The community of Rockne mourns the loss of Herman Frank Goertz, who was called home on February 20, 2017. He was the owner of Leon's Country Store, a farmer and rancher, and friend to all who were lucky enough to get to know him.
Herman started running Leon's in 1983 when he was just 21, and always welcomed visitors with a strong handshake and a warm smile. He learned the value of hard work from his grandfather and namesake, Herman P. Goertz, and of course his father, the late Leon Goertz. He spent many days in his childhood driving a tractor or working at his father's hog farm. He was especially close with his grandmother, Mary Goertz, who helped to raise him and instill traditional German values and Catholic faith.
After the death of his father in 1990, Herman had to step up and become a patriarch for the family. He was always a pillar of strength for friends and loved ones. No matter what was going on in his own life, he was there to lend an understanding ear or some sage advice. Just as his father before him, he loved people of all walks of life and never knew a stranger. He recognized how special Leon's was and if he could help someone, he would do it without question. "That's what this place is for" he would say about Leon's, if someone needed a venue to hold a fundraiser or benefit.
Herman was especially well-known for his singing talents and soulful voice. He played countless parties and events throughout the years, performing traditional country favorites and his original songs as well. He started playing guitar and singing as a teenager, and spent many nights working on his craft at Leon's with fellow musicians. He always had a house band, most notably the Roadhouse Dogs, and he kept the dance floor full and lively when he played.
Herman also gave of his time and musical talents to Sacred Heart Catholic Church, where he was a lifelong member. He played at mass, and was often asked to sing for weddings and funerals of loved ones. He could perform "Go Rest High on that Mountain" and "Amazing Grace" like no one else and no matter where he played, he always ended his sets with "Amazing Grace."
We all have our own special images of Herman, and one that stands out is him kneeling to pray in front of Our Lady of Prompt Succor, the statue that his grandparents donated to the church. He always wore a medal of Our Lady of Prompt Succor, a special gift from his aunt LaVerne Till, and never passed the statue without stopping to pray.
Herman loved motorcycles and grew up racing dirt bikes and riding in the Rockne Enduros. Leon's is beloved by motorcycle enthusiasts and always a popular stop for bike runs and weekend riders. Herman's son, Nathan Goertz, carries on the passion for dirt bikes as well, and Herman spent many Saturdays watching him race in the professional class.
Herman's main source of pride was two sons, Nathan and Leon. He spoke to them each day and always smiled when he talked about them.
Herman is survived by his sons Nathan Goertz and wife Kimberly, Leon Goertz (and mother, Cheryl Smarr), brother Jimmy Goertz and Roenah Adams, sister Lea Ann Lee and husband Mark, and the love of his life, Grace Bartsch. He is also survived by countless extended family members and his "Leon's family."
He is proceeded in death by his father, Leon Goertz, his mother, Charlene Cox Hutson, and grandparents, Herman and Mary Goertz.
Herman left this life surrounded by his loved ones, who said prayers and sang "Amazing Grace" in his honor.
Arrangements under the direction of Marrs-Jones-Newby Funeral Home, Bastrop, TX.