Herman Siff, 85, printer for The SunHerman Siff, who...

September 15, 1996

Herman Siff, 85, printer for The Sun

Herman Siff, who earned a college degree after his retirement as a printer for The Sun, died of cancer Thursday at his home in Pikesville. He was 85.

Born in Baltimore, Mr. Siff dropped out of City College at 17 and took a job as an apprentice printer, following in his father's footsteps. After his retirement 46 years later, Mr. Siff was urged by his wife to resume his education, and he began taking courses at the Northwest extension center of Catonsville Community College in Owings Mills.

"It was a sort of ego thing, something to occupy the mind," Mr. Siff recalled shortly before he earned an associate in arts degree in 1981, at the age of 70. "I started with public speech, sociology, anthropology, real estate, a series of history courses and -- listen to this -- a course in the history of American architecture. I even started Spanish, but I didn't have the ear for it."

Mr. Siff never intended to graduate, but Catonsville officials added up his credits and discovered that he needed just one more course to earn the degree. He squeaked through psychology with a D and declared himself "on Cloud 9."

Mr. Siff didn't earn his high school equivalency diploma until after his graduation from the community college.

Colleagues at the newspaper remembered Mr. Siff as an avid reader who could quote Byron and Shakespeare. In retirement, he continued his interests in sports and reading, and enjoying his six grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

He is also survived by his wife of 59 years, the former Evelyn Levy; a sister, Pebby Polk of Charlotte, N.C.; and a daughter, Susan Schevker of Baltimore.

Services were held Friday.

Pub Date: 9/15/96

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