Tributes to Dr. Herman L. Hoeh
(this page is from www.kubik.org)
February 3, 2005
Aliese Roemer -- granddaughter of Dr.
Everyone knew Opa as Dr. Hoeh but to me,
he always was and always will be my Opa. I didn’t think of him as superman per
say yet I always held him with great regard and care.
Opa, which means grandpa in German, was
always an intelligent and caring person. He was always concerned with we
grandkids’ well being. Since I was home schooled, Opa would always ask if I had
all the text books I needed. He wanted to know what I was learning and was
always eager to help. The one thing he was the best at helping with was
correcting my English papers. They would always be returned well-read and
well-marked with red correction pencil. I attribute my knack for spelling and
grammar to Opa.
One conversation that I think my parents
and I will always remember happened back in 1991. We were at my uncle’s house
during the Feast and Opa called to see how we were doing. My dad replied that
“we’re just hanging around”. Opa corrected him by saying “Hanging around like a
group of monkeys? No, you should say ‘We’re relaxing’.” To this day, I still ask
myself if I’m using the correct grammar in how I speak and write.
Opa’s vast knowledge of other cultures
and people helped me learn to enjoy different cultures and foods. I remember
fondly the Thai restaurants we would frequent when my family and I visited him
and Oma (which means grandma). It’s always been one of my favorite foods.
He taught me etiquette and that you
should tip people no matter if they’re serving you food or not. The most vivid
memory I have is when we were shopping at a music box shop. It took me a while
to finally settle on which music box I wanted. When we were through purchasing,
Opa told me to tip the lady for her services. His generosity and kindness
towards others has encouraged me extend those traits to others as well.
My favorite time will always be just
being with Opa and Oma. Whether it was going to museums, bookstores or just the
health food store, I always enjoyed their company.
From my memories of Opa, I’d say he
lived his life for the good of others. He was always there to lend a helping
hand and take care of those in need.
I want to thank everyone for their
prayers for our family, especially for Oma. I’ve enjoyed reading the tributes
everyone has written. Thank you, especially to Mr. Kubik for posting the photos
and tributes which have been a joy to read.
Last but not least, thank you to Oma for
being selfless and sharing Opa with everyone they met. Her love and support were
a big influence on how Opa took care of others.
Proud granddaughter of Dr. Hoeh,
January 13, 2005
From Susan Hermmann
Some of the readers of this page of tributes to Dr. Hoeh will be looking for
words from my father Kenneth Herrmann. Many members knew them to be friends,
fellow students, and colleagues of the early days of Ambassador College and the
Work, as well associating them because of their similar interests in ancient
history (my Dad's interests and GN & PT articles leaning toward geology and
astronomy and how they related to discerning the truth about ancient times).
Unfortunately, since Dad's two heart attacks last year, his long term memory has
become more impaired as has his ability to write and express himself. I have
been trying to raise some memories of Dr. Hoeh from him, but so far all he has
been able to say is that "losing him is a real blow".
My own memories of Dr. Hoeh are few, aside from his many interesting ( sometimes
even to a child) sermons that he gave in Pasadena. One pleasant childhood memory
stands out vividly, though. When I was about four, I was spending a day with my
Dad at his office and Dr. Hoeh showed up. My memory of him, is of someone who
truly liked kids. I don't think I was used to such friendliness from adults. I
quickly dove behind a chair, much to Dad's and Dr. Hoeh's amusement . How sad it
is to lose such an important figure in my childhood memories.
January 8, 2005
From Frederick Peace, PhD
I matriculated to Ambassador in the summer of 1966, after having studied at home
with WWCG for five years. I had completed graduate school and was working as
professor of Marketing at Iowa Sate University so I was not intimidated by the
academics. But one of the fabled people I was looking forward to studying under
was Dr Hoeh.
His brilliance was noted in his writings, but what would he be like personally?
For years I jealously watched him sit in the front row of Bible Study reading. I
was usually bored out of my mind so focusing on how he handled the sessions was
He seemed oblivious to what was coming from the stage, except frequently Mr.
Armstrong would say. "Isn't that right Dr. Hoeh" or "What was the date on that",
He would just look up and answer the question as if he had heard every previous
I think they call that multi-tasking.
In class his insights were what I longed for -- the material presented was never
an intellectual challenge. I recall a discussion on archeology in which Dr. Hoeh
presented pictures of two combs. They were of African design and labeled as over
ten thousand years different in age -- it was obvious that the latter comb was
of much higher quality in both design and workmanship.
Dr Hoeh's observation is that it only proved one comb carver was a rather clumsy
and careless individual. To him that was all it proved -- the carvers could have
That critical thinking was the gift he shared. I marveled at how the capacity
left him when he researched history as taught by Mr. Armstrong.
This enigma was one of the more difficult I faced as I moved from student to
I also knew him by observation as a father. I wanted to be a good one to my two
boys and he was a model. My first year of "humbling" required that the Professor
work as a gardener. That took me to the Hoeh backyard and time spent with the
Hoeh children -- they were so alive and unafraid, yet fooled into thinking of
goat cheese as a treat. One can't believe what one can learn about parenting as
Frederick Peace, PhD
December 28, 2004
From Robert Macdonald
Our Family’s Remembrances of Herman L. Hoeh
Herman Hoeh life touched
many others and like most, our family has many positive memories of him. One of
my early memories was of watching him traversing the grounds at the Feast of
Tabernacles in Big Sandy during the late 50’s. On the way between the “new
tabernacle” where services were held and the “old tabernacle” dining hall he
picked up trash and deposited it into a proper receptacle. That pretty well
represented the way he was and remained throughout life. Though an evangelist,
he was a humble man, not above the common people, and always lent a hand in what
needed to be done. Always polite and charming, he would greet people with a
cheery “My name is Herman Hoeh, how are you?” He never failed to ask how my
wife, Peggy was. I never heard an unkind word come from his mouth about
As a student at the Pasadena
campus of Ambassador College between 1958 and 1961. I had the opportunity of
attending his classes in Bible and World History. Although occasionally
difficult to comprehend, nevertheless new vistas of knowledge were opened to his
students. He enriched our awareness and appreciation the past as well as
current events. He frequently invited interested students to his house for
forums and informal discussions. He and Isabel were gracious hosts and always
made us feel at home. He freely answered all questions, as cryptic as those
answers may have been. I will always remember the names of ancient historians
such as Xenophon and Manetho. I recall a final project for his World History
students of 1961 was to produce a chart of the Egyptian Pharos according to his
reconstruction of history, a seemingly daunting task! But then he added, “The
only thing I ask is that they not all be identical, so that if I hold any two up
to the light they will not coincide!”
His “reconstruction of
history” was published in 1962 as a two volume “Compendium of World History”
which was his doctoral dissertation at Ambassador College. Later, perhaps
in the late 70’s he came to see that much of his “reconstruction” was wrong, and
he publicly so stated. It says a lot about Herman Hoeh that he had the
intellectual honesty to repudiate a large portion of his life work including his
His sermons, though
occasionally difficult to understand were always interesting. No one ever dosed
off while he was speaking!
Growing up on a chicken farm
near Santa Rosa, California in a German-American family undoubtedly contributed
to shaping Herman Hoeh as man who never lost his connection to common folks,
who preferred to live close to the earth and who epitomized the work ethic.
Another early influence was also present. On more than one occasion his
students heard him explain that he was brought up on “the milk of the Socialist
word”. Students understood this to mean “National Socialism” (Naziism).
