Tributes to Dr. Herman L. Hoeh
May 23, 2005
From Phyllis RoseI have been following the situation of Dr. Hoeh's death. Now, there was a true Christian in every sense of the word. I have heard many stories of his service to the elderly, many from Mr. Catherwood's classes.I also heard many from Cledice Decker and her mother who knew him. I went to Pasadena for a 'visit' in April of 1973 and could not leave. After a month I got a job in Mail Processing and had various jobs after that, ending up in the Hall of Ad working for what used to be Ministerial Services (helping Mr. Tkach with some things) and later for the legal department as data entry clerk. I loved everything I did there and never missed any place like I do there, though it has changed greatly since I left in 1989. I felt so special and privileged from the opportunities. It was fun working for Mr. Waterhouse and following him around with his mail. My husband, Leo retired from Lockheed in Burbank in May of 1989 and we came back to Maine, my home state. He died of lung cancer in May of 2001. It is difficult and I can truly feel for Mrs. Hoeh. Thank God she has her family around her. What a blessing.
I feel like I would love to get together with all the widows and gather information for a book. Loved talking with all the widows who lived in Altadena at the time in a home. I got one book published but would like to do one to serve people in need as widows definitely are. " . . . widows in their affliction,,,, is a true and apt description. Mr. Blackwell covered much of that in his classes.I feel bad that I did not get a chance to know and talk with Dr. Hoeh more. I always felt like a new kid on the block and looked up to everyone. I was so excited to have had the opportunity to be there. It was unusual, in the Spring of 1973, I had a friend here who wanted to move there to help her with her Spanish background. I had no idea I would get hired and be there until 1989.I had taken special student (an apt name - that was how I felt) classes for 4 years and was working on writing and got signed up in the class for the writing for the work with Mrs. Graham. I was so very excited and got an article published in one of the YOUTH magazines. The next was for the PT and, of course, needed Dr. Hoeh's approval for me to continue. The first letter I sent did not make it but the second did. I wanted to write about how the separation of parents coming into the church affected the children. I had been through that situation myself and my family split down the middle. Back in those days, some crazy things happened to those of us who wanted to follow God. Gibe Him up or get out. I could not give God up. It led to physical abuse to tie in with all the mental and verbal abuse for years. Back in the 50's and 60's.I could go on and on but you need a break from all this. Your list of prayer requests was sent to me and I truly enjoy and appreciate it.Goodbye for now, take care and God Bless,
Love and Prayers,
February 3, 2005
Aliese Roemer -- granddaughter of Dr. Hoeh
Everyone knew Opa as Dr. Hoeh but to me, he always was and always will be my Opa. I didn’t think of him as superman per say yet I always held him with great regard and care.
Opa, which means grandpa in German, was always an intelligent and caring person. He was always concerned with we grandkids’ well being. Since I was home schooled, Opa would always ask if I had all the text books I needed. He wanted to know what I was learning and was always eager to help. The one thing he was the best at helping with was correcting my English papers. They would always be returned well-read and well-marked with red correction pencil. I attribute my knack for spelling and grammar to Opa.
One conversation that I think my parents and I will always remember happened back in 1991. We were at my uncle’s house during the Feast and Opa called to see how we were doing. My dad replied that “we’re just hanging around”. Opa corrected him by saying “Hanging around like a group of monkeys? No, you should say ‘We’re relaxing’.” To this day, I still ask myself if I’m using the correct grammar in how I speak and write.
Opa’s vast knowledge of other cultures and people helped me learn to enjoy different cultures and foods. I remember fondly the Thai restaurants we would frequent when my family and I visited him and Oma (which means grandma). It’s always been one of my favorite foods.
He taught me etiquette and that you should tip people no matter if they’re serving you food or not. The most vivid memory I have is when we were shopping at a music box shop. It took me a while to finally settle on which music box I wanted. When we were through purchasing, Opa told me to tip the lady for her services. His generosity and kindness towards others has encouraged me extend those traits to others as well.
My favorite time will always be just being with Opa and Oma. Whether it was going to museums, bookstores or just the health food store, I always enjoyed their company.
From my memories of Opa, I’d say he lived his life for the good of others. He was always there to lend a helping hand and take care of those in need.
I want to thank everyone for their prayers for our family, especially for Oma. I’ve enjoyed reading the tributes everyone has written. Thank you, especially to Mr. Kubik for posting the photos and tributes which have been a joy to read.
Last but not least, thank you to Oma for being selfless and sharing Opa with everyone they met. Her love and support were a big influence on how Opa took care of others.
Proud granddaughter of Dr. Hoeh,
January 13, 2005
From Susan Hermmann
Some of the readers of this page of tributes to Dr. Hoeh will be looking for words from my father Kenneth Herrmann. Many members knew them to be friends, fellow students, and colleagues of the early days of Ambassador College and the Work, as well associating them because of their similar interests in ancient history (my Dad's interests and GN & PT articles leaning toward geology and astronomy and how they related to discerning the truth about ancient times).
Unfortunately, since Dad's two heart attacks last year, his long term memory has become more impaired as has his ability to write and express himself. I have been trying to raise some memories of Dr. Hoeh from him, but so far all he has been able to say is that "losing him is a real blow".
My own memories of Dr. Hoeh are few, aside from his many interesting ( sometimes even to a child) sermons that he gave in Pasadena. One pleasant childhood memory stands out vividly, though. When I was about four, I was spending a day with my Dad at his office and Dr. Hoeh showed up. My memory of him, is of someone who truly liked kids. I don't think I was used to such friendliness from adults. I quickly dove behind a chair, much to Dad's and Dr. Hoeh's amusement . How sad it is to lose such an important figure in my childhood memories.
January 8, 2005
From Frederick Peace, PhD
I matriculated to Ambassador in the summer of 1966, after having studied at home with WWCG for five years. I had completed graduate school and was working as professor of Marketing at Iowa Sate University so I was not intimidated by the academics. But one of the fabled people I was looking forward to studying under was Dr Hoeh.
His brilliance was noted in his writings, but what would he be like personally?
For years I jealously watched him sit in the front row of Bible Study reading. I was usually bored out of my mind so focusing on how he handled the sessions was of interest.
He seemed oblivious to what was coming from the stage, except frequently Mr. Armstrong would say. "Isn't that right Dr. Hoeh" or "What was the date on that", etc.
He would just look up and answer the question as if he had heard every previous word..
I think they call that multi-tasking.
In class his insights were what I longed for -- the material presented was never an intellectual challenge. I recall a discussion on archeology in which Dr. Hoeh presented pictures of two combs. They were of African design and labeled as over ten thousand years different in age -- it was obvious that the latter comb was of much higher quality in both design and workmanship.
Dr Hoeh's observation is that it only proved one comb carver was a rather clumsy and careless individual. To him that was all it proved -- the carvers could have been neighbors.
That critical thinking was the gift he shared. I marveled at how the capacity left him when he researched history as taught by Mr. Armstrong.
This enigma was one of the more difficult I faced as I moved from student to staff.
I also knew him by observation as a father. I wanted to be a good one to my two boys and he was a model. My first year of "humbling" required that the Professor work as a gardener. That took me to the Hoeh backyard and time spent with the Hoeh children -- they were so alive and unafraid, yet fooled into thinking of goat cheese as a treat. One can't believe what one can learn about parenting as a babysitter.
