Walter and Ingrid Herrmann

One hundred-forty friends of Walter and Ingrid Herrmann gathered in Centerport, New York for a celebration of their lives on Saturday, July 21, 2012.

Ingrid passed away in December 2009 and Walter died in May 2012 in Stuart, Florida. Both had lived on Shelter Island for about 40 years and were well known to many Islanders.

Ingrid was born in 1938 in Wuerzburg, Bavaria. She was known to many Shelter Islanders as an excellent cook of German cuisine and a gracious hostess at their Shelter Island home, the “Herrmann Castle” overlooking Crescent Beach.

Walter, born in 1918, grew up in Hamburg, Germany, in modest circumstances. He was a child when he lost both his parents and he lived with an uncle who owned a pastry shop and a café. Although an excellent student at school, it was impossible for him to receive a high school education for economic reasons.

Walter completed an apprenticeship as a pastry baker and was able to obtain employment as a kitchen mate on a luxury passenger steamer of the German Hapag Shipping Line.

In 1936, when the ship had anchored in New York, a typhoid epidemic broke out and Walter was forced to stay behind under quarantine on what  today is known as Roosevelt Island. Upon his recovery, Walter was able to find a job in a bakery in downtown Manhattan.

Two years later, in 1938, he moved to Florida, where he also worked as a baker. But immigration authorities discovered his illegal status and he was deported.

In 1939, Walter took work on a Panamanian tanker heading for South America. While on that voyage, World War II erupted and the tanker’s German crew was discharged in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

In 1941, Brazil declared war on Germany and all German seamen were interned for the duration of the war. In 1947, he gained legal immigration status for a return to the U.S. Initially, Walter again worked a baker and on the side in construction. Because of his diverse skills as a craftsman, he became a contractor with his own business. After a few years, he obtained a license for lending money in order to finance real estate acquisitions for his customers.

Walter started the construction of his dream house, “Herrmann’s Castle,” and carried out almost all of the exterior and interior work himself with the help of some handymen — the reason why it took seven years to complete the building.

Situated on a bluff with expansive panoramic views over Crescent Beach, the house has a roof terrace and brick-walled courtyard where Walter and Ingrid enjoyed entertaining and inviting large numbers of guests to join them in watching the fireworks.

All his life, Walter had been athletic. He enjoyed playing tennis on his court and, for many years, he spent parts of the winters skiing competitively in Vermont or in Colorado, often achieving high rankings in his age category.

For the last decade, Walter and Ingrid had spent summers on Shelter Island and winters in Florida where they had established their final home.

Ingrid Herrmann is survived by her daughter, Ingrid Mass of Colorado, and grandaughter, Sarah Mass. Walter Herrmann is survived by his daughters Marlene Danilovitz of Pennsylvania and Hilda Herrmann of Virginia and grandchildren Jon Danilovitz, Emily Scholl, Laura Herrmann, Erik Herrmann and William Herrmann; and five great-grandchildren. His son Walter Herrmann of New Hyde Park predeceased him.

81 Comment

  • Again why bother Homeless Abused Woman and Children …..Go after the Houses that are illegal…15 -20 people in a home sleeping all over the place..come on ..why throw our own out in the street…

  • Those women and children have enough problems let them get there lives back on track, than being hassled by the town,, There’s worst problems around the area..

  • It is the county that is putting them there, If The town of Riverhead elected officials were so concerned about illeagal housing they should open there own homes to the Homeless Battered woman and Children. If not they should just shut up.

  • Sorry but you people are a bit nutty.

    It seems like if Sean Walter and the town board proposed free gold bars for Riverhead residents that would be a bad idea too.

    Step away from your complete partisanship and smell the coffee the town board is enforcing code here and I for one think it’s long overdue.

    Also, Ms. Downs I don’t get your comment “our own”? What exactly does that mean?

    So far this week people think it’s fine for Farm Country to violate the law and don’t mind out of control, illegal shelters to exist.

    Seems like blind hatred for the Supervisor and town board has trumped judgement here.

  • Does anyone else have a problem with this newspaper pinpointing the exact location where victims of domestic violence are being sheltered? What are you thinking?