Perhaps in reaction against that early teaching he always leaned over backward
to show his opposition to Naziism. This may have contributed to the RCG/WGC’s
proclivity during the 50’s and 60’s to look for a fascist under every bed! The
Church’s perspective on biblical prophecy had a lot to do with this as well.
The 50’s and 60’s seemed to
spawn a mindset of a separation between “us and the world” in RCG/WGC circles.
That mentality was conspicuously absent in Herman Hoeh. He consistently made
contact with many individuals of varied backgrounds and different perspectives,
building bridges across professional, denominational, religious, national and
ethnic lines. One was Rabbi Zvi Ankori who did his doctoral dissertation on the
interpenetration of Judaism and one of the pagan philosophies encountered
anciently by the Jews. He invited Dr. Ankori into his home for an informal
discussion with his students. I felt it to be an honor to be one of those
invited. Dr. Ankori went on to become a well known author on Jewish issues.
Another was Jean Pierre Hallet, the Belgian anthropologist and humanitarian
who publicized the plight of the Pygmies in the Congo. He was author of
Pygmy Kitabu. I saw him on several occasions at fundraisers to help the
Pygmies. He always voiced his appreciation for Herman Hoeh’s help with printing
a brochure on the Pygmies and fundraising assistance for the Pygmy Project.
Another contact was with a Swedish-born biochemist and visionary, Dr. Eric
Eweson. A pioneer in composting and waste management from the 1940’s, Dr.
Eweson’s expertise led to the construction and installation of the “Eweson
Digester” on the Big Sandy campus which turned garbage and other waste into
fertilizer. His talk before an Ambassador student assembly opened my eyes to
the potentialities of composting and the desirability of organic farming.
Another well respected personality, a dentist named Dr. Royal Lee imparted much
useful information at a student assembly on health and nutrition. His company,
Standard Process Laboratories is a producer of high quality nutritional
supplements. Many more contacts could be cited from various fields including
historians, archaeologists and writers. Many people have benefited from the
associates of Herman Hoeh.
Herman Hoeh often spoke of
his friendship with John Weidner, a Seventh Day Adventist, who owned two health
food stores in Pasadena. He affectionately called him “his best friend in the
world”. Mr. Weidner, a Belgian, shared some of his World War II experiences at
an Ambassador student assembly. He was one of the many who rescued Jews during
the Nazi occupation of France. Wanting the best foods for his family, he would
frequently shop at Weidner’s Health Foods. One time my wife, Peggy was there
while he was shopping. After paying, he told the sales lady to “Keep the
change!”, throwing the whole sales staff into turmoil! They did not know how to
handle that! Everyone agreed that Herman Hoeh was a very generous man!
During the late 60’s the
Hoeh’s moved from their South Orange Grove house in Pasadena to La Canada. A
few years later they purchased two houses in Sunland, California. One house for
them and one for his library! He wanted as much as possible to return to his
roots where he could have a garden and keep goats. After moving to Sunland my
wife and I gave them an old refrigerator in which to keep their garden produce
and goat milk. After delivering it in our pick-up truck he stated, “You have
treated us well, and now I have a treat for you!” He treated both of us to a
refreshing glass of cold goat milk!
I spoke by phone with Herman
Hoeh about a month before he died. His mind was as sharp as ever. We chatted
about many things. At first I hesitated to mention my years of research into
the meaning to the Christian of the feast days. Personal theological research
by a lay person was once frowned upon. I did mention that I had felt for many
years that there was much more meaning there than WGC had uncovered. He reacted
favorably. I then said that my research was aided by several books on the
feast days including one that predated HWA’s booklet. He asked who wrote it
and I told him the author was Louis Talbot. He replied that he used to listen
to him on the radio during the 1940’s, and wanted to know if he and any good
insights as to their meaning. I answered that he did. Anyway this shows that
he was open-minded toward new ideas.
My wife and I feel
privileged to have known Herman L. Hoeh. He was a genuinely caring, remarkable
and multi-faceted individual. Our lives were enriched by his, and he will be
December 27, 2004
From John Hopkinson (given at the public memorial on
Mrs. Hoeh, and family, Pastor Holm,
distinguished guests, friends, brethren.
Mrs. Hoeh, I am deeply sensitive of the
great honour of addressing such an audience, in such a location, upon so
momentous an occasion. Even now, he reaches from beyond the veil to afford to
me one more gift.
With the passing of Herman Hoeh, who,
more than anyone except Mr. Armstrong, influenced the Church of God of our
times, the last great teacher, an Era closes.
On graduation in 1967, he invited me to
work for him. It was my privilege to serve him with respect, amazement, and
growing awe, as he opened a whole new world to me, Managing sixty college
departments, editing the PT, working with the press, dealing with Professors of
Archaeology at UCLA, the Bronze Boy at the Getty, bringing Israeli Generals as
guest speakers, Jean-Pierre Hallet, the one-handed Belgian who championed the
Efe Pygmy, in the Ituri forest, Edward Teller, the father of the H-bomb,
Leopold, King of the Belgians, and his display and priceless photographs,
getting Crimond for the new blue hymnal for HWA himself, at his request,
lunching with a rabbi’s son, and having him suddenly recognize we were eating
kosher, when he had ordered lobster, rare book dealers, Blackwell’s of Oxford,
Zeitlin, Vanya Volkoff and Adelheid von Hohenlohe, Dead Sea Scrolls at
Huntington Library actually touching and translating books 400 years old when I
was born, and many exciting and wonderful things.
His teaching and writing are distributed
around the whole world. The impact is unknowable.
To me, he was unfailingly courteous and
kind. He modelled humility and generosity to all around him, which I saw at
first hand in the most sensitive manner. Even from beyond the veil, he reached
back and presented to a last gift – to speak in his honour.
In his poem, “Let us now praise Famous
Men,” Rudyard Kipling couches tribute and honour in words more condign than my
own. I commend it to readers of these tributes.
A College dedicated to preparing young
men to be sent out administering, surveying, encompassing history’s only global
Empire. The instruments; chain, staff, theodolite, an intimate knowledge of
triangles. ‘Servant of the Staff and Chain’ refer to the Survey of India, from
1816 to 1843 by George Everest. He could not know when he commenced at Mean Sea
Level at Cape Comorin, that, walking over the whole sub-continent, in surveying
each mountain, that, 2500 miles to the north, he would identify the highest peak
in the world at 29,029ft .
Sir George stood before kings, bearing
gifts of knowledge, to the precise square yard, of each kingdom to its ruler.
Today we measure position and altitude with lasers, GPS satellites and
computers. Difference then and now: Only 6 ft.
Herman Hoeh, likewise, could not know
the heights to which he would ascend would be. Fittingly, he also visited the
palace in Nepal, in the high Himalaya, as an Ambassador.
Kipling’s words are a touchstone for the
Church of God in our own time, touching every nation in our days; a fitting
epitaph for Herman Ludwig Hoeh, who stood before kings, bearing gifts of
knowledge beyond price.
praise we famous men
Men of little showing
For their work continueth,
And their work continueth,
Broad and deep continueth,
Great beyond their knowing!
From Roger Lippross
Greetings Vic, and friends that may read this, my belated tribute to Dr. Herman
Hoeh. While away on an extended family visit I heard about the loss of a great
leader and man of God. Having now returned home, if I may I would very much like
to add a few thoughts of my own to the many fine tributes that I have read.
My first contact with Dr. Hoeh was in 1968 when Vic Kubik and I worked together
in England duplicating and transferring the wonderful photographs taken in
Africa and what was then the Belgian Congo, by the late King Leopold of Belgium.
