Ronald Aaron Herman died at his home in West Hatfield on Sept. 9, 2012. He was 64.
He was born in the Bronx, N.Y. to the late Ezra and Diana Herman on December 19, 1947 and graduated from Bronx High School of Science in 1964.
A gifted musician with an infinite capacity for knowledge, Ron appreciated the simplest things in life right alongside the most complex. His musical talent, dry wit and bright mind made an impression on all who knew and loved him.
Studying classical guitar with Manuel Gayol in New York city, his talent was immediately apparent. Simultaneously teaching himself the five-string banjo, Ron, or “Ronnie” as friends often called him, was a fixture at the Washington Square Park “Hootenanny” by his early teens. He learned the intricacies of ragtime on his beloved Gibson J-200, studied blues, rock and jazz, then effortlessly took up electric guitar, before reaching age 20.
In the late 1960s, Ron became a musical fixture in Brattleboro, Vt., regularly playing the Mole’s Eye Café. During this time, he taught himself a third instrument, the stand-up double bass.
While playing music remained his passion, Ron also had a brilliant understanding of machines. Once again almost entirely self-taught, he became an astute auto mechanic in order to support himself and soon, his family. A job opportunity at Ben David Motors in Oak Bluffs inspired a move to Martha’s Vineyard, where Ron also could be found performing at The Seaview Lounge.
Eventually settling in Hatfield, he continued in the auto trade as service manager at local dealerships and taught car repair in Enfield, Conn.
Ron then spent 15 years as a thin film coating technician at Chroma Technologies in Brattleboro, Vt., creating interface filters for advanced microscopes. During his time there, the employee-owned company quadrupled in size and enjoyed great success.
Throughout his working life and into retirement, Ron embraced a remarkable range of interests. A railroad buff and steam enthusiast, he appreciated technologies from the stone age to the modern. While finding time to repair and collect cameras, watches, miniatures and vehicles, he continued to excel as a guitar player and as a father. His understanding of elaborate concepts and ability to explain them were some of the many fine traits that made him an invaluable employee, a treasured friend, a beloved brother and a phenomenal dad. He will be deeply missed.
He is survived by his brother Gene, his daughter Erika Sutter and her mother, Maurine Sutter. A memorial will be held at the Montague Bookmill on Saturday, Sept. 22 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.