Frederick Peace, PhD
December 28, 2004
From Robert Macdonald
Our Family’s Remembrances of Herman L. Hoeh
Herman Hoeh life touched many others and like most, our family has many positive memories of him. One of my early memories was of watching him traversing the grounds at the Feast of Tabernacles in Big Sandy during the late 50’s. On the way between the “new tabernacle” where services were held and the “old tabernacle” dining hall he picked up trash and deposited it into a proper receptacle. That pretty well represented the way he was and remained throughout life. Though an evangelist, he was a humble man, not above the common people, and always lent a hand in what needed to be done. Always polite and charming, he would greet people with a cheery “My name is Herman Hoeh, how are you?” He never failed to ask how my wife, Peggy was. I never heard an unkind word come from his mouth about anyone.
As a student at the Pasadena campus of Ambassador College between 1958 and 1961. I had the opportunity of attending his classes in Bible and World History. Although occasionally difficult to comprehend, nevertheless new vistas of knowledge were opened to his students. He enriched our awareness and appreciation the past as well as current events. He frequently invited interested students to his house for forums and informal discussions. He and Isabel were gracious hosts and always made us feel at home. He freely answered all questions, as cryptic as those answers may have been. I will always remember the names of ancient historians such as Xenophon and Manetho. I recall a final project for his World History students of 1961 was to produce a chart of the Egyptian Pharos according to his reconstruction of history, a seemingly daunting task! But then he added, “The only thing I ask is that they not all be identical, so that if I hold any two up to the light they will not coincide!”
His “reconstruction of history” was published in 1962 as a two volume “Compendium of World History” which was his doctoral dissertation at Ambassador College. Later, perhaps in the late 70’s he came to see that much of his “reconstruction” was wrong, and he publicly so stated. It says a lot about Herman Hoeh that he had the intellectual honesty to repudiate a large portion of his life work including his PhD dissertation.
His sermons, though occasionally difficult to understand were always interesting. No one ever dosed off while he was speaking!
Growing up on a chicken farm near Santa Rosa, California in a German-American family undoubtedly contributed to shaping Herman Hoeh as man who never lost his connection to common folks, who preferred to live close to the earth and who epitomized the work ethic. Another early influence was also present. On more than one occasion his students heard him explain that he was brought up on “the milk of the Socialist word”. Students understood this to mean “National Socialism” (Naziism). Perhaps in reaction against that early teaching he always leaned over backward to show his opposition to Naziism. This may have contributed to the RCG/WGC’s proclivity during the 50’s and 60’s to look for a fascist under every bed! The Church’s perspective on biblical prophecy had a lot to do with this as well.
The 50’s and 60’s seemed to spawn a mindset of a separation between “us and the world” in RCG/WGC circles. That mentality was conspicuously absent in Herman Hoeh. He consistently made contact with many individuals of varied backgrounds and different perspectives, building bridges across professional, denominational, religious, national and ethnic lines. One was Rabbi Zvi Ankori who did his doctoral dissertation on the interpenetration of Judaism and one of the pagan philosophies encountered anciently by the Jews. He invited Dr. Ankori into his home for an informal discussion with his students. I felt it to be an honor to be one of those invited. Dr. Ankori went on to become a well known author on Jewish issues. Another was Jean Pierre Hallet, the Belgian anthropologist and humanitarian who publicized the plight of the Pygmies in the Congo. He was author of Pygmy Kitabu. I saw him on several occasions at fundraisers to help the Pygmies. He always voiced his appreciation for Herman Hoeh’s help with printing a brochure on the Pygmies and fundraising assistance for the Pygmy Project. Another contact was with a Swedish-born biochemist and visionary, Dr. Eric Eweson. A pioneer in composting and waste management from the 1940’s, Dr. Eweson’s expertise led to the construction and installation of the “Eweson Digester” on the Big Sandy campus which turned garbage and other waste into fertilizer. His talk before an Ambassador student assembly opened my eyes to the potentialities of composting and the desirability of organic farming. Another well respected personality, a dentist named Dr. Royal Lee imparted much useful information at a student assembly on health and nutrition. His company, Standard Process Laboratories is a producer of high quality nutritional supplements. Many more contacts could be cited from various fields including historians, archaeologists and writers. Many people have benefited from the associates of Herman Hoeh.
Herman Hoeh often spoke of his friendship with John Weidner, a Seventh Day Adventist, who owned two health food stores in Pasadena. He affectionately called him “his best friend in the world”. Mr. Weidner, a Belgian, shared some of his World War II experiences at an Ambassador student assembly. He was one of the many who rescued Jews during the Nazi occupation of France. Wanting the best foods for his family, he would frequently shop at Weidner’s Health Foods. One time my wife, Peggy was there while he was shopping. After paying, he told the sales lady to “Keep the change!”, throwing the whole sales staff into turmoil! They did not know how to handle that! Everyone agreed that Herman Hoeh was a very generous man!
During the late 60’s the Hoeh’s moved from their South Orange Grove house in Pasadena to La Canada. A few years later they purchased two houses in Sunland, California. One house for them and one for his library! He wanted as much as possible to return to his roots where he could have a garden and keep goats. After moving to Sunland my wife and I gave them an old refrigerator in which to keep their garden produce and goat milk. After delivering it in our pick-up truck he stated, “You have treated us well, and now I have a treat for you!” He treated both of us to a refreshing glass of cold goat milk!
I spoke by phone with Herman Hoeh about a month before he died. His mind was as sharp as ever. We chatted about many things. At first I hesitated to mention my years of research into the meaning to the Christian of the feast days. Personal theological research by a lay person was once frowned upon. I did mention that I had felt for many years that there was much more meaning there than WGC had uncovered. He reacted favorably. I then said that my research was aided by several books on the feast days including one that predated HWA’s booklet. He asked who wrote it and I told him the author was Louis Talbot. He replied that he used to listen to him on the radio during the 1940’s, and wanted to know if he and any good insights as to their meaning. I answered that he did. Anyway this shows that he was open-minded toward new ideas.
My wife and I feel privileged to have known Herman L. Hoeh. He was a genuinely caring, remarkable and multi-faceted individual. Our lives were enriched by his, and he will be missed.
December 27, 2004
From John Hopkinson (given at the public memorial on November 27th)
Mrs. Hoeh, and family, Pastor Holm, distinguished guests, friends, brethren.
Mrs. Hoeh, I am deeply sensitive of the great honour of addressing such an audience, in such a location, upon so momentous an occasion. Even now, he reaches from beyond the veil to afford to me one more gift.
With the passing of Herman Hoeh, who, more than anyone except Mr. Armstrong, influenced the Church of God of our times, the last great teacher, an Era closes.
On graduation in 1967, he invited me to work for him. It was my privilege to serve him with respect, amazement, and growing awe, as he opened a whole new world to me, Managing sixty college departments, editing the PT, working with the press, dealing with Professors of Archaeology at UCLA, the Bronze Boy at the Getty, bringing Israeli Generals as guest speakers, Jean-Pierre Hallet, the one-handed Belgian who championed the Efe Pygmy, in the Ituri forest, Edward Teller, the father of the H-bomb, Leopold, King of the Belgians, and his display and priceless photographs, getting Crimond for the new blue hymnal for HWA himself, at his request, lunching with a rabbi’s son, and having him suddenly recognize we were eating kosher, when he had ordered lobster, rare book dealers, Blackwell’s of Oxford, Zeitlin, Vanya Volkoff and Adelheid von Hohenlohe, Dead Sea Scrolls at Huntington Library actually touching and translating books 400 years old when I was born, and many exciting and wonderful things.
His teaching and writing are distributed around the whole world. The impact is unknowable.
To me, he was unfailingly courteous and kind. He modelled humility and generosity to all around him, which I saw at first hand in the most sensitive manner. Even from beyond the veil, he reached back and presented to a last gift – to speak in his honour.
