three scary movies in an evening. As Herman had more difficulties, Tim, his son-in-law held a special place. Never failed — when Tim would help Shack in the shower he would make sure Tim got sprayed a few times.
Herman loved to eat. The first time Duane’s wife Kayla cooked up homemade dumplings he ate 24! This was almost as much as his 13 homemade tamales made by family friend Helen. Coffee is a family staple and he counted on every morning (afternoon) Lesley would have his hot coffee and raisin toast ready.
Herman and his wife believed that anytime the church doors were open the family should be inside on the pews. Shack led the family and spent many a night cleaning the church. Herman loved preparing an occasional sermon as Deacon of the First Baptist Church it was a responsibility he enjoyed and studied hard to provide. He could be counted on to pray with church members and visit those who were sick or in need. When Herman was struck down at 49 with a massive stroke and heart attack doctors said he would not make it through the night and if he lived he would be a vegetable. His wife knew this was not his end and God also had other plans. His wife and children moved to Menlo Park to be near his rehabilitation center living in a tent and then camper. Herman struggled to learn to walk and feed himself. He rejoiced that God ensured he still lived even though he was paralyzed on his right side and was left with aphasia.
Herman is preceded in death by his wife, Patricia, and granddaughter Cashkoa; his parents Herman Sr. and Libby Abe Sherman, brothers Reginald Davis Sr. and Arnold (Jim) Davis, sister Phyllis Orcutt, and her baby boy; sisters-in-law Wilma Mattingly, Deanna Whitehurst brothers-in-laws Clem “Mush” Bussell, and infant Donald Dean; brother-in-laws George Mattingly; sister-in-law Theresa Bussell; nephews Michael Rowe, Raymond Davis, Reginald Davis Jr., Ronnie Dean Davis, Jr., Rick Davis, and niece Karen Taylor; Herman first cousins who were like siblings preceded him: Wilma Bell Scott, Elsie Gardner Ricklefs, Lula Gardner Hostler, Wilma Harding, Dorothy Smith, Mildred Nixon, Tug Davis, Jug Davis, Jack Scott, Frank Scott, and Lula Gardner-Hostler.
Even without his powerful voice, Herman could make his point and let you know what was on his mind. To the very end Herman made his wishes known to his children. He continued to be concerned for the tribe and tribal budget asking that work continue to honor him and not to stop for his funeral.
Troy Fletcher Jr
Cody Fletcher Jr
Duane Sherman Jr.
Valin Davis Sr
Joe Jarnaghan Jr.
Timothy Bussell Jr.
Tim Hunt Jr
Joe Jarnaghan Sr.
Tim Bussell Sr.
December 28, 2023, at 4 p.m.
1070 H Street
December 29, 2023, at 1 p.m.
Hoopa Neighborhood Facilities
December 29, 2023, at 2:30 p.m.
Officiant: Duane Sherman Sr.
Prayer: Gordon Bussell & Carlson “Jamie” Kane
Program by: Farrah Ferris-Gamino
Music: Josh Stevens
- and on behalf of Paul's Chapel, Thank you, sir, for your service.