It was through Mr. Armstrong's friendship with the King, that Dr. Hoeh became
aware of this treasure trove of African culture. As was typical of him and his
love of diversity, he had to have copies of as many photographs as he could, for
use in The Plain Truth at some time in the future, hence my work with Vic.
When I was transferred to Pasadena in 1973 to work with Dr. Hoeh on the five
(later seven) language editions of the The Plain Truth I found him a delight to
work with. He was one of the very few who really understood what our
International areas needed editorially, and that was so valuable. I had the
great pleasure of working with him over the next 30 plus years on various
international projects and found him to be the leader that he was..
Yes, a great leader, even in his death he brings us lesser mortals together to a
forum such as this to learn by his example how a Christian should be. What a
gift he had. Reading the tributes, it seems we all felt that we had a personal
relationship with him, and the truth is we did. I personally witnessed that this
was not lost on the poor villagers in a third world country or the Oxford
educated company chairman at an exclusive garden party at a mansion in England.
He treated both with the same respect and genuine interest. he cared and they
knew it. He came across to them with warmth and compassion. I also have quite a
few Dr. Hoeh stories having been with him during some very difficult times and
some very unusual overseas situations. His kindness and generosity is of legend.
He and his wife together were always examples to us all in the way they worked
and supported each other.
Dr. Hoeh helped shape church culture, and through his influence in the early
days gave us a world view that is still almost unique amongst other churches, a
legacy that continues on. He will be greatly missed by this pilgrim...but how
marvelous and wonderful that God has set things up so we can enjoy his company
again. A man for all seasons...a man of God...till we meet again.
With deep and abiding respect..
December 17, 2004
From Randy Martens
I would like to thank Victor Kubik for sharing the recent
pictures of Dr. Hoeh, his family and friends – as well as this website for
kindly posting them, thereby making them available to many around the world. In
the light of Herman Hoeh’s recent death, no doubt many of his admirers all over
the globe have been exchanging between themselves the numerous “Dr. Hoeh
stories” that have accumulated through the decades – the true, interesting and
often humorous accounts that provided many insights into this unusual,
The immature “us versus the world” mentality so commonly observed and encouraged
in the COG culture was refreshingly absent in Dr. Hoeh’s life. Instead, he built
bridges of understanding between himself and people of differing perspectives,
rather than self-righteously erecting walls of separation in the name of "God's
Truth." Dr. Hoeh was not perfect, nor did he ever claim to be so. Most certainly
not all his historical scholarship has withstood the test of time. He was an
enigma to many, frequently throwing them a “curve ball” just when they thought
they had him all figured out. I think he reveled in his idiosyncratic ways. For
instance, when was the last time you saw a COG pastor or evangelist standing on
a street corner waiting to catch the next bus? Or, with suit sleeves pushed up,
pick through a grocery store dumpster to find produce with which to feed the
goats that he raised at home? Or driving an old, beat-up 1957 Dodge Phoenix? Or
even cleaning a toilet? Yet I believe Dr. Hoeh’s legendary spirit of service
toward his fellow man was much the result of his being able to identify with and
relate to the toils of the common folk, rather than looking down on them in
disdain from the ministerial pedestal.
In April of this year I traveled to southern California to attend a conference.
While there I was able to enjoy what in retrospect was to be one final yet
delightful breakfast together with Dr. and Mrs. Hoeh. (And, of course, he
insisted on paying the bill!) I am so thankful to have been able to have taken
that trip. Being a common man living a common life, I don’t often have the
opportunity to witness greatness up close and personal. But I don’t think it’s
an exaggeration to say that our friend and fellow traveler Dr. Herman Hoeh was
truly a great man. I know my life has been greatly enriched on many different
levels for having had the chance to interact with and come to understand this
remarkable human being in the 29 years I knew him. We shall miss his wise
insights, his genuinely caring attitude, his humor, and above all, his
exceptional example of how to live a simple yet successful life.
December 14, 2004
From Ronald Guizado
I learned many things from Dr. Hoeh through my 30 years of
association with him. As I began to know him on a more personal basis I realized
that he was a man who practiced what he preached. I also learned that he was not
infallable but was always inquiring and searching in order to be open and
sensitive to the lead of Jesus Christ in revealing more to His Church.
Once I asked Dr. Hoeh: "How can I best serve in the Church?" His simple reply:
"Quality of thought."
As the years progressed I began to grasp the depth of importance that that
simple three word response contained. As I spent time with him I noticed he
would frequently lead me in the process of how to analyze God's Word (or any
subject we discussed) and in how to achieve carefully well thought out
conclusions. By example he provided me with the skills so I "could fish" on my
own. He knew that he might die before Jesus Christ would return. He knew that
one of the finest gifts he could give me was to know how to have "Quality of
I'll be eternally thankful for that education he provided me.
December 9, 2004
Helen Rose McDowell
As I heard the account of Dr. Hoeh’s death it so paralleled my husband’s (Bill
McDowell) almost three years ago—sudden, unexpected and at home. Actively living
life to the last moment is a blessing and one for which I’m thankful but for the
surviving spouse the shock of sudden death adds another dimension of sorrow to
sort through. Memories of all the good times and many blessings help us with
that sorting and healing. It has for our family as I know it will for Mrs. Hoeh
and her family.
I had the opportunity to know Dr. and Mrs. Hoeh in both the college setting and
spend time in their home. The personal time was always a learning experience
without feeling I was being “taught.” In remembering some of those times now I
smile through the tears
As a freshman student (1958) I was on the student “piano list” traveling to
outlying churches for weekly Sabbath services. And I often went with Dr. and
Mrs. Hoeh and their young family. Bill was on the “sermonette list.” When Bill
and I became engaged, somehow we both were scheduled together when we went with
The Hoehs. As was the custom, I packed our big picnic lunches in the Mayfair
Kitchen and Mrs. Hoeh brought the goat milk—I still drink goat milk!
While I don’t remember much detail from Dr. Hoeh’s World History class I do
remember the most important thing he wanted us to learn—and to be sure that we
learned it well he gave our final exam on this one point. That’s probably why I
remember it! He placed a stack of books on the classroom desk. Then he gave us a
sheet of paper with instructions to match each book with one of the twenty
subjects on the paper—that was the final exam! And so Dr. Hoeh taught us a
fundamental principle of doing any research—know where to look.
Both Dr. and Mrs. Hoeh were kind and patient with me, gentle and caring—making
for good memories from a time that both seems long ago and just yesterday. May
all the good memories provide comfort and support for Mrs. Hoeh and her family.
Helen Rose McDowell
From Raymond McNair
I hope this finds you and yours well and
prospering--and I hope my comments re Dr. and Mrs. Hoeh may be of some value.
I first met Dr. Hoeh in November, 1948. He was one of the four students that
enrolled in A.C. in 1947, during its first year of existence. (The other three
students were Dick Armstrong, Raymond Cole, and Miss Betty Bates). My first
contact with Dr. Hoeh was in the autumn of l948 (the second year of A.C.) when
my brother Marion and I entered A.C. Besides my brother and myself, Kenneth
Herrman also enrolled in A.C. in that same year.This meant that seven students
were enrolled in A.C. during its second year--quite an increase in enrollment!!!
From the beginning, it was clear to me
(and I think this was also true of the other six student in A.C.) that Herman
Hoeh was quite a scholar. In ensueing years, Herman (this was before he became a
"Doctor") became known as "the brain," for he was not only scholarly, he had a
special interest in, and a zeal for, research--in the area of History, in
particular. He was never really interested that much in sports.That just wasn't
his "cup of tea."
