Sophia M. Herman, Dundalk baker

March 30, 1994|By Fred Rasmussen | Fred Rasmussen,Sun Staff Writer

Sophia M. Herman, a familiar figure for more than 30 years at the family-owned Herman's Bakery, died Sunday at Francis Scott Key Medical Center of a cerebral hemorrhage. She was 79.

Known as Sophie, she was stricken while working Saturday evening in the Holabird Avenue store of the bakery chain that she co-owned with her husband, Harry J. Herman Sr., whom she married in 1940 and who survives her.

Herman's Bakeries Inc. currently operates six stores throughout the Baltimore area.

"She was 100 percent Herman's Bakery," said Mary Brown, a decorator who has worked at the bakery since 1990. "She was a very nice lady who was always smiling. She worked right alongside of her husband seven days a week and got her uniform as dirty as we did."

Mrs. Herman was known for her vitality and stamina, and according to Mrs. Brown, "She'd train the new salesgirls and would outwork them. When they were tired, she was still going strong."

"The bakery was her entire life," said her son, Harry J. Herman Jr. of Baltimore. "She and my father worked tremendously long hours and days. She was in charge of sales, and would check with the other stores to see how they were functioning. My mother's life's blood was being the watchdog of the family business."

The original Herman's Bakery, a mom-and-pop operation established in 1923 on Fleet Street in Southeast Baltimore by Mr. Herman's parents, remained relatively unchanged until the younger Hermans took over and expanded the business in 1958.

The former Sophia M. Pastalow, the daughter of Polish immigrants, was reared in Curtis Bay.

A Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 10 a.m. today at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen, 5300 N. Charles St., with interment in Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens and Mausoleum, 200 Padonia Road.

Other survivors include two daughters, Cassandra H. Coyle and Harriet H. Law, both of Baltimore; two sisters, Mary Biniasz of Los Angeles and Matilda Bish of Baltimore; eight grandchildren; and a great-grandchild.

Memorial donations may be made to the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen Preservation Trust Fund, 5300 N. Charles St., Baltimore 21210.

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