Obituary for William Herzog
William E. Herzog passed away peacefully at St. John’s Home on January 3, 2017 after a brief illness.
He was born in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin in 1934, the second of four boys born to Dr. Joseph V. and Pauline M. (Martin) Herzog. While growing up in Milwaukee he met Ellen V. Hallquist, whom he married the day after completing his masters in electrical engineering degree at Purdue University.
He began his career at Collins Radio in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where he and Ellen also began their family giving birth to four children, Katherine, Mark, John and James Herzog. After patenting several innovative designs, the lure of a startup company brought him to relocate the family to Rochester, New York in 1964 as a staff engineer at RF Communications, where he was the 35th employee. His project and design work generated many patents and innovations including telecommunication breakthroughs for the US military and contributions to the NASA Apollo program. During his many years RF went international and became Harris Corporation with over 3000 employees.
Early in his retirement, his beloved Ellen passed away in 1990 from an illness and he enjoyed a period of traveling to visit his children in their new homes and to attend meetings of one of his passions, the Balalaika and Dombra Association of America which featured trips to Russia and a chance to perform at Carnegie Hall in NYC. Will was well known in the Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired. While volunteering as a driver to the blind, he met his future wife, Irma Smalley. They were married in 1994 and enjoyed making a home in Rochester.
Will had several lifelong passions including Russian folk music and instruments, ham radio, amateur and professional hockey, handball and motorcycles. Hockey grew out of watching thousands of his children’s games and became a passionate conversation item with them as adults. Ham radio connected him with friends across the globe, his conversations generating appreciation notes from many countries. He enjoyed the success of his children and grandchildren whether devoting careers to science and engineering, healthcare or other fields.
Will’s first wife, Ellen, preceded him in death as did his brothers Joseph, and James. He is survived by his wife, Irma; brother, Thomas (Joyce); daughter, Katherine (Steve); sons, Mark (Pam), John (Marianne) and James (Jackie); twelve grandchildren; step-children, Sheila (Lenny) and Chet (Linda); three step-grandchildren.
The family will be receiving friends Friday, January 13th, 3 - 6 PM at Crawford Funeral Home, 495 N. Winton Rd., Rochester. Services will be Saturday, January 14th, 10 AM at White Haven Memorial Park, All Seasons Chapel, 210 Marsh Rd., Pittsford with a luncheon reception to follow. Interment at White Haven Memorial Park.