Later, Dr. Hoeh's interest in history
showed itself in his work (THE COMPENDIUM, in two volumes), which gave many
details of the origins and movements of various peoples from the time of the
Tower of Babel, until modern times. Through past decades, many students and
members of the Church of God have found his research into history (esp. re the
origins of various peoples) to be of interest and value. In recent years he made
it known that he no longer endorsed all of the conclusions, especially his
historical dates, which he had incorporated in his COMPENDIUM. Nevertheless, I
am sure that many of the brethren and ministers still find certain areas of his
historical research helpful in understanding the racial origins of certain
nations, and, consequently, we can better understand certain end-time prophecies
dealing with various descendants of SHEM, HAM, and JAPHETH.
I found Dr. Hoeh to be friendly,
courteous and, at times, rather witty. He became known for his generosity in
assisting some of the needy students or Church brethren, often offering
assistance anonymously. He spent much time and energy in the 50's, 60's, 70's,
etc. helping to edit the Plain Truth, Good News, WCG booklets, etc. I
always looked upon him as valuable to the Work as an editor, and this was
especially so in the areas of his particular expertise: history, archaelology,
Although I often spoke to Dr. Hoeh
through the years, in more recent years (after I left the WCG in 1993), I did
not have much contact with him. He would write or phone me from time to time,
and I did the same. But during the last few years, I had very little contact
with him. So far as I know, he continued to work with the men at Headquarters
during these times, apparently feeling that, for personal reasons, he did not
need to sever his relationship with the leaders of the WCG, because o f the
sweeping doctrinal changes which the Church leaders were making at Pasadena. He
seemed to want to maintain cordial relations with people in the various Churches
of God (including many of the Church leaders), and would discuss various matters
with some of them from time to time. [ He also had close ties with some of the
leaders of the Buddhist faith. ]
I also knew Mrs. Isabel Hoeh (Dr. Hoeh's
wife for about 50 years) since her arrival a A.C. in, I believe, the third year
of the College's existence. Isabel was a fine student, and also proved herself
to be a loyal, steady, supportive wife during their many years of married life.
I am sure that all who met Mrs. Hoeh will remember her in their prayers in the
years ahead--asking God to bless and guide her through the difficult times which
she will experience, without her husband by her side.
Raymond F. McNair
December 6, 2004
It is certainly a great loss to hear of the passing of one of the pioneers of
the truth. His tremendous insight and fantastic bible studies and articles will
ALWAYS be a cherished memorial to his fantastic work as the human instrument
How he ever kept quiet under the doctrinal changes, I will never understand, but
there is no doubt we will see him in the first resurrection. He was a pioneer of
good, Christian character, and he is certainly missed.
My prayers do go to his family in this time of testing, and I hope we can all go
back to our files and see the legacy he left in writing. People are passing away
so quickly now, and being only 31 it IS a good time to focus on continually
overcoming and following in the good path left by these examples as they walked
as Christ did.
Such a fine example indeed.
From Judd and Terri Kirk
My first knowledge of Dr. Hoeh was probably in about 1956
when my mother and I began to attend services. Regrettably, my impression of him
back then was limited to the observation that what he said was hard to
As the years passed, I came to know him as a very humble, kind man. He seemed to
have a soft spot in his heart for my mother because of her many years of service
to the church; he never failed to ask about her.
By way of tribute to him, his uniqueness and kindness, I'll describe an unusual
event that took place in the late 70's. Terri and I were staying with some
church friends in Santa Cruz when Dr. and Mrs. Hoeh dropped by. While nobody was
expecting their visit, we all knew each other and we settled into comfortable
chatting. A little later on, Dr. Hoeh abruptly changed the subject by looking at
me and asking if I'd read Galatians lately. I had to admit that my recent
studies had not included Galatians. He nodded his head and made no reply. Some
minutes later, we all noticed that Dr. Hoeh wasn't there. Mrs. Hoeh didn't know
where he'd gone, but neither did she seem concerned. An hour or so later he
returned, walked over to me, and presented me with a book. Of course, I was very
surprised and a little at a loss for words. He had bought me a used New
Testament of some unfamiliar translation. Of course, I thanked him profusely. He
said, "You should read Galatians.". I said I would as soon as I got home and
laid the Bible down. Then he said, "No, read it now, and do so in less than 3
minutes." He continued, "Sometimes that which is unclear when read deliberately
becomes clearer when read quickly". Well, I did and he was right; I've never
forgotten that lesson.
Dr. Hoeh was a gift to all of us, and he will be missed.
December 5, 2004
Dr Hoeh's unexpected death was a great
loss to both his family and to the Church of God.
We know that he was faithful to the end
and supportive of the Truth throughout his life. For me, he was special and I
greatly appreciated his spiritual approach, capacity and research.
I was impressed by his humility: many
are not aware today that a number of truths came via him to HWA - truths which
became part of the Church's belief system. Yet at no time did he
exhibit ambition - I found this quality so admirable. His insights and bringing
together information which enriched our Biblical understanding was terrific - as
the Scriptures indicate, knowledge shall increase in the end time (Dan. 12:4).
This is often accomplished by building on the understanding, knowledge and
research of predecessors. Not only is raw knowledge increased, but so is
qualitative value-adding to doctrine with deeper and more meaningful insights -
this was a part of his capacity and the heritage which he has left behind.
It was about 30 years ago that, as a
school kid, I attempted to research the origin of nations (Biblical origin of
nations, Noah's Flood, various laws, cremation, divorce & remarriage and many
other topics were discussed in my extended family often due to our religious
roots and this led to serious reading and debate). But it was only about two
years later that I began to make some progress in this research given the basic
information contained in Hoeh's 1957 article "Truth about the Race Question".
That basic framework was helpful in my further studies into the subject.
In letters and phone calls with him over
the years, he came across as a kindly man, willing to listen and be helpful. His
reputation as a peacemaker and avoider of confrontation was well known.
In 1996, for instance, he was very
supportive of the 'Friends of the Sabbath' conference held in Sydney and was
rather excited by the whole concept. I shall never forget my conversations with
him and the moral support he gave me on this and a number of other issues.
He will be sorely missed by thousands of
Church of God folk. Yet we shall continue to maintain the approach and ongoing
research of both him and HWA for as long as we live.
My thoughts and prayers are with his
family as well as those that look forward to his research continuing in some
December 3, 2004
I first met Dr. Hoeh on a one-on-one
basis in 1969 at his home on Orange Grove Blvd. I had heard him speak at
services and at the Feast many time previous to my face to face visit with him.
On another occasion another AC student, myself and our dates were invited to his
home one evening for dinner at a time when Mrs. Hoeh was visiting relatives in
Texas. I can only concur with everyone who knew him and who came into contact
with Dr. Hoeh that he was a genuine servant to man and a man of God. At dinner,
Dr. Hoeh waited on us lowly students as a waiter in a fine restaurant
would...but much better. It was very humbling for us to have Dr. Hoeh wait on
our every need and a great lesson was learned by each one of us through this
experience...genuine outgoing concern and he who is greatest is a servant to
I believe I have been very privileged to have been in the company of Dr. Hoeh,
to attend his World History classes and the Principles of Living classes he
subbed for Mr. Herbert Armstrong. Dr. Hoeh "knew his Bible" and lived it as
It will be great to see him and visit with him again in God's Kingdom in the
Jupiter, FL 33458
I only met with Herman Hoeh one time. I visited the Pasadena campus in the
early 60's. I was a Marine stationed at Camp Pendleton. He showed me around
the campus and took me to the place where there were several prayer booths and
young people going in and closing the doors to pray. The only specific part of
the conversation that I remember was that he said: "We are doing our best to get
the message out about the kingdom of God" or words to that effect. He struck me
as being an approachable and dedicated person.