In his poem, “Let us now praise Famous Men,” Rudyard Kipling couches tribute and honour in words more condign than my own. I commend it to readers of these tributes.
A College dedicated to preparing young men to be sent out administering, surveying, encompassing history’s only global Empire. The instruments; chain, staff, theodolite, an intimate knowledge of triangles. ‘Servant of the Staff and Chain’ refer to the Survey of India, from 1816 to 1843 by George Everest. He could not know when he commenced at Mean Sea Level at Cape Comorin, that, walking over the whole sub-continent, in surveying each mountain, that, 2500 miles to the north, he would identify the highest peak in the world at 29,029ft .
Sir George stood before kings, bearing gifts of knowledge, to the precise square yard, of each kingdom to its ruler. Today we measure position and altitude with lasers, GPS satellites and computers. Difference then and now: Only 6 ft.
Herman Hoeh, likewise, could not know the heights to which he would ascend would be. Fittingly, he also visited the palace in Nepal, in the high Himalaya, as an Ambassador.
Kipling’s words are a touchstone for the Church of God in our own time, touching every nation in our days; a fitting epitaph for Herman Ludwig Hoeh, who stood before kings, bearing gifts of knowledge beyond price.
Bless and praise we famous men
Men of little showing
For their work continueth,
And their work continueth,
Broad and deep continueth,
Great beyond their knowing!
From Roger Lippross
Greetings Vic, and friends that may read this, my belated tribute to Dr. Herman Hoeh. While away on an extended family visit I heard about the loss of a great leader and man of God. Having now returned home, if I may I would very much like to add a few thoughts of my own to the many fine tributes that I have read.
My first contact with Dr. Hoeh was in 1968 when Vic Kubik and I worked together in England duplicating and transferring the wonderful photographs taken in Africa and what was then the Belgian Congo, by the late King Leopold of Belgium. It was through Mr. Armstrong's friendship with the King, that Dr. Hoeh became aware of this treasure trove of African culture. As was typical of him and his love of diversity, he had to have copies of as many photographs as he could, for use in The Plain Truth at some time in the future, hence my work with Vic.
When I was transferred to Pasadena in 1973 to work with Dr. Hoeh on the five (later seven) language editions of the The Plain Truth I found him a delight to work with. He was one of the very few who really understood what our International areas needed editorially, and that was so valuable. I had the great pleasure of working with him over the next 30 plus years on various international projects and found him to be the leader that he was..
Yes, a great leader, even in his death he brings us lesser mortals together to a forum such as this to learn by his example how a Christian should be. What a gift he had. Reading the tributes, it seems we all felt that we had a personal relationship with him, and the truth is we did. I personally witnessed that this was not lost on the poor villagers in a third world country or the Oxford educated company chairman at an exclusive garden party at a mansion in England. He treated both with the same respect and genuine interest. he cared and they knew it. He came across to them with warmth and compassion. I also have quite a few Dr. Hoeh stories having been with him during some very difficult times and some very unusual overseas situations. His kindness and generosity is of legend. He and his wife together were always examples to us all in the way they worked and supported each other.
Dr. Hoeh helped shape church culture, and through his influence in the early days gave us a world view that is still almost unique amongst other churches, a legacy that continues on. He will be greatly missed by this pilgrim...but how marvelous and wonderful that God has set things up so we can enjoy his company again. A man for all seasons...a man of God...till we meet again.
With deep and abiding respect..
December 17, 2004
From Randy Martens
I would like to thank Victor Kubik for sharing the recent pictures of Dr. Hoeh, his family and friends – as well as this website for kindly posting them, thereby making them available to many around the world. In the light of Herman Hoeh’s recent death, no doubt many of his admirers all over the globe have been exchanging between themselves the numerous “Dr. Hoeh stories” that have accumulated through the decades – the true, interesting and often humorous accounts that provided many insights into this unusual, multi-faceted man.
The immature “us versus the world” mentality so commonly observed and encouraged in the COG culture was refreshingly absent in Dr. Hoeh’s life. Instead, he built bridges of understanding between himself and people of differing perspectives, rather than self-righteously erecting walls of separation in the name of "God's Truth." Dr. Hoeh was not perfect, nor did he ever claim to be so. Most certainly not all his historical scholarship has withstood the test of time. He was an enigma to many, frequently throwing them a “curve ball” just when they thought they had him all figured out. I think he reveled in his idiosyncratic ways. For instance, when was the last time you saw a COG pastor or evangelist standing on a street corner waiting to catch the next bus? Or, with suit sleeves pushed up, pick through a grocery store dumpster to find produce with which to feed the goats that he raised at home? Or driving an old, beat-up 1957 Dodge Phoenix? Or even cleaning a toilet? Yet I believe Dr. Hoeh’s legendary spirit of service toward his fellow man was much the result of his being able to identify with and relate to the toils of the common folk, rather than looking down on them in disdain from the ministerial pedestal.
In April of this year I traveled to southern California to attend a conference. While there I was able to enjoy what in retrospect was to be one final yet delightful breakfast together with Dr. and Mrs. Hoeh. (And, of course, he insisted on paying the bill!) I am so thankful to have been able to have taken that trip. Being a common man living a common life, I don’t often have the opportunity to witness greatness up close and personal. But I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that our friend and fellow traveler Dr. Herman Hoeh was truly a great man. I know my life has been greatly enriched on many different levels for having had the chance to interact with and come to understand this remarkable human being in the 29 years I knew him. We shall miss his wise insights, his genuinely caring attitude, his humor, and above all, his exceptional example of how to live a simple yet successful life.
December 14, 2004
From Ronald Guizado
I learned many things from Dr. Hoeh through my 30 years of association with him. As I began to know him on a more personal basis I realized that he was a man who practiced what he preached. I also learned that he was not infallable but was always inquiring and searching in order to be open and sensitive to the lead of Jesus Christ in revealing more to His Church.
Once I asked Dr. Hoeh: "How can I best serve in the Church?" His simple reply: "Quality of thought."
As the years progressed I began to grasp the depth of importance that that simple three word response contained. As I spent time with him I noticed he would frequently lead me in the process of how to analyze God's Word (or any subject we discussed) and in how to achieve carefully well thought out conclusions. By example he provided me with the skills so I "could fish" on my own. He knew that he might die before Jesus Christ would return. He knew that one of the finest gifts he could give me was to know how to have "Quality of thought".
I'll be eternally thankful for that education he provided me.
December 9, 2004
Helen Rose McDowell
As I heard the account of Dr. Hoeh’s death it so paralleled my husband’s (Bill McDowell) almost three years ago—sudden, unexpected and at home. Actively living life to the last moment is a blessing and one for which I’m thankful but for the surviving spouse the shock of sudden death adds another dimension of sorrow to sort through. Memories of all the good times and many blessings help us with that sorting and healing. It has for our family as I know it will for Mrs. Hoeh and her family.
I had the opportunity to know Dr. and Mrs. Hoeh in both the college setting and spend time in their home. The personal time was always a learning experience without feeling I was being “taught.” In remembering some of those times now I smile through the tears
As a freshman student (1958) I was on the student “piano list” traveling to outlying churches for weekly Sabbath services. And I often went with Dr. and Mrs. Hoeh and their young family. Bill was on the “sermonette list.” When Bill and I became engaged, somehow we both were scheduled together when we went with The Hoehs. As was the custom, I packed our big picnic lunches in the Mayfair Kitchen and Mrs. Hoeh brought the goat milk—I still drink goat milk!
