Lois Marie Herrmann, beloved daughter of Helen and Gustav Herrmann of Long Island New York, died on January 14, 2020, at Georgetown University Hospital, with loving friends at her bedside. A long-time resident of Washington, DC, Lois was 74 years old when overtaken by cancer after a battle in which she radiated grace and courage throughout. Her sudden passing has struck the hearts of her large family of devoted friends-here in Washington, across the United States, and overseas-with profound grief.
Lois was born in New York City on January 26, 1945, and grew up near the water on the North Shore of Long Island where she developed her life-long love of swimming. Her happiest memories were of summer swims in the ocean, swimming holes, and pools. Lois went on to earn her Bachelor's degree at Cornell University and her Master's at Stanford University.
Lois began her career at the Foreign Student Service Council in Washington, DC, and went on to become a highly accomplished member of the US Department of State, serving first in the Foreign Service and later in the Civil Service. She began her government career in the United States Information Agency (1976-1999) and concluded her fulltime State Department service in the Bureau of Public Affairs (1999-2014). She loved her overseas postings in Venezuela, Serbia, Bosnia and Croatia.
Writing and editing were key skills Lois put to great effect, drafting speeches, public testimony, and op-ed articles for senior State Department officials. She also played a leading role in press operations for several Presidential summits and major international conferences, including the G20 Summit in Pittsburgh (2009), the President's Nuclear Security Summit in Washington (2010), and the G8 Summit in Camp David (2012). She was proud to have served on State Department-wide Task Forces on world political and humanitarian crises including South Sudan, Ukraine and the response to the Asian tsunami (2004). She also published travel articles in the Christian Science Monitor and The Washington Star.
Lois served as a member of the boards of the Public Diplomacy Association of America (PDAA); the Stanford University Alumni Association; and the Theodore H. Barth Foundation, Inc., a philanthropic foundation supporting community health and welfare and the arts.
After her retirement, she volunteered at the Smithsonian with the Steinway Diary Project before returning to work part-time at the State Department, and she enjoyed personal travel through much of the world.
Lois considered her life's most important endeavor to have looked after her mother during her mother's last 12 years. The devotion she gave to her mother was easily recognizable in the love she showed her friends, her close bonds with animals of every species-but especially cats-and the kindness, wisdom, and loyalty she gave to all. Her spirit had a beauty and tenderness that will forever touch the hearts of all those who will miss her so greatly.
A memorial service will be held at St. Columba's Episcopal Church, 4201 Albemarle St. NW, Washington, DC, 20016, at 11 AM on Saturday, March 14, 2020. Reception to follow.
Donations in Lois's memory may be made to St. Columba's Episcopal Church.