December 2, 2004
Ralph D. Levy
December 1, 2004
We have all been saddened to witness the passing from the scene of those who
were our leaders in past decades. For many, myself included, the sad death of
Dr. Herman Hoeh has had a very deep impact.
I met Dr. Hoeh in the mid-1970's, when I came to Pasadena, California, as a
student at Ambassador College. We remained good friends till his death, and
would talk on the phone, and visit when I had the chance to be in Southern
When I recall Dr. Hoeh's teaching, I can't help but be reminded of the words of
the Apostle Paul to the Corinthian teachers: "If anyone builds on this
foundation [Christ] with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each
one's work will become manifest; for the Day will declare it, because it will be
revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one's work, of what sort it is. If
anyone's work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward" (1
Corinthians 3:12-14). So much of his teaching still sticks with me, and with
many of God's people.
Perhaps more than his teaching, I feel I profited most from his example. As
noted in many of the other comments, this fine man was an example of humility,
willingness to reach out to all, including the "little people" of God's Church,
and to serve everyone.
Most of all, I will remember him for his example of how to conduct oneself in
the household of God. Never once did I ever see this man act in a political or
self-advancing manner. He eschewed politics, and was willing to occupy the
lowest seat at all times. What a tremendous example!
Naively, I had imagined he would always be there, in the foothills of Southern
California, always ready and willing to visit an exotic restaurant, discuss the
Bible, and extend the hand of friendship. Sadly, that is not to be; but I do
hope and expect to see him again soon in the resurrection of the saints.
Goodbye to a great friend, teacher and brother, Dr. Herman Hoeh.
December 1, 2004
He and I have had a close relationship from mid-1953 through the years. At that
time he did not know how to drive and automobile in the early 50s and
as the result I often drove him here and there. I learned a great deal from his
very knowledgeable mind. Unlike many of us, he was always thinking in a
One Sabbath, in the mid-50s, I drove him from Pasadena to San Diego to give a
sermon. He sat along side of me on the passenger side with his head down much of
the way. Later, I learned that during that drive he was able to determine the
present location of the Tribes of Israel.
After arriving at a Church location he would often ask the pastor what sermon
topic the members needed. One pastor said to him, "You mean you are
not prepared?" He responded by saying, "I know my Bible."
After presenting his part during a refresher course in Pasadena he was asked by
one of the ministers if he could have a copy of his transcript? He looked
puzzled. Another minister replied to the question by saying, "He does not have a
transcript." And he didn't. He was one of the very few speakers who was able to
speak clearly and concisely on any subject that he felt the need to speak about
or on any subject that was required at the time, such as the Refresher Course.
Because of his speaking ability He was chosen by Mr. Armstrong to speak at the
funeral of Mrs. Loma Armstrong. Mr. Tkach chose him to officiate at the
funeral of Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong.
One last thing: Dr. Hoeh was a very giving person. I was one of the recipients
of his giving in those early years when times were rather hard and little money.
His giving was known by others as well. When Mr. Richard D. Armstrong and I
began driving away from Pasadena on our baptizing tour in 1958, he made the
following comment to me: "We need to be more giving like Herman Hoeh."
Though I could write many things about Dr. Hoeh, this is enough to show the
brilliant mind God had graced him with as well as being a very giving man.
I am truly saddened by his death for he had been not only my mentor in those
early formative years, but also my friend. We spent many, many hours
together and I learned much from him.
In regard to our close relationship, a man once asked him in my presence, if he
did not feel that his closeness to me could be a problem in regard to
respect for his office? He replied (words to this effect), "If there should be a
problem, Mr. Billingsley knows the office I have and would respect it."
And he spoke the truth.
1 Dec 2004
Back in about 1972 I asked Dr. Hoeh how he came to prove that God existed, that
the bible was the Word of God, and that WCG was the one true church. (I was a
prospective member at the time, a new AC student, and trying to prove these
things to myself.)
Dr. Hoeh answered that he had been brought up by religious parents and had been
taught to read the bible from his youth. He always believed the bible. He gave
the example that when he read that God had created Eve from Adam's rib, he
As he grew older, he heard many religious preachers on the radio. He came to be
able to discern when they were biblically correct on certain points of doctrine,
but incorrect on other points. Before he heard Mr. Armstrong, he had already
come to understand many points of truth from the bible. However, he was not
able to correlate all of these points of truth into a cohesive whole pattern.
When Dr. Hoeh heard Mr. Armstrong on the radio, he immediately recognized Mr.
Armstrong as being God's true minister, because Mr. Armstrong taught all of the
points of doctrine which Dr. Hoeh knew to be correct, and none of the ones which
Dr. Hoeh knew to be incorrect. Therefore, Dr. Hoeh applied to go to Ambassador
College as soon as he learned Mr. Armstrong was starting it, and he became part
of Ambassador's first class in 1947.
I admire Dr. Hoeh because he was a sincere seeker of the things of God, faithful
in conscience to God (Acts 23:1, 24:16) till the day he died. He always seemed
to set a good example of keeping the two great commandments.
I wrote a comment under the heading "Who will dwell with the Lord?" a few days
ago. I think Dr. Hoeh had the kind of attitude and spirit that Christ will
honor. Jesus told the rich young man who kept God's commandments from his youth
that he still lacked something. He lacked the Holy Spirit which had not yet been
given (Acts 2, John 7:39). He lacked love (the first fruit of the Spirit -- Gal.
5:22). Why will Jesus reject many preachers of the gospel (Matt. 7:21-23)?
Because they lacked love (I Cor. 13:1-7). We are to judge ministers by their
fruits (Matt. 7:15-20).
Rolfe H. Jones.
Dr Herman Hoeh was one of the key
characters that surrounded and made up the World Wide Church of God. From my
earliest days it was his name along Herbert W. Armstrong and some of the other
early "fathers" that was often in discussion. Whether as the writer of a church
publication, the source for an early church story or involvement in a church
sponsored arm of outreach or an independent one that he established on his own.
Dr. Hoeh was an individual who managed to experience a tremendous amount and
additionally by example encourage other to experience much in life, while at the
same time managing to avoid any potential condemnation from those who could feel
that external "non- church" orientated pursuits were not valuable.
It struck me at his recent memorial
service that Dr Hoeh had the capacity to relate to every individual he came into
contact with on a personal human level, making them feel that the interaction
and conversation that was taking place was of importance and of value.
Two sermons of note that had particular
interest to me, ranged from the "Spiritual" to the practical. One was given of
the festival of Atonement and the other was also on "Holy Day" in the early
90's. The first was about how many of the leaders of various faiths and
movements around the world would be extremely surprised at how the present day
followers carried out and continued the message of the founder (including
perhaps by inference Jesus Christ - if he were of course not Devine and all
knowing). On the practical side, Dr Hoeh spoke about the value of preparing for
hard times or a "rainy day" where all individuals if possible should put aside
in readily accessible reserves, six months of operating expenses. This would
enable an individual to retrain or properly look for another job without fear
Dr Hoeh was a man that could converse
with Kings and Paupers equally and relate with both of them in a manner
respectfully befitting them both. From my own recollections over the last 19
years of living in Southern California, every time Dr Hoeh saw me in the same
room, even from quite a distance, he always made every effort to say "hello",
converse for a while and ask how my family and parents were doing. I was always
amazed in his consistency in doing this.