While I don’t remember much detail from Dr. Hoeh’s World History class I do remember the most important thing he wanted us to learn—and to be sure that we learned it well he gave our final exam on this one point. That’s probably why I remember it! He placed a stack of books on the classroom desk. Then he gave us a sheet of paper with instructions to match each book with one of the twenty subjects on the paper—that was the final exam! And so Dr. Hoeh taught us a fundamental principle of doing any research—know where to look.
Both Dr. and Mrs. Hoeh were kind and patient with me, gentle and caring—making for good memories from a time that both seems long ago and just yesterday. May all the good memories provide comfort and support for Mrs. Hoeh and her family.
Helen Rose McDowell
From Raymond McNairI hope this finds you and yours well and prospering--and I hope my comments re Dr. and Mrs. Hoeh may be of some value.
I first met Dr. Hoeh in November, 1948. He was one of the four students that enrolled in A.C. in 1947, during its first year of existence. (The other three students were Dick Armstrong, Raymond Cole, and Miss Betty Bates). My first contact with Dr. Hoeh was in the autumn of l948 (the second year of A.C.) when my brother Marion and I entered A.C. Besides my brother and myself, Kenneth Herrman also enrolled in A.C. in that same year.This meant that seven students were enrolled in A.C. during its second year--quite an increase in enrollment!!!From the beginning, it was clear to me (and I think this was also true of the other six student in A.C.) that Herman Hoeh was quite a scholar. In ensueing years, Herman (this was before he became a "Doctor") became known as "the brain," for he was not only scholarly, he had a special interest in, and a zeal for, research--in the area of History, in particular. He was never really interested that much in sports.That just wasn't his "cup of tea."Later, Dr. Hoeh's interest in history showed itself in his work (THE COMPENDIUM, in two volumes), which gave many details of the origins and movements of various peoples from the time of the Tower of Babel, until modern times. Through past decades, many students and members of the Church of God have found his research into history (esp. re the origins of various peoples) to be of interest and value. In recent years he made it known that he no longer endorsed all of the conclusions, especially his historical dates, which he had incorporated in his COMPENDIUM. Nevertheless, I am sure that many of the brethren and ministers still find certain areas of his historical research helpful in understanding the racial origins of certain nations, and, consequently, we can better understand certain end-time prophecies dealing with various descendants of SHEM, HAM, and JAPHETH.I found Dr. Hoeh to be friendly, courteous and, at times, rather witty. He became known for his generosity in assisting some of the needy students or Church brethren, often offering assistance anonymously. He spent much time and energy in the 50's, 60's, 70's, etc. helping to edit the Plain Truth, Good News, WCG booklets, etc. I always looked upon him as valuable to the Work as an editor, and this was especially so in the areas of his particular expertise: history, archaelology, paleontology, etc.Although I often spoke to Dr. Hoeh through the years, in more recent years (after I left the WCG in 1993), I did not have much contact with him. He would write or phone me from time to time, and I did the same. But during the last few years, I had very little contact with him. So far as I know, he continued to work with the men at Headquarters during these times, apparently feeling that, for personal reasons, he did not need to sever his relationship with the leaders of the WCG, because o f the sweeping doctrinal changes which the Church leaders were making at Pasadena. He seemed to want to maintain cordial relations with people in the various Churches of God (including many of the Church leaders), and would discuss various matters with some of them from time to time. [ He also had close ties with some of the leaders of the Buddhist faith. ]I also knew Mrs. Isabel Hoeh (Dr. Hoeh's wife for about 50 years) since her arrival a A.C. in, I believe, the third year of the College's existence. Isabel was a fine student, and also proved herself to be a loyal, steady, supportive wife during their many years of married life. I am sure that all who met Mrs. Hoeh will remember her in their prayers in the years ahead--asking God to bless and guide her through the difficult times which she will experience, without her husband by her side.Sincerely,Raymond F. McNair
December 6, 2004
It is certainly a great loss to hear of the passing of one of the pioneers of the truth. His tremendous insight and fantastic bible studies and articles will ALWAYS be a cherished memorial to his fantastic work as the human instrument under Christ.
How he ever kept quiet under the doctrinal changes, I will never understand, but there is no doubt we will see him in the first resurrection. He was a pioneer of good, Christian character, and he is certainly missed.
My prayers do go to his family in this time of testing, and I hope we can all go back to our files and see the legacy he left in writing. People are passing away so quickly now, and being only 31 it IS a good time to focus on continually overcoming and following in the good path left by these examples as they walked as Christ did.
Such a fine example indeed.
From Judd and Terri Kirk
My first knowledge of Dr. Hoeh was probably in about 1956 when my mother and I began to attend services. Regrettably, my impression of him back then was limited to the observation that what he said was hard to understand.
As the years passed, I came to know him as a very humble, kind man. He seemed to have a soft spot in his heart for my mother because of her many years of service to the church; he never failed to ask about her.
By way of tribute to him, his uniqueness and kindness, I'll describe an unusual event that took place in the late 70's. Terri and I were staying with some church friends in Santa Cruz when Dr. and Mrs. Hoeh dropped by. While nobody was expecting their visit, we all knew each other and we settled into comfortable chatting. A little later on, Dr. Hoeh abruptly changed the subject by looking at me and asking if I'd read Galatians lately. I had to admit that my recent studies had not included Galatians. He nodded his head and made no reply. Some minutes later, we all noticed that Dr. Hoeh wasn't there. Mrs. Hoeh didn't know where he'd gone, but neither did she seem concerned. An hour or so later he returned, walked over to me, and presented me with a book. Of course, I was very surprised and a little at a loss for words. He had bought me a used New Testament of some unfamiliar translation. Of course, I thanked him profusely. He said, "You should read Galatians.". I said I would as soon as I got home and laid the Bible down. Then he said, "No, read it now, and do so in less than 3 minutes." He continued, "Sometimes that which is unclear when read deliberately becomes clearer when read quickly". Well, I did and he was right; I've never forgotten that lesson.
Dr. Hoeh was a gift to all of us, and he will be missed.
December 5, 2004Craig White
Dr Hoeh's unexpected death was a great loss to both his family and to the Church of God.We know that he was faithful to the end and supportive of the Truth throughout his life. For me, he was special and I greatly appreciated his spiritual approach, capacity and research.I was impressed by his humility: many are not aware today that a number of truths came via him to HWA - truths which became part of the Church's belief system. Yet at no time did he exhibit ambition - I found this quality so admirable. His insights and bringing together information which enriched our Biblical understanding was terrific - as the Scriptures indicate, knowledge shall increase in the end time (Dan. 12:4). This is often accomplished by building on the understanding, knowledge and research of predecessors. Not only is raw knowledge increased, but so is qualitative value-adding to doctrine with deeper and more meaningful insights - this was a part of his capacity and the heritage which he has left behind.It was about 30 years ago that, as a school kid, I attempted to research the origin of nations (Biblical origin of nations, Noah's Flood, various laws, cremation, divorce & remarriage and many other topics were discussed in my extended family often due to our religious roots and this led to serious reading and debate). But it was only about two years later that I began to make some progress in this research given the basic information contained in Hoeh's 1957 article "Truth about the Race Question". That basic framework was helpful in my further studies into the subject.In letters and phone calls with him over the years, he came across as a kindly man, willing to listen and be helpful. His reputation as a peacemaker and avoider of confrontation was well known.In 1996, for instance, he was very supportive of the 'Friends of the Sabbath' conference held in Sydney and was rather excited by the whole concept. I shall never forget my conversations with him and the moral support he gave me on this and a number of other issues.He will be sorely missed by thousands of Church of God folk. Yet we shall continue to maintain the approach and ongoing research of both him and HWA for as long as we live.My thoughts and prayers are with his family as well as those that look forward to his research continuing in some form.
