Honoring Tradition.
Celebrating Life.

Herman Gast

March 16, 1929 - March 16, 2021
Grand Rapids, MI



Saturday, March 20, 2021
1:00 PM EDT
Faith United Church of God
3290 Walker Ave NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49544
(616) 784-5060

Visitation will be from noon until the time of the service.

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At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.

Faith United Church of God
3290 Walker Ave NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49544
Web Site


Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.

Ball Park Floral
8 Valley Ave.
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
(616) 459-3409
Driving Directions
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Life Story / Obituary


Those who were lucky enough to know Herm Gast understood his reverence for his Lord and Savior. Throughout his life, he leaned on the wisdom that God would always provide for him during any challenge. Faithful, content, and grateful for the countless blessings in his life, Herm was a wonderful husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, uncle and friend to many. He leaves behind a rich collection of memories for all his friends and family to cherish forever.

Reflecting on the 1920s, it was an ever changing period of time in history. Emmett Emerson and Wynona Elizabeth (Beemer) Gast welcomed their newborn son, Herman Emerson, on March 16, 1929, at home in Belding, Michigan. Following his older sisters, Armeta and Wanetta, his birth brought great joy to his loving parents.

Herm lived a typical childhood of the times. His father was a hard working factory and delivery driver and his mother a wonderful homemaker. As a family, they relied on their resources to survive the tough times living through the Great Depression. They enjoyed making many happy memories visiting Lake Michigan and spending quality time together. His family were regular members of Sunset Park Church of God in Wyoming before later joining Faith United Church of God in Grand Rapids. Sadly, he lost his 14 year-old sister, Wanetta when she was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver. It was a devastating loss for his family, and they leaned on their faith community to see them through.

Herm attended schools in Mecosta and Remus, Michigan before moving to Wyoming, Michigan. He thrived as a student in his machine shop class and was a member of his high school football team. He proudly graduated with the Class of 1947 from Godwin Heights. He talked fondly of these years and credited them for his ability to work with his hands and fix just about anything! Just getting his life started, Herman was drafted into the United States Army serving from 1952-1954. He was stationed in Karlsruhe, Germany during the Korean War working as a Morse-code operator.

After being discharged from the service, Herm took advantage of every opportunity in life. He worked briefly as an Allegan County Deputy Sheriff, then made a thirty-year career as a Switchman/Toll-Testman for Michigan Bell where he met Sheryl (DeBoer) Smith, the woman who stole his heart. She was working in the office and at first glance, he was head over heels for her. They were joined in matrimony on October 25, 1968, at the Sunset Park Church of God. The happy couple honeymooned in Washington D.C. taking in the sights and enjoying each other's company. Together they joined their families to include four wonderful children, Martin, Shauna, Lori, and Todd.

Herm was a very active father. He enjoyed a remarkable sixty-five years serving as a leader and other various positions within the Boy Scouts of America. A highlight of these years was helping thirty-nine boys attain the rank of Eagle Scout. In 1976, Herm received the highest honor given to an adult scout leader, the Silver Beaver Award. The Silver Beaver Award is granted to scout leaders who have exhibited exceptional character and have provided distinguished service. Herm enjoyed teaching his young scouts how to cook while they attended their many camping outings. As a family, he and Sherry took their kids on countless camping adventures. Every year, they traveled to many destinations throughout the U.S. and a trip to Mexico. His children remember him as a loving yet strict disciplinarian. He wanted nothing more than to share in their many successes. As his family grew to include grandchildren and beyond, Herm was a fun-loving, helpful, and generous man to know and to love.

During his retirement years, Herm enjoyed the many simple pleasures in life. He and Sherry often enjoyed shopping at several antique markets searching for their collectible treasures. They continued their love of travel and vacationed in Florida for many years with their kids, grandkids, and special friends. Herm loved food and enjoyed spaghetti, pot roast, steak, and turkey dinner! Always grateful for his many blessings, he never turned down an offer for a second helping! He cherished his time tinkering with his many special tools working on projects and fixing things around the house and for his family. Sherry never needed to hire a repair man, because she had her very own! Herm’s greatest legacy was the ability to face tough circumstances with integrity. He approached each day with optimism and never took a single day for granted. May his loving memories and examples of resilience be honored by his loved ones for many generations to come.

Herman E. Gast went home to be with his Lord and Savior on his 92nd birthday, Tuesday, March 16, 2021. Herm was preceded in death by both of his parents; his sisters, Wanetta Gast and Armeta Fish; granddaughter, Holly Gast and great-granddaughter, Haley Meeuwes. He leaves behind to cherish his memory, Sherry, his loving wife of over 52 years, and his children; Martin Gast, Shauna Lynn, Lori and Todd Gast, as well as 14 grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren and several nieces, nephews and their families. The funeral service celebrating Herm's life will take place at Faith United Church of God on Saturday, March 20, 2021 at 1:00 pm. Visitation will be held one hour prior to the service. A private interment service will take place at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in his honor to: Faith United Church of God, 3290 Walker NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49544