He peaceful and unusual legacy will
always be remembered.
Matthew 5 v 9 "Blessed are the
peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God".
Rolfe H. Jones
Originally of London England now of
Big Sandy Class of 85
Pasadena Class of 90
My own personal memory of Herman Hoeh- covering his car when it was parked on
the street. Most of us covered our cars occasionally at night, because of the
fruit fly spraying, but few made an effort every day to protect against the smog
of southern California.
Dr. Hoeh was at heart, I believe, a scientist (though he was not that kind of
“Dr.”)- a kind of Benjamin Franklin. His interests were certainly legion, as
well as legendary.
A good scientist, if he or she is honest, must constantly amend and update
his/her understanding of things. Dr. Hoeh was nothing if not honest, and totally
lacking in the kind of pride and vanity that keeps ordinary mortals from
For example, though often ridiculed these days for early works such as his
Compendium of World History, I believe he himself considered them “immature.”
Let others be dogmatic- Dr Hoeh will be remembered, hopefully, as an inspiring
pragmatist who dedicated his life to learning.
Binghamton, New York
In Memory of Dr.
We are seeing a whole generation of men
that were our leaders in the Worldwide Church of God, one by one take their rest
and wait for a resurrection. With Dr. Hoeh I have good memories. I remember him
especially because when we read the Plain Truth Magazine in the early 60’s, dad
was enthralled by his articles but could never pronounce his name. Dr. Hoeh,
promised to come and visit Dad. Dad died before Dr. Hoeh was able to visit Dad.
He nevertheless kept his promise and visited Mom on his way to Central Asia. He
was honestly a humble person.
From my perspective I will tell you why
I and others respected him so much. Whether his interpretations of scripture
were accurate or not, is not the issue. He was very tolerant of others. He was
comfortable with Buddhists, Moslems and Seventh Day Adventists. He was a simple
man that could be comfortable with the rich and the poor.
How is Herman Hoeh going to be judged by
God.? Its very simple. It is a judgment that is found in the Gospels—When I
was hungry, you fed me, when I was naked, ;you clothed me, when I was in prison,
you visited me. Its not by perfection but by a serving giving heart.—shaped by
the Spirit of God. To me that is the Gospel. I really loved Dr. Hoeh. May we
see him again!
As many of you already know, news came this past Sunday of
the death of Dr. Herman L. Hoeh. He would have been 76 on December 3, 2004. He
lived a full and productive life which greatly impacted many of us in the Church
Herman Hoeh was my very first roommate in Ambassador
College in the winter of 1949/1950. Just the two of us shared a room. That was
the beginning of a deep friendship which lasted for over 55 years. He was
different from anyone I’d ever known before. He was extremely organized,
studious and kind. He shared with me—or I was able to observe—many helpful
practices regarding study, research, prayer and diligence. His personal kindness
to Church members and students was legendary. At a time when a number were not
getting their paychecks regularly or were underpaid in the Work, people would
sometimes hear a noise at their front door. Upon opening the door, they would
notice two large grocery bags filled with very nutritious food. Sometimes they
had no way of knowing who it was. But, upon inquiring of others, they would find
that this had happened before with others who stepped out on their front walkway
to see—perhaps half way down the block—Dr. Hoeh quietly getting into his car and
As the first male graduate of Ambassador College, Dr. Hoeh
came to be regarded as the "Dean of the Ministry." He and I were both ordained
December 20, 1952, by Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong as Evangelists. However, as the
senior to us in the Work, Dr. Hoeh was ordained first, then Raymond Cole, then
Dick Armstrong, then my Uncle Dr. C. Paul Meredith and last and least, myself—as
it should have been. He began teaching classes at Ambassador College even in his
senior year and, over his career undoubtedly taught thousands of Ambassador
College students. Since Mr. Armstrong turned the entire Theology Department over
to Herman Hoeh and me in the autumn of 1953, virtually all students from then on
for several years had to have us as theology instructors. Dr. Hoeh’s razor sharp
mind, his penetrating insights into history and related matters, made him a most
interesting and stimulating instructor.
Dr. Hoeh also was a vital part of the editorial team when
we were finally able to regularly publish the Plain Truth starting early in
1953. Before that, due to finances and the fact that Mr. Armstrong had to do
everything himself, some years there were only three or four issues and at no
time was there a complete ten or twelve issues. Dr. Hoeh had a wide range of
interests and was very helpful in the early phases of the international work of
the Church, the foreign language editions of the magazine, helping establish
some of the archeological projects in which Ambassador College students were
involved and many other activities.
We ... remember and honor the contributions of this
remarkable human being who served so well for so many years in the Work of God.
Herman Hoeh was a dear friend to me and to many, many others. His personal
kindnesses will never be forgotten.
November 27, 2004
From Gerhard Marx
Although I haven't been in direct contact with Dr Hoeh for the last 8 years, we
did spend some time together in England prior to that time. We did discuss
matters pertaining to the Work when he attended the Board of Trustees meetings
when I was a board member until I resigned when I left Worldwise for United.
In my personal contact with Dr Hoeh, I found him a person always at ease with
himself and he never made you feel second rate. You became aware that he had
only your interest at heart and I don't recall him ever having a harsh word or
speaking negatively about an individual.
Most of the tributes have really captured the essence of Dr. Hoeh. I'd like to
salute him as a great internationalist---someone with a heart for the little guy
and the little country. Your trip with him to the USSR showed him as he was--no
illusions about Communism yet sympathetic to the Russian people. Those articles
were written druing one of the deepest deep freezes of the Cold War and it
deserves to be reread as a model of sympathy and empathy. This old world needs
all the comitted internationalists it can get and its lost a great one. Roger
Lippross remembers Dr. Hoeh sitting there valiantly editing while he was about
to be removed as Perpetually Prominent Editor at the PT. You can't keep a good
man down--he showed up again in 1976 as WCG's sponsor of the Pygmy
Fund--remember that one?
He and John Halford gave the magazine an international perspective in the 1980s
through their International Desk--saluting countries such as Costa Rica that did
not have an army or Haiti, etc etc. This gave the PT a rare empathy and
international clout that few magazines could match. I well remember him visiting
us in Toronto about 1990 pulling the whole PT out of his pocket and spreading it
out on our living room floor--editing away.
His office was next to mine at Editorial from 1993-1996 and never was heard a
discouraging word. Someone said it best--he knew that fighting never gets you
where or what you want, you only move to a new level of problems. Last word I
had was two months ago when he was the only one I coud reach about a tribute to
Lucy Martin. The last time I saw him was Tuesday before his death steaming
across campus, head down, one hand in his jacket pocket on his way to a board
meeting (I think). We've lost the Grand Old Man of the WCG and there'll never be
another like him.
St. Paul, MN
My prayers go out to the Hoeh family. I was blessed to grow up in Pasadena and
have Anneliese as a close friend and classmate at Imperial. We would go up on
her roof and sit out in the sun, while discussing all of the things that young
girls discuss. I felt very welcome in their home, and could see that they had a
close, loving relationship. Dr. Hoeh will be missed by all.
Dave and Hinke Gilbert and sons,
One of our fondest memories of Dr. Hoeh was when he and his wife stayed with us
in Iowa about 11 or 12 years ago. Our son David, about 9 or 10 at the time, was
being picky with his food at dinner. Dr. Hoeh, noticing that he had left food on
his plate, asked, "David--are you going to eat that?" David replied, "No, Dr.