December 3, 2004Jim Cannon
I first met Dr. Hoeh on a one-on-one basis in 1969 at his home on Orange Grove Blvd. I had heard him speak at services and at the Feast many time previous to my face to face visit with him. On another occasion another AC student, myself and our dates were invited to his home one evening for dinner at a time when Mrs. Hoeh was visiting relatives in Texas. I can only concur with everyone who knew him and who came into contact with Dr. Hoeh that he was a genuine servant to man and a man of God. At dinner, Dr. Hoeh waited on us lowly students as a waiter in a fine restaurant would...but much better. It was very humbling for us to have Dr. Hoeh wait on our every need and a great lesson was learned by each one of us through this experience...genuine outgoing concern and he who is greatest is a servant to all.
I believe I have been very privileged to have been in the company of Dr. Hoeh, to attend his World History classes and the Principles of Living classes he subbed for Mr. Herbert Armstrong. Dr. Hoeh "knew his Bible" and lived it as well.
It will be great to see him and visit with him again in God's Kingdom in the near future.
Jupiter, FL 33458
I only met with Herman Hoeh one time. I visited the Pasadena campus in the early 60's. I was a Marine stationed at Camp Pendleton. He showed me around the campus and took me to the place where there were several prayer booths and young people going in and closing the doors to pray. The only specific part of the conversation that I remember was that he said: "We are doing our best to get the message out about the kingdom of God" or words to that effect. He struck me as being an approachable and dedicated person.
December 2, 2004
Ralph D. Levy
December 1, 2004
We have all been saddened to witness the passing from the scene of those who were our leaders in past decades. For many, myself included, the sad death of Dr. Herman Hoeh has had a very deep impact.
I met Dr. Hoeh in the mid-1970's, when I came to Pasadena, California, as a student at Ambassador College. We remained good friends till his death, and would talk on the phone, and visit when I had the chance to be in Southern California.
When I recall Dr. Hoeh's teaching, I can't help but be reminded of the words of the Apostle Paul to the Corinthian teachers: "If anyone builds on this foundation [Christ] with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one's work will become manifest; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one's work, of what sort it is. If anyone's work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward" (1 Corinthians 3:12-14). So much of his teaching still sticks with me, and with many of God's people.
Perhaps more than his teaching, I feel I profited most from his example. As noted in many of the other comments, this fine man was an example of humility, willingness to reach out to all, including the "little people" of God's Church, and to serve everyone.
Most of all, I will remember him for his example of how to conduct oneself in the household of God. Never once did I ever see this man act in a political or self-advancing manner. He eschewed politics, and was willing to occupy the lowest seat at all times. What a tremendous example!
Naively, I had imagined he would always be there, in the foothills of Southern California, always ready and willing to visit an exotic restaurant, discuss the Bible, and extend the hand of friendship. Sadly, that is not to be; but I do hope and expect to see him again soon in the resurrection of the saints.
Goodbye to a great friend, teacher and brother, Dr. Herman Hoeh.
December 1, 2004
He and I have had a close relationship from mid-1953 through the years. At that time he did not know how to drive and automobile in the early 50s and
as the result I often drove him here and there. I learned a great deal from his very knowledgeable mind. Unlike many of us, he was always thinking in a
One Sabbath, in the mid-50s, I drove him from Pasadena to San Diego to give a sermon. He sat along side of me on the passenger side with his head down much of the way. Later, I learned that during that drive he was able to determine the present location of the Tribes of Israel.
After arriving at a Church location he would often ask the pastor what sermon topic the members needed. One pastor said to him, "You mean you are
not prepared?" He responded by saying, "I know my Bible."
After presenting his part during a refresher course in Pasadena he was asked by one of the ministers if he could have a copy of his transcript? He looked puzzled. Another minister replied to the question by saying, "He does not have a transcript." And he didn't. He was one of the very few speakers who was able to speak clearly and concisely on any subject that he felt the need to speak about or on any subject that was required at the time, such as the Refresher Course.
Because of his speaking ability He was chosen by Mr. Armstrong to speak at the funeral of Mrs. Loma Armstrong. Mr. Tkach chose him to officiate at the
funeral of Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong.
One last thing: Dr. Hoeh was a very giving person. I was one of the recipients of his giving in those early years when times were rather hard and little money. His giving was known by others as well. When Mr. Richard D. Armstrong and I began driving away from Pasadena on our baptizing tour in 1958, he made the following comment to me: "We need to be more giving like Herman Hoeh."
Though I could write many things about Dr. Hoeh, this is enough to show the brilliant mind God had graced him with as well as being a very giving man.
I am truly saddened by his death for he had been not only my mentor in those early formative years, but also my friend. We spent many, many hours
together and I learned much from him.
In regard to our close relationship, a man once asked him in my presence, if he did not feel that his closeness to me could be a problem in regard to
respect for his office? He replied (words to this effect), "If there should be a problem, Mr. Billingsley knows the office I have and would respect it."
And he spoke the truth.
1 Dec 2004
Back in about 1972 I asked Dr. Hoeh how he came to prove that God existed, that the bible was the Word of God, and that WCG was the one true church. (I was a prospective member at the time, a new AC student, and trying to prove these things to myself.)
Dr. Hoeh answered that he had been brought up by religious parents and had been taught to read the bible from his youth. He always believed the bible. He gave the example that when he read that God had created Eve from Adam's rib, he believed it.
As he grew older, he heard many religious preachers on the radio. He came to be able to discern when they were biblically correct on certain points of doctrine, but incorrect on other points. Before he heard Mr. Armstrong, he had already come to understand many points of truth from the bible. However, he was not able to correlate all of these points of truth into a cohesive whole pattern.
When Dr. Hoeh heard Mr. Armstrong on the radio, he immediately recognized Mr. Armstrong as being God's true minister, because Mr. Armstrong taught all of the points of doctrine which Dr. Hoeh knew to be correct, and none of the ones which Dr. Hoeh knew to be incorrect. Therefore, Dr. Hoeh applied to go to Ambassador College as soon as he learned Mr. Armstrong was starting it, and he became part of Ambassador's first class in 1947.
I admire Dr. Hoeh because he was a sincere seeker of the things of God, faithful in conscience to God (Acts 23:1, 24:16) till the day he died. He always seemed to set a good example of keeping the two great commandments.
I wrote a comment under the heading "Who will dwell with the Lord?" a few days ago. I think Dr. Hoeh had the kind of attitude and spirit that Christ will honor. Jesus told the rich young man who kept God's commandments from his youth that he still lacked something. He lacked the Holy Spirit which had not yet been given (Acts 2, John 7:39). He lacked love (the first fruit of the Spirit -- Gal. 5:22). Why will Jesus reject many preachers of the gospel (Matt. 7:21-23)? Because they lacked love (I Cor. 13:1-7). We are to judge ministers by their fruits (Matt. 7:15-20).
Rolfe H. Jones.
Dr Herman Hoeh was one of the key characters that surrounded and made up the World Wide Church of God. From my earliest days it was his name along Herbert W. Armstrong and some of the other early "fathers" that was often in discussion. Whether as the writer of a church publication, the source for an early church story or involvement in a church sponsored arm of outreach or an independent one that he established on his own. Dr. Hoeh was an individual who managed to experience a tremendous amount and additionally by example encourage other to experience much in life, while at the same time managing to avoid any potential condemnation from those who could feel that external "non- church" orientated pursuits were not valuable.
It struck me at his recent memorial service that Dr Hoeh had the capacity to relate to every individual he came into contact with on a personal human level, making them feel that the interaction and conversation that was taking place was of importance and of value.
