Herbert Rommel

Obituary of Herbert Rommel

Retired Navy Captain Herbert Fox Rommel, Jr. ended an exceptional life on June 10, 2007. After hosting his annual Iris Party held in honor of his late wife, Mary Heins Rommel, to whom he was married for 56 years, he passed away in his sleep. Captain Rommel was the son of the late Herbert Fox and Mary Cecelia Rommel of Lansdowne, Pennsylvania. He was a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania School of Accounts and Finance with Honors, Boston University and the Naval War College. A World War II veteran who served on the USS Oklahoma, Captain Rommel was an Ensign when on December 7th, 1941, the ship was attacked at Pearl Harbor. His heroic words and actions during that time have been recorded in numerous articles and books. During the war, he served on the destroyer USS Gridley, earning twelve battle stars and a Bronze Star medal with combat V. He then commanded the USS Wilkes DD441. Captain Rommel commanded five ships and the Naval Station in Washington, DC. After retirement, he and his wife made their home in Newport where he served on the Zoning Board for twenty years. He was Superintendent of the Sunday School and Treasurer of Trinity Church, Treasurer of Seaman's Church Institute and President of the Board of Nina Lynette Home. He and his wife were contributors to the restoration of the Point section of Newport. They purchased Arnold Art Store in 1968, which is still owned by the Rommel family. Rommel was also a member of the Rotary Club and a founder of the Photographer's Guild of the Newport Art Association. Captain Rommel loved the sea and racing. He retired from racing Rhodes 19 sailboats at age 90, with a championship record. He was the past Commodore of the US. Naval Sailing Association and the Coaster's Harbor Navy Yacht Club, and a member of the New York Yacht Club. He leaves a son, William Fox Rommel of Newport, a daughter Beth R. Graham of Newport, a daughter Dr.Victoria Rommel of Wadesboro, N.C., seven grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. A memorial service will be held at Trinity Church on Thursday, June 14th at 10:00 a.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Seaman's Church Institute or the Nina Lynette Home. Burial will be in Arlington National Cemetery. Funeral arrangements by the O'Neill-Hayes Funeral Home, 465 Spring Street, Newport. For information please visit, www.onhfh.com
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