Hoeh, I'm full." The next words we heard were "Thank-you," as Dr. Hoeh took
David's plate, put it down in front of himself and began to eat what was left.
Unconventional, to be sure, but Dr. Hoeh was a humble, content, delightful,
considerate man who always made us feel personally valued as human beings. We
will always have a warm spot in our hearts for him and look forward to being
re-united with him in the future.
November 26, 2004
From Mike Snyder --
It was a surprise and with not a little sadness that we
learned of the death of Herman L. Hoeh. Like many others, I had the personal
good fortune to work with him many times when I was in Pasadena. He was as
eclectic as they come, but he was also a singularly humble person to whom no
task was beneath him. My experiences with Dr. Hoeh, as I’m certain many others
can say, ranged widely from the outrageously humorous to the profoundly somber.
He taught me quite a bit. On Thanksgiving Day, here are a few of those
--Although I had talked briefly with Dr. Hoeh many times as an AC student in the
1970s, I had never spent any real time with him until I was sent over to his
Hall of Administration office in the Fall of 1979.
Dr. Hoeh was on the phone when I arrived, and he motioned that he would just be
a moment. I took the time to examine the many shelves of books he had. I was
struck by the fact that he had the entire collection of the Hardy Boys and Nancy
Drew series. I asked him about it, thinking that they were intended to be
He replied that they were his, to my great surprise. His explanation? “The
ability to read is a gift. What we place into our minds by using this gift must
be selected with care, as everything we read influences us. Those books [Hardy
Boys and Nancy Drew] are simple but satisfying for a tired mind desiring
entertainment. They always end with justice being served. In my view, they
represent a suitable alternative to the rubbish that many unfortunately prefer.”
--Dr. Hoeh’s legendary capacity for extremely hot and spicy foods never ceased
to amaze me. Once, my sister Kathy accidentally switched the cayenne pepper
requirements for her organic chili recipe. Instead of a teaspoon, she put in a
full cup of cayenne pepper. Unable to eat it, she canned it and gave it to me (I
like spicy foods). At lunchtime, I heated some up in the Editorial Services
microwave. It nearly killed me.
Dr. Hoeh tried it and pronounced it the “best chili I’ve had in a long while.” I
gave him five Mason jars full of this inedible, near-lethal concoction. A few
days later he returned the clean jars, stating that he and Mrs. Hoeh liked it so
much, they had it for breakfast everyday!
--Once Dr. Hoeh noticed a scholarly book on Egypt on my desk at Editorial. “I
don’t recall loaning you this copy,” he said, picking it up. I replied that I
had purchased it while at the British Museum during the Feast. “Ah yes,” he said
approvingly. “And I am certain your reading of it has been beneficial. As you
and I know, one gains far more utility from a book in actually having read it,
as opposed to employing such a work as an office ornament to give the appearance
of intellectualism.” As a then 29-year-old “senior” writer for The Plain Truth,
I never forgot that lesson.
--When asked a question that concerned the past in some form, Dr. Hoeh usually
opened with the phrase “If memory serves…” Once I asked him why. He replied:
“It’s the only way to have an honest conversation. No one possesses perfect
memory. If you reply to a question without the facts in front of you or
imminently fresh in your mind, then you can chose to be either arrogant or
--Finally, the most profound bit I ever heard from Dr. Hoeh was this: I had
written a draft of a Plain Truth article in 1983 that included the account of
Loma Armstrong’s challenge to Herbert Armstrong about the Sabbath and how Mr.
Armstrong’s attempt to use the Bible as a defense had led to him accepting the
Bible as divine authority. Dr. Hoeh had struck it out in his edits.
Sitting in his tiny office in Editorial Services (Dr. Hoeh humbly and personally
chose that space and refused any larger, more expansive office), I asked him
“Mr. Snyder,” he said, using the “Mr.” that always heralded the fact that I was
about to receive an important lesson, “you should realize by now that the
Sabbath challenge as it relates to the conversion of Herbert Armstrong is but a
“What led to the conversion and change of Herbert Armstrong was simply this: in
a time of severe need, Mr. Armstrong fervently prayed for relief and guidance.
To his great astonishment, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob answered.”
Dr. Hoeh was a man of humility and a true champion of diversity. He will be
Michael Snyder, Indianapolis, IN
From James McBride
Greetings from England. While I worked at the Bricket Wood
campus in the 60/70s my wife and I 'entertained' Dr Hoeh in our home in one of
the small College-owned cottages. He sat in our kitchen eating home-made bread
and (pretending!) he enjoyed it. While the great and the good were living high
in a posh hotel for breakfast he was in his room heating lentils on the
radiator. I also steered him around UK bookshops - always wondering when he
would stop for lunch!! He entertained John Hopkinson and me in his home in CA -
with a glass of refreshing goat's milk from his herd.
A fine man and an example for all. We, certainly, shall miss him.
From John Gill
Dr. Hoeh visited the Waco, TX, WCG back in the late
1980's. It was a double service with a.m. and p.m. services. Something he said
in the a.m. service inspired my daughter who was about 5 at the time to draw a
picture of a nature scene. She presented him with the picture before lunch.
After lunch, when he began to speak again, he took a few minutes to show the
congregation the picture and to thank her for it. He genuinely appreciated it.
That was the only time I met Dr. Hoeh, but that incident endeared me to the man.
Critics can say what they may, but from my perspective, this was one fine man.
From Jared Olar
Your obituary of Herman Hoeh probably sums up my own thoughts and feelings about
him as well. He'll be remembered in COG and ex-COG circles as an enigma, and an
Armstrongist minister who was, it appears, refreshingly un-ambitious ... I'm
grateful that he helped spark my interest in ancient and medieval history, or
rather helped me discover that the study of such things can be a source of
From Giving and Sharing
The lanky minister walked slowly towards
the podium, as over 10,000 people waited in anticipation for his sermon to
begin. Before reaching the lectern, he stopped, leaned over, and picked up a
piece of paper that someone had carelessly littered on the floor. Dr. Herman
Hoeh put the scrap into his pocket, arrived at the speaker's stand, and paused,
as the audience sheepishly squirmed in their seats. Before opening his mouth, he
had "preached" one of the most powerful messages I have ever "heard." It is a
message that few professed Bible believers will heed.<
From Dr. John Merritt
This is certainly a loss to us all.
He was really one of the true "heroes of
the faith" in our time, and always an example of excellence in scholarship
linked to strong personal faithfulness. And his reputation of accomplishing so
much while idealizing the simple, plain life style, of not being encumbered by
stuff, of loving and serving the common folk, regardless of status.... are all
wonderful examples to us all.
Although all us ol' timers always knew
who he was, the younger generation (after 80s) often did not even know the name.
When one of my younger kids asked one of
the older ones, "Who's Dr Hoeh"
The older one said, "He's the Mr Spock
of the WWG" . The younger one clearly understood, being also versed in Star Trek
I told Dr Hoeh of this comment, and he
smiled quietly, also completely understanding.
Good bye Dr Hoeh. See you in that better
From John Brian Heath
From the moment I knew who he was, I had a fascination with Dr. Hoeh. I stood in
awe of his eclectic interests. As a teenager not yet attending church, I
searched high and low to locate his legendary Compendium of World History. When
I finally tracked down a copy, I was a bit disappointed that it was so hard to
follow, but nevertheless, it helped cultivate an interest in history that I
retain to this day.
My first opportunity to meet Dr. Hoeh was in the spring of 1988, when he and his
wife visited Raleigh, North Carolina for the Days of Unleavened Bread. I had
only been attending church a few short months, and to meet Dr. Hoeh was an
opportunity I couldn’t pass up.