Two sermons of note that had particular interest to me, ranged from the "Spiritual" to the practical. One was given of the festival of Atonement and the other was also on "Holy Day" in the early 90's. The first was about how many of the leaders of various faiths and movements around the world would be extremely surprised at how the present day followers carried out and continued the message of the founder (including perhaps by inference Jesus Christ - if he were of course not Devine and all knowing). On the practical side, Dr Hoeh spoke about the value of preparing for hard times or a "rainy day" where all individuals if possible should put aside in readily accessible reserves, six months of operating expenses. This would enable an individual to retrain or properly look for another job without fear and worry.
Dr Hoeh was a man that could converse with Kings and Paupers equally and relate with both of them in a manner respectfully befitting them both. From my own recollections over the last 19 years of living in Southern California, every time Dr Hoeh saw me in the same room, even from quite a distance, he always made every effort to say "hello", converse for a while and ask how my family and parents were doing. I was always amazed in his consistency in doing this.
He peaceful and unusual legacy will always be remembered.
Matthew 5 v 9 "Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God".
Rolfe H. Jones
Originally of London England now of Pasadena CA.
Big Sandy Class of 85
Pasadena Class of 90
My own personal memory of Herman Hoeh- covering his car when it was parked on the street. Most of us covered our cars occasionally at night, because of the fruit fly spraying, but few made an effort every day to protect against the smog of southern California.
Dr. Hoeh was at heart, I believe, a scientist (though he was not that kind of “Dr.”)- a kind of Benjamin Franklin. His interests were certainly legion, as well as legendary.
A good scientist, if he or she is honest, must constantly amend and update his/her understanding of things. Dr. Hoeh was nothing if not honest, and totally lacking in the kind of pride and vanity that keeps ordinary mortals from admitting error.
For example, though often ridiculed these days for early works such as his Compendium of World History, I believe he himself considered them “immature.”
Let others be dogmatic- Dr Hoeh will be remembered, hopefully, as an inspiring pragmatist who dedicated his life to learning.
Binghamton, New York
In Memory of Dr. Hoeh
We are seeing a whole generation of men that were our leaders in the Worldwide Church of God, one by one take their rest and wait for a resurrection. With Dr. Hoeh I have good memories. I remember him especially because when we read the Plain Truth Magazine in the early 60’s, dad was enthralled by his articles but could never pronounce his name. Dr. Hoeh, promised to come and visit Dad. Dad died before Dr. Hoeh was able to visit Dad. He nevertheless kept his promise and visited Mom on his way to Central Asia. He was honestly a humble person.
From my perspective I will tell you why I and others respected him so much. Whether his interpretations of scripture were accurate or not, is not the issue. He was very tolerant of others. He was comfortable with Buddhists, Moslems and Seventh Day Adventists. He was a simple man that could be comfortable with the rich and the poor.
How is Herman Hoeh going to be judged by God.? Its very simple. It is a judgment that is found in the Gospels—When I was hungry, you fed me, when I was naked, ;you clothed me, when I was in prison, you visited me. Its not by perfection but by a serving giving heart.—shaped by the Spirit of God. To me that is the Gospel. I really loved Dr. Hoeh. May we see him again!
As many of you already know, news came this past Sunday of the death of Dr. Herman L. Hoeh. He would have been 76 on December 3, 2004. He lived a full and productive life which greatly impacted many of us in the Church of God.
Herman Hoeh was my very first roommate in Ambassador College in the winter of 1949/1950. Just the two of us shared a room. That was the beginning of a deep friendship which lasted for over 55 years. He was different from anyone I’d ever known before. He was extremely organized, studious and kind. He shared with me—or I was able to observe—many helpful practices regarding study, research, prayer and diligence. His personal kindness to Church members and students was legendary. At a time when a number were not getting their paychecks regularly or were underpaid in the Work, people would sometimes hear a noise at their front door. Upon opening the door, they would notice two large grocery bags filled with very nutritious food. Sometimes they had no way of knowing who it was. But, upon inquiring of others, they would find that this had happened before with others who stepped out on their front walkway to see—perhaps half way down the block—Dr. Hoeh quietly getting into his car and disappearing.
As the first male graduate of Ambassador College, Dr. Hoeh came to be regarded as the "Dean of the Ministry." He and I were both ordained December 20, 1952, by Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong as Evangelists. However, as the senior to us in the Work, Dr. Hoeh was ordained first, then Raymond Cole, then Dick Armstrong, then my Uncle Dr. C. Paul Meredith and last and least, myself—as it should have been. He began teaching classes at Ambassador College even in his senior year and, over his career undoubtedly taught thousands of Ambassador College students. Since Mr. Armstrong turned the entire Theology Department over to Herman Hoeh and me in the autumn of 1953, virtually all students from then on for several years had to have us as theology instructors. Dr. Hoeh’s razor sharp mind, his penetrating insights into history and related matters, made him a most interesting and stimulating instructor.
Dr. Hoeh also was a vital part of the editorial team when we were finally able to regularly publish the Plain Truth starting early in 1953. Before that, due to finances and the fact that Mr. Armstrong had to do everything himself, some years there were only three or four issues and at no time was there a complete ten or twelve issues. Dr. Hoeh had a wide range of interests and was very helpful in the early phases of the international work of the Church, the foreign language editions of the magazine, helping establish some of the archeological projects in which Ambassador College students were involved and many other activities.
We ... remember and honor the contributions of this remarkable human being who served so well for so many years in the Work of God. Herman Hoeh was a dear friend to me and to many, many others. His personal kindnesses will never be forgotten.
November 27, 2004
From Gerhard Marx
Although I haven't been in direct contact with Dr Hoeh for the last 8 years, we did spend some time together in England prior to that time. We did discuss matters pertaining to the Work when he attended the Board of Trustees meetings when I was a board member until I resigned when I left Worldwise for United.
In my personal contact with Dr Hoeh, I found him a person always at ease with himself and he never made you feel second rate. You became aware that he had only your interest at heart and I don't recall him ever having a harsh word or speaking negatively about an individual.
Most of the tributes have really captured the essence of Dr. Hoeh. I'd like to salute him as a great internationalist---someone with a heart for the little guy and the little country. Your trip with him to the USSR showed him as he was--no illusions about Communism yet sympathetic to the Russian people. Those articles were written druing one of the deepest deep freezes of the Cold War and it deserves to be reread as a model of sympathy and empathy. This old world needs all the comitted internationalists it can get and its lost a great one. Roger Lippross remembers Dr. Hoeh sitting there valiantly editing while he was about to be removed as Perpetually Prominent Editor at the PT. You can't keep a good man down--he showed up again in 1976 as WCG's sponsor of the Pygmy Fund--remember that one?
He and John Halford gave the magazine an international perspective in the 1980s through their International Desk--saluting countries such as Costa Rica that did not have an army or Haiti, etc etc. This gave the PT a rare empathy and international clout that few magazines could match. I well remember him visiting us in Toronto about 1990 pulling the whole PT out of his pocket and spreading it out on our living room floor--editing away.
His office was next to mine at Editorial from 1993-1996 and never was heard a discouraging word. Someone said it best--he knew that fighting never gets you where or what you want, you only move to a new level of problems. Last word I had was two months ago when he was the only one I coud reach about a tribute to Lucy Martin. The last time I saw him was Tuesday before his death steaming across campus, head down, one hand in his jacket pocket on his way to a board meeting (I think). We've lost the Grand Old Man of the WCG and there'll never be another like him.
Michelle (Rasmussen)RagethSt. Paul, MN
My prayers go out to the Hoeh family. I was blessed to grow up in Pasadena and have Anneliese as a close friend and classmate at Imperial. We would go up on her roof and sit out in the sun, while discussing all of the things that young girls discuss. I felt very welcome in their home, and could see that they had a close, loving relationship. Dr. Hoeh will be missed by all.