    You have conceivably made it easier for additional violence to be brought to these victims, again, what were you thinking, or perhaps the right questions is Were you thinking at all?.

  • Now that you have called me out…I know who you are..”our own” is exactly what it means.If you read the article….Mr Blass had said they were placed there because the children are in Longwood and Riverhead school districts..Hence “our own”!! Apparently they live here..DUH!You ask for posters to step back and smell the coffee..the Town is enforcing code….Yep that is wonderful….However we have a lot of over crowded homes with illegals.As I stated on WRIV I know a resident that has reported one of these homes months ago.In fact this resident has called numerous times because the Town has not acted on it.The Taxpayer was told that inspectors are very busy .I guess putting woman and children out on the street is more important.

  • its a crack motel…the women keep their men there too…unbeknownst to social services (eyes rolling)… the new york state preserve property next door is turning into a garbage pit thanks to these filth bags…i feel bad for the kids who have to live there because their fatazz moms cant keep their legs shut and wont get a job…why are they above working? soaking off the tax payer is how they live…its not that they’ve fallen on hard times…this is their way of life. As for the motel owner, how much are they receiving in social service section 8 benefits? $1,000 a month per room rented? I wouldnt be surprised…The landlord bought the place with the exact intent to make money and this is how he intended to do it…no philanthropy on his part.

  • You people are nutty. I’m way to close to this place not to notice the men who are allowed in…unbeknownst to social services (eyes rolling)…this is far from just abused mothers and children. What a cast of characters coming and going from this place. I feel sorry for the kids who live there because their fattazz mothers cant keep their legs shut for 2 seconds and pop out no daddy kids like pez dispensers. Why are these women above working? Because they have young children. And when the youngest gets too old for mama to continue benefits, she gets another no daddy to make another beneficiary. And the cycle continues. But thats all water under the bridge now…. the system is broken so that it cant be fixed. The preserve next door is littered beyond belief since these filth bags moved in…Someone will have a crack accident and the place will burn in no time…unfortunately, the pine barrens are next door…

    @are we there: its a smoke screen…Social services needs a reason for housing them there… the victims get beat up…thats for sure…and then they get a free cell phone from the county and immediately call their abuser for a hook up at the motel…you’re a little naive.
    lauriedowns: offer any of these women a job…. there are plenty of jobs that they are entirely over qualified for…or they are on disability for sheer stupidity… which makes you and I enablers…so who’s really stupid.

    God bless Mr. Walter and Mr. Macabee…and the mothers who made them…
    please get this trash hole outta here.


  • Thank you for the clarification.

    And no we do not know each other.

  • Thank you for the clarification.

    And no we do not know each other.

  • Mrs Lopez u Idiot i think he gets paid a whole lot more and if you have such a problem about it why dont you go complain to your local commisioner, instead of being some internet gangster, you might see men there because most of the families there are not victims of domestic violence, they are just families that HAVE FALLEN ON HARD TIMES!!!! And you should do your research before you start talking about a topic you nothing about. Section 8 has nothing to do with the Motel, so go talk to Dept. of Social Services maybe they can help you understand. And Karma is a bitch Mrs Lopez so watch what you say and do because you are only a paycheck away from these peoples situation yourself!!!!

    You must be some miserable woman that nobody wants to be around, not your husband or children that you actually have the time to go sneak around and spy on the less fortunate!!!!
    GET A LIFE!!!!

  • nine tenths of these weman are jut useing this agancy to screw thier husbands out of seeing thier kids period this farce has to stop so i will post all the adresses of these bull s@#$ shelters

  • This is not a Shelter it is emergency housing any way who are you to say these woman are not tell the truth?If you experienced something that makes you think they are all the same ,I think it’s time to take a second look…we all aren’t the same.As far as listing the womans shelters..everyone knows where they are in Riverhead.Posting address could only get someone hurt . Please be respectful.

  • Why is the town complaining to the motel when the county put the people there?

    This is a serious stupid issue of bureaucracy and in the long run Riverhead is basically punishing homeless battered women instead of consulting with the county.

    Great job.

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