During the time I was in Big Sandy, Dr. Hoeh would visit campus from time to
time. I remember the extended announcement he made to inform us that Dr. Russell
Duke had been named as Ambassador’s sixth president.
We all sat there wondering “When is he going to get to the point?” But we all
knew that was Dr. Hoeh’s style, even when it came to major announcements like
this one. It was a privilege to have him in the audience at our graduation in
1997 – the final commencement conducted in Big Sandy. He had been there from the
start in 1947, and now he was the only one from those earliest days to watch it
draw to a close fifty years later. What I’ll treasure the most from Graduation
Weekend was being able to introduce him to my parents and hear him tell them how
he appreciated the contributions I had made to Ambassador.
Earlier this year, I was in California for a work related trip. I had not been
to Pasadena in a few years, and didn’t know when I’d get another opportunity. I
called Dr. Hoeh and asked if he’d be willing to meet for breakfast. Even though
we had met several times in the past, I had never had the opportunity to talk
with him at length. Like so many other people I’m sure, there were lots of
things I wanted to ask him about. He was very open to getting together, and he
took me to a small café in Altadena, not far from Mountain View Cemetery. We
talked about a wide range of subjects – everything from the subject of my
dissertation, to Sabbatarian history in America, the AIDS crisis, the early
years of Ambassador, and many other things. It was a privilege to be able to see
him one final time.
There were many things I learned from Dr. Hoeh. He certainly wasn’t wasteful. I
remember writing to him several times as a teenager. He would always write his
response at the bottom of my letter, and enclosed it in “Youth’81” envelopes
(and this was 1987 as I remember!).
When we met for breakfast that morning in January, he looked across at my plate
after I had finished and asked “Are you going to eat that avocado?”. When I told
him no, without warning he reached across the table with his fork and took it
himself! Perhaps most importantly, Dr.
Hoeh knew how to be a peacemaker. He knew how to rise above conflict and
disagreements. And what an important lesson we can all learn there.
In a few months, I will be completing my doctoral degree in educational
administration at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. When I think
about all the people throughout my life who have influenced and inspired me to
be where I am today – Dr. Hoeh stands near the top of the list. I hope I’ll be
able to pass on that influence to others.
John Brian Heath
Ambassador University – Class of 1997
Ed.D. Candidate – The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Tribute to Dr. Herman L. Hoeh from Victor Kubik
Dr. Hoeh was my mentor and the most valuable teacher I’ve ever had on the
subject of practical Christianity. My training from him began in my freshman
year of Ambassador College. He asked me to accompany him and his wife Isabell on
a remarkable seven week trip to the Soviet Union where I served as his
translator and photographer. Our friendship continued for the next 37 years.
From how he treated all people I see why the words “Of genuine heart and rare
understanding” will be inscribed on his headstone.
Dr. Hoeh loved humanity. He treated everyone as a though they indeed were made
in God’s image and destined for immortality. God so loved the world that He gave
his only begotten Son for mankind. In like manner Dr. Hoeh sacrificed his life
for so many. He wanted to do his part in the betterment of those who came into
his life, especially the common people. This he did with the greatest humility.
People tell many “Dr. Hoeh stories” – most of them deal with his unique manner
and interaction with the diversity of humanity which he loved.
One of Dr. Hoeh’s children summarized his life by declaring that he was a
servant. He supported the underdogs, the less privileged. He shunned the elite
and those who expected to be served. For me personally, his kindness to our
family through the death of both my parents was his greatest service to us. I
will never forget that.
Here is a brief summary of what I learned from my mentor Dr. Hoeh:
1. Value all people. Everyone is made in God’s image and has the potential to be
in His family. Value mankind as God values mankind by thinking the best and
giving every opportunity for a person to rise to their best. Dr. Hoeh always
spoke of people with dignity and respect both publicly and privately.
2. Serve mankind with humility. Put others ahead of you at your expense. Seek
out those who need a hand. Not all will understand or appreciate the good that
you do, but realize that doing good is not between you and them; it is between
you and God.
3. Seek peace and strive to resolve conflict by giving up your position and
status. Sometimes I wondered why Dr. Hoeh didn’t fight more for his causes. His
philosophy was that the fight was not his and that human battle did not achieve
May God give you rest from the turbulence of our times, Dr. Hoeh. In the
resurrection I want to see my parents first, but then I want to find you and
give you a big hug. You are truly a person of “genuine heart and rare
The most important contribution Dr Hoeh made to my life
was the sermon I still have the tape on the spiritual differences and it's
application between the old covenant and the new one. After listening to it
countless times, I am a slow learner, I eventually got it. What a gem of
information!! It definitely helped with the storms that came.
November 23, 2004
From David Sandland
I am sure many of us can recall stories and events that
showed the personal side of Dr. Hoeh...how he was a caring and connected man.
Many, many years ago I visited my brother-in-law in the US...I believe he was in
Kentucky at the time. One of the members told a story of Dr. Hoeh coming to the
area for a Church visit and was to stay at her house. Of course she was all in a
flap...cleaned the house spotlessly. And even went to the expense and effort of
buying new sheets for the guest bed. In the morning she not iced the bed was
made up and told Dr. Hoeh he didn't have to go to all that trouble to make up
Make the bed? No, I couldn't sleep in such a new and beautiful bed...I just
slept on the floor!
And John Larkin could recount the time in Bricket Wood he was running late
cleaning up after the mid-day HolyDay meal. He expected to miss the afternoon
service. To his amazement, Dr Hoeh came along and grabbed the other side of the
garbage bin...come on, we'll get all this cleaned up so we can both hear the
Ah, fond memories of a real nice man.
November 23, 2004
From Bob Petry
I just found out that Dr. Herman Hoeh
In remembering my days at college and my memories of Dr. Hoeh, it really struck
me at what we all have lost over the years. The RCG was, in fact, a real driving
force in striving to understand the Scriptures.
Sure, it wasn't all understood correctly, but I have never seen in any
organization or people since then the drive to study that book and apply it to
ones own life, and to tell the world about it. That has been lost now, including
some very wonderful people, warts and all!!
If it hadn't been for Dr. Hoeh, I might never have married my wonderful wife
Arlene. Dr. Hoeh encouraged me all the way, while another minister tried to
dissuade me. I listened to Dr. Hoeh, and he was right. She was meant for me and
I shall always have very fond memories of Dr. Hoeh, from times in his classes,
discussions and counseling in his office, to visits to his home. He was truly a
wonderful brilliant man.
We have all lost a brilliant light in our struggle through the darkness of this
It will be a great day to meet him again in the resurrection, along with many
others who have preceded him. What a day when we all can stand before the Father
and Son as brothers and sisters working throughout eternity together.
All the best,
November 23, 2004
Yair Davidy praises HL Hoeh
The Passing of a Scholar (H. L. HOEH) Herman L. HOEH has
just passed away. H. L. HOEH greeted the first publication of "The Tribes"
enthusiastically and recommended his acquaintances and students to buy it. He
was one of our first supporters.
He was the author of a history of the world that relied heavily on traditional
and mythological sources many of which were relatively unknown and difficult to
come by. His work is an invaluable fount of source material and well worth
Herman L. HOEH, "Compendium of World History", A Dissertation Presented to The
Faculty of the Ambassador College Graduate School of Theology In Partial
Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Doctor of Theology, 1962
(1963-1965, 1967 Edition), USA.
We did not know H. L. HOEH personally but spoke to him a few times on the phone
and found him to be civil, considerate, and discerning. May he rest in peace.