Dave and Hinke Gilbert and sons,
One of our fondest memories of Dr. Hoeh was when he and his wife stayed with us in Iowa about 11 or 12 years ago. Our son David, about 9 or 10 at the time, was being picky with his food at dinner. Dr. Hoeh, noticing that he had left food on his plate, asked, "David--are you going to eat that?" David replied, "No, Dr. Hoeh, I'm full." The next words we heard were "Thank-you," as Dr. Hoeh took David's plate, put it down in front of himself and began to eat what was left.
Unconventional, to be sure, but Dr. Hoeh was a humble, content, delightful, considerate man who always made us feel personally valued as human beings. We will always have a warm spot in our hearts for him and look forward to being re-united with him in the future.
November 26, 2004
From Mike Snyder --
It was a surprise and with not a little sadness that we learned of the death of Herman L. Hoeh. Like many others, I had the personal good fortune to work with him many times when I was in Pasadena. He was as eclectic as they come, but he was also a singularly humble person to whom no task was beneath him. My experiences with Dr. Hoeh, as I’m certain many others can say, ranged widely from the outrageously humorous to the profoundly somber. He taught me quite a bit. On Thanksgiving Day, here are a few of those experiences:
--Although I had talked briefly with Dr. Hoeh many times as an AC student in the 1970s, I had never spent any real time with him until I was sent over to his Hall of Administration office in the Fall of 1979.
Dr. Hoeh was on the phone when I arrived, and he motioned that he would just be a moment. I took the time to examine the many shelves of books he had. I was struck by the fact that he had the entire collection of the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew series. I asked him about it, thinking that they were intended to be donated.
He replied that they were his, to my great surprise. His explanation? “The ability to read is a gift. What we place into our minds by using this gift must be selected with care, as everything we read influences us. Those books [Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew] are simple but satisfying for a tired mind desiring entertainment. They always end with justice being served. In my view, they represent a suitable alternative to the rubbish that many unfortunately prefer.”
--Dr. Hoeh’s legendary capacity for extremely hot and spicy foods never ceased to amaze me. Once, my sister Kathy accidentally switched the cayenne pepper requirements for her organic chili recipe. Instead of a teaspoon, she put in a full cup of cayenne pepper. Unable to eat it, she canned it and gave it to me (I like spicy foods). At lunchtime, I heated some up in the Editorial Services microwave. It nearly killed me.
Dr. Hoeh tried it and pronounced it the “best chili I’ve had in a long while.” I gave him five Mason jars full of this inedible, near-lethal concoction. A few days later he returned the clean jars, stating that he and Mrs. Hoeh liked it so much, they had it for breakfast everyday!
--Once Dr. Hoeh noticed a scholarly book on Egypt on my desk at Editorial. “I don’t recall loaning you this copy,” he said, picking it up. I replied that I had purchased it while at the British Museum during the Feast. “Ah yes,” he said approvingly. “And I am certain your reading of it has been beneficial. As you and I know, one gains far more utility from a book in actually having read it, as opposed to employing such a work as an office ornament to give the appearance of intellectualism.” As a then 29-year-old “senior” writer for The Plain Truth, I never forgot that lesson.
--When asked a question that concerned the past in some form, Dr. Hoeh usually opened with the phrase “If memory serves…” Once I asked him why. He replied: “It’s the only way to have an honest conversation. No one possesses perfect memory. If you reply to a question without the facts in front of you or imminently fresh in your mind, then you can chose to be either arrogant or honest.”
--Finally, the most profound bit I ever heard from Dr. Hoeh was this: I had written a draft of a Plain Truth article in 1983 that included the account of Loma Armstrong’s challenge to Herbert Armstrong about the Sabbath and how Mr. Armstrong’s attempt to use the Bible as a defense had led to him accepting the Bible as divine authority. Dr. Hoeh had struck it out in his edits.
Sitting in his tiny office in Editorial Services (Dr. Hoeh humbly and personally chose that space and refused any larger, more expansive office), I asked him why.
“Mr. Snyder,” he said, using the “Mr.” that always heralded the fact that I was about to receive an important lesson, “you should realize by now that the Sabbath challenge as it relates to the conversion of Herbert Armstrong is but a ‘happy illusion.’
“What led to the conversion and change of Herbert Armstrong was simply this: in a time of severe need, Mr. Armstrong fervently prayed for relief and guidance. To his great astonishment, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob answered.”
Dr. Hoeh was a man of humility and a true champion of diversity. He will be missed.
Michael Snyder, Indianapolis, IN
From James McBride
Greetings from England. While I worked at the Bricket Wood campus in the 60/70s my wife and I 'entertained' Dr Hoeh in our home in one of the small College-owned cottages. He sat in our kitchen eating home-made bread and (pretending!) he enjoyed it. While the great and the good were living high in a posh hotel for breakfast he was in his room heating lentils on the radiator. I also steered him around UK bookshops - always wondering when he would stop for lunch!! He entertained John Hopkinson and me in his home in CA - with a glass of refreshing goat's milk from his herd.
A fine man and an example for all. We, certainly, shall miss him.
From John Gill
Dr. Hoeh visited the Waco, TX, WCG back in the late 1980's. It was a double service with a.m. and p.m. services. Something he said in the a.m. service inspired my daughter who was about 5 at the time to draw a picture of a nature scene. She presented him with the picture before lunch. After lunch, when he began to speak again, he took a few minutes to show the congregation the picture and to thank her for it. He genuinely appreciated it. That was the only time I met Dr. Hoeh, but that incident endeared me to the man. Critics can say what they may, but from my perspective, this was one fine man.
From Jared Olar
Your obituary of Herman Hoeh probably sums up my own thoughts and feelings about him as well. He'll be remembered in COG and ex-COG circles as an enigma, and an Armstrongist minister who was, it appears, refreshingly un-ambitious ... I'm grateful that he helped spark my interest in ancient and medieval history, or rather helped me discover that the study of such things can be a source of joy...
From Giving and SharingThe lanky minister walked slowly towards the podium, as over 10,000 people waited in anticipation for his sermon to begin. Before reaching the lectern, he stopped, leaned over, and picked up a piece of paper that someone had carelessly littered on the floor. Dr. Herman Hoeh put the scrap into his pocket, arrived at the speaker's stand, and paused, as the audience sheepishly squirmed in their seats. Before opening his mouth, he had "preached" one of the most powerful messages I have ever "heard." It is a message that few professed Bible believers will heed.<
From Dr. John MerrittThis is certainly a loss to us all.He was really one of the true "heroes of the faith" in our time, and always an example of excellence in scholarship linked to strong personal faithfulness. And his reputation of accomplishing so much while idealizing the simple, plain life style, of not being encumbered by stuff, of loving and serving the common folk, regardless of status.... are all wonderful examples to us all.Although all us ol' timers always knew who he was, the younger generation (after 80s) often did not even know the name.When one of my younger kids asked one of the older ones, "Who's Dr Hoeh"The older one said, "He's the Mr Spock of the WWG" . The younger one clearly understood, being also versed in Star Trek personalities.I told Dr Hoeh of this comment, and he smiled quietly, also completely understanding.Good bye Dr Hoeh. See you in that better resurrection.John Merritt
From John Brian Heath
From the moment I knew who he was, I had a fascination with Dr. Hoeh. I stood in awe of his eclectic interests. As a teenager not yet attending church, I searched high and low to locate his legendary Compendium of World History. When I finally tracked down a copy, I was a bit disappointed that it was so hard to follow, but nevertheless, it helped cultivate an interest in history that I retain to this day.
