In Memory

Kermit Westerberg

Kermit Westerberg

Our classmate, Kermit Westerberg, passed on April 2, 2021.

Kermit Berndt Westerberg, 75, beloved son of the late Wesley and Lorraine Westerberg; loving brother of Kurt (Renee) Westerberg and Kristine Westerberg; adored uncle of Sonja Westerberg (Ruben Tapia), Lukas Westerberg (Sarah Quintenz), and Stefan Westerberg; proud great uncle of Madeline Westerberg; a dear friend of many. Kermit was a retired librarian and archivist, having held positions at Uppsala University Library (Sweden), Augustana College (IL), Yale University Library (New Haven, CT), and with Thomson-Gale (Woodbridge, CT).   He had also been active as a translator and editor of Swedish-language texts since 1970 with publications in the field of Swedish American library history and immigration history. He was a graduate of Oberlin College, Yale Divinity School and the University of Minnesota-MinneapolisA poet and raconteur, Kermit will be greatly missed by family and friends for his charm, wit and kindness.  In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. Paul's Lutheran Church, Evanston, IL, Christ Episcopal Church, New Haven, Connecticut, or a charity of choice.  A private service will be held, with a memorial service to be arranged later.  For information: Wm H. Scott Funeral Home at 847-251-8200. 

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04/09/21 09:31 AM #8    

Ruth Gross

Kermit and I shared a few classes, and he was such a lovely individual--caring, friendly, and smart. He is one of the people I remember well from ETHS days.  He died too soon.

04/09/21 10:42 AM #9    

Paula Massey

I do remember Kermit. I trust his family has many memories to bring comfort during this time. 

04/09/21 11:26 AM #10    

Julianne Farley

I am so sad to hear this. Kermit was one of those people who was just plain great to know, even when you very rarely saw him. A good, smart, fun, interesting, really nice fellow.
I last ran into him (in the early-1990s I think) at a tiny Vietnamese lunch buffet in Moline, IL. I was in the area to audit several of the quad-cities newspapers, and had no idea Kermit was at Augustana College then. But suddenly there he was in the line to select lunch items, looking just like he did in junior high and high school. It was so much fun to catch up with him and learn what he was up to, which was fascinating and full of Sweden. Through my parents I knew someone who was a noted Swedish history scholar who Kermit knew all about and whose works he had read, and that I had traveled in various areas of Sweden numerous times, so we had a good time talking about that, too.
He is gone way too soon, but I have no doubt he has left a long list of happy and treasured associations with many people beind him. He will be missed.

04/09/21 01:35 PM #11    

Alice Rosengard

I felt a stab when I read that Kermit was gone. He was pure of heart--one of the sweetest, most wholesome and sincere people I've ever known. I'm glad to have had the chance to visit with him briefly at the 2014 reunion. He had hardly changed in 50 years. Rest in peace, Kermit.

04/09/21 01:47 PM #12    

Joan Hirshman

Kermit and I were wonderful friends all through our years at ETHS. We were reunited during our 25th reunion and remained text buddies for many years. With Kermit in Connecticut and me in Washington State, we compared the beauty of local magnolia trees. He was truly a part of my heart. Rest In Peace, my dear friend. ❣️

04/09/21 01:49 PM #13    

Karen Holby (Fornell)

May the angels carry you to paradise Kermit, dear childhood friend.  Always such a sweet, kind person. 

04/10/21 02:55 PM #14    

Vicki Hlavacek

I am so sad about the passing of my very dear friend Kermit.I had just spoken to him only a few weeks ago to see how he was doing, and he gave me the bad news that his cancer had spread. His sister sent me an e-mail last Saturday saying that Kermit had passed at 6 am on his birthday. I've known Kermit since the 3rd grade. He was so funny, kind, and gentle, with a great dry wit. I will miss him terribly. Rest in peace my special friend.❤

04/10/21 07:27 PM #15    

Susan Holsten (Blumer)

Alas the " Heavenly Gatekeeper " is there entering into the gates(Wasn't that in Our Town) one of the fabulous plays by our always talented drama students. What a great guy he was! Always a big smile and always a kind word for everyone. Kermit, you were a gift to us all. You will be missed. Thinking of your enduring smile and smiling that you touched my life and others.❤️


04/11/21 12:04 PM #16    

Patrick Furlong

I knew Kermit from singing together in the Mastersingers and ETHS Choir. As others have said already, he was a truly nice guy, who always had a smile and a kind word for everyone. I don't recall the exact situation, but he introduced me to a fascinating and infectious album called "Missa Luba", which included a mass in Congolese style along with several native songs, sung by Le Troubadours du Roi Baudouin. (Search on Google to find excerpts on YouTube, and you can buy it on Amazon.) If I remember correctly, I went to his family's house in NE Evanston--behind Northwestern, I think--and he gave me a copy of the album, which I still have. I think about Kermit every time I play it. Farewell, Kermit. Peace!

04/11/21 05:07 PM #17    

Mary-Nona Saccoman (Hudson)

I am so sad to hear about Kermit's passing.  Unlike others who can talk about knowing classmates since kindergarten, I didn't even move to Evanston until 1961.  I was rather shy and didn't get to know all that many people.  I didn't meet Kermit until senior year, in Mr. Males' English class.  There I got to know one extraordinary, kind, inquisitive, talented, thoughtful person by the name of Kermit Westerberg.  The last time I was in Evanston -- for the 40th reunion -- we got to spend a lot of time together catching up.  I am so sorry I will not get to catch up with him again.


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