POLSON — Dean Walter Hermes, 74, of Polson, formerly of Williston, North Dakota, passed away Feb. 6, at St. Patrick Hospital in Missoula.
He was born on May 8, 1944, in Glen Ullin, North Dakota, to Wilbert and Madeline (Mosbrucker) Hermes. He was raised in Williston where he learned a lifelong love for sports including football and wrestling; he won the wrestling state championship in 1962. After graduation, he moved with his family to Missoula where he attended the University of Montana, earned his teaching degree, and was commissioned into the Army through the ROTC.
Shortly after graduation from college, Dean returned to Williston to begin teaching and met the love of his life, Deanna Ihla. They were married April 15, 1967, in San Antonio, Texas, before he left for one year of service in Vietnam. Upon his return, he and Deanna settled in Williston and continued teaching and coaching for the next 36 years. After retiring from teaching in 2000, they moved to their property on Flathead Lake.
He was a member of Knights of Columbus, Lions, Sigma Nu, and the Elks. He was voted Williston Education Association Teacher of the Year three times. He was ND football Coach of the Year in 1980 and ND wrestling Coach of the Year in 1971. He was inducted into the North Dakota Wrestling Hall of Fame and he and his son Chris were the first father-son state champions in North Dakota, which made him very proud. He loved spending time with this family in the outdoors including his beloved lake cabin at Flathead, boating, fishing, hunting and golf.
He is preceded in death by his parents and younger brother Ron.
He is survived by his wife, Deanna of Polson, son Chris (Josie) of Troy and daughter Allyson Diehl (Joey) of Boise, Idaho; grandchildren Mazzy, Marcus, Ricki, Paxton, and Addyson; brothers Rick (Kathy) of Phoenix, Arizona, Bob (Linda) of Missoula and beloved nephews, nieces and cousins.
A special thank you to Bernice Zimmerman and all the staff at Hillside Health and Rehab and the wonderful staff at Fresenius Dialysis in Missoula and Polson for their dedicated and loving care.
Memorial Mass and reception will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019, at 11 a.m. at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Polson, with Father Kevin Christofferson officiating. A private interment will be held at a later date at the Montana Veterans Cemetery in Missoula. Memories and condolences may be sent to the family at thelakefuneralhomeandcrematory.com.
In lieu of flowers, memorial may be sent your local Knights of Columbus chapter or Cheerful Hearts of Polson.
Arrangements are under the direction of The Lake Funeral Home and Crematory.