My first opportunity to meet Dr. Hoeh was in the spring of 1988, when he and his wife visited Raleigh, North Carolina for the Days of Unleavened Bread. I had only been attending church a few short months, and to meet Dr. Hoeh was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up.
During the time I was in Big Sandy, Dr. Hoeh would visit campus from time to time. I remember the extended announcement he made to inform us that Dr. Russell Duke had been named as Ambassador’s sixth president.
We all sat there wondering “When is he going to get to the point?” But we all knew that was Dr. Hoeh’s style, even when it came to major announcements like this one. It was a privilege to have him in the audience at our graduation in 1997 – the final commencement conducted in Big Sandy. He had been there from the start in 1947, and now he was the only one from those earliest days to watch it draw to a close fifty years later. What I’ll treasure the most from Graduation Weekend was being able to introduce him to my parents and hear him tell them how he appreciated the contributions I had made to Ambassador.
Earlier this year, I was in California for a work related trip. I had not been to Pasadena in a few years, and didn’t know when I’d get another opportunity. I called Dr. Hoeh and asked if he’d be willing to meet for breakfast. Even though we had met several times in the past, I had never had the opportunity to talk with him at length. Like so many other people I’m sure, there were lots of things I wanted to ask him about. He was very open to getting together, and he took me to a small café in Altadena, not far from Mountain View Cemetery. We talked about a wide range of subjects – everything from the subject of my dissertation, to Sabbatarian history in America, the AIDS crisis, the early years of Ambassador, and many other things. It was a privilege to be able to see him one final time.
There were many things I learned from Dr. Hoeh. He certainly wasn’t wasteful. I remember writing to him several times as a teenager. He would always write his response at the bottom of my letter, and enclosed it in “Youth’81” envelopes (and this was 1987 as I remember!).
When we met for breakfast that morning in January, he looked across at my plate after I had finished and asked “Are you going to eat that avocado?”. When I told him no, without warning he reached across the table with his fork and took it himself! Perhaps most importantly, Dr.
Hoeh knew how to be a peacemaker. He knew how to rise above conflict and disagreements. And what an important lesson we can all learn there.
In a few months, I will be completing my doctoral degree in educational administration at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. When I think about all the people throughout my life who have influenced and inspired me to be where I am today – Dr. Hoeh stands near the top of the list. I hope I’ll be able to pass on that influence to others.
John Brian Heath
Ambassador University – Class of 1997
Ed.D. Candidate – The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Tribute to Dr. Herman L. Hoeh from Victor Kubik
Dr. Hoeh was my mentor and the most valuable teacher I’ve ever had on the subject of practical Christianity. My training from him began in my freshman year of Ambassador College. He asked me to accompany him and his wife Isabell on a remarkable seven week trip to the Soviet Union where I served as his translator and photographer. Our friendship continued for the next 37 years. From how he treated all people I see why the words “Of genuine heart and rare understanding” will be inscribed on his headstone.
Dr. Hoeh loved humanity. He treated everyone as a though they indeed were made in God’s image and destined for immortality. God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son for mankind. In like manner Dr. Hoeh sacrificed his life for so many. He wanted to do his part in the betterment of those who came into his life, especially the common people. This he did with the greatest humility. People tell many “Dr. Hoeh stories” – most of them deal with his unique manner and interaction with the diversity of humanity which he loved.
One of Dr. Hoeh’s children summarized his life by declaring that he was a servant. He supported the underdogs, the less privileged. He shunned the elite and those who expected to be served. For me personally, his kindness to our family through the death of both my parents was his greatest service to us. I will never forget that.
Here is a brief summary of what I learned from my mentor Dr. Hoeh:
1. Value all people. Everyone is made in God’s image and has the potential to be in His family. Value mankind as God values mankind by thinking the best and giving every opportunity for a person to rise to their best. Dr. Hoeh always spoke of people with dignity and respect both publicly and privately.
2. Serve mankind with humility. Put others ahead of you at your expense. Seek out those who need a hand. Not all will understand or appreciate the good that you do, but realize that doing good is not between you and them; it is between you and God.
3. Seek peace and strive to resolve conflict by giving up your position and status. Sometimes I wondered why Dr. Hoeh didn’t fight more for his causes. His philosophy was that the fight was not his and that human battle did not achieve ultimate peace.
May God give you rest from the turbulence of our times, Dr. Hoeh. In the resurrection I want to see my parents first, but then I want to find you and give you a big hug. You are truly a person of “genuine heart and rare understanding.”
The most important contribution Dr Hoeh made to my life was the sermon I still have the tape on the spiritual differences and it's application between the old covenant and the new one. After listening to it countless times, I am a slow learner, I eventually got it. What a gem of information!! It definitely helped with the storms that came.
November 23, 2004
From David Sandland
I am sure many of us can recall stories and events that showed the personal side of Dr. Hoeh...how he was a caring and connected man.
Many, many years ago I visited my brother-in-law in the US...I believe he was in Kentucky at the time. One of the members told a story of Dr. Hoeh coming to the area for a Church visit and was to stay at her house. Of course she was all in a flap...cleaned the house spotlessly. And even went to the expense and effort of buying new sheets for the guest bed. In the morning she not iced the bed was made up and told Dr. Hoeh he didn't have to go to all that trouble to make up the bed.
Make the bed? No, I couldn't sleep in such a new and beautiful bed...I just slept on the floor!
And John Larkin could recount the time in Bricket Wood he was running late cleaning up after the mid-day HolyDay meal. He expected to miss the afternoon service. To his amazement, Dr Hoeh came along and grabbed the other side of the garbage bin...come on, we'll get all this cleaned up so we can both hear the afternoon's message.
Ah, fond memories of a real nice man.
November 23, 2004
From Bob PetryI just found out that Dr. Herman Hoeh has died.
In remembering my days at college and my memories of Dr. Hoeh, it really struck me at what we all have lost over the years. The RCG was, in fact, a real driving force in striving to understand the Scriptures.
Sure, it wasn't all understood correctly, but I have never seen in any organization or people since then the drive to study that book and apply it to ones own life, and to tell the world about it. That has been lost now, including some very wonderful people, warts and all!!
If it hadn't been for Dr. Hoeh, I might never have married my wonderful wife Arlene. Dr. Hoeh encouraged me all the way, while another minister tried to dissuade me. I listened to Dr. Hoeh, and he was right. She was meant for me and vice versa.
I shall always have very fond memories of Dr. Hoeh, from times in his classes, discussions and counseling in his office, to visits to his home. He was truly a wonderful brilliant man.
We have all lost a brilliant light in our struggle through the darkness of this human life.
It will be a great day to meet him again in the resurrection, along with many others who have preceded him. What a day when we all can stand before the Father and Son as brothers and sisters working throughout eternity together.
All the best,
November 23, 2004
Yair Davidy praises HL Hoeh
The Passing of a Scholar (H. L. HOEH) Herman L. HOEH has just passed away. H. L. HOEH greeted the first publication of "The Tribes" enthusiastically and recommended his acquaintances and students to buy it. He was one of our first supporters.
He was the author of a history of the world that relied heavily on traditional and mythological sources many of which were relatively unknown and difficult to come by. His work is an invaluable fount of source material and well worth reading.
Herman L. HOEH, "Compendium of World History", A Dissertation Presented to The Faculty of the Ambassador College Graduate School of Theology In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Doctor of Theology, 1962 (1963-1965, 1967 Edition), USA.
We did not know H. L. HOEH personally but spoke to him a few times on the phone and found him to be civil, considerate, and discerning. May he rest in peace.