Elizabeth "Becky" Louise Herrmann

August 22, 1960December 22, 2022
Obituary of Elizabeth "Becky" Louise Herrmann


Bennett Funeral Home

Elizabeth “Becky” L. (Legros) Herrmann, 62, passed away on December 22, 2022, in Concord, N.H., with her three daughters and loving husband, Michael, by her side. She was born in Leominster, Mass. on August 22, 1960, the second of four daughters to her parents, Dianne and Roland. Growing up in Lunenburg, Mass., she played basketball, was a junior lifeguard, sang in the choir and was a member of the National Honor Society. She was social, driven and loved to debate, often practicing speeches in front of her family members when she wasn’t perfecting her signature “Becky Muffins” in her Easy Bake Oven. She attended the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and Fitchburg State College from 1978 to 1981, graduating in three years instead of four. Later, as a full-time working mom, Becky went on to earn her Master’s Degree in Library Science from Simmons College in Boston, Mass. While her work life began at age 17 as a library page, this was just the beginning of a 41-year professional career in libraries. Her tenures included the Concord Public Library and Penacook Branch, the Providence Athenaeum, the Narragansett Public Library, the Bedford Public Library and the Hopkinton Town Library, where she oversaw the construction of an impressive new facility. During her time as the Hopkinton Library Director, she was named 1997 New Hampshire Librarian of Year, and throughout her career was a leading voice on several library boards representing New Hampshire, Massachusetts and New England. For the past 21 years, she served as the director of the Chelmsford Public Library, a community she embraced whole-heartedly. Becky brought many authors to Chelmsford as the architect of their community-wide “one book” program, including Richard Russo, Dennis Lehane and Chris Bohjalian. Becky was married in 1980, and became the proud and adoring mother of three daughters, Lindsay, Emma and Iris. Her first marriage ended in divorce. In 2002, Becky fell in love and married Michael Herrmann at their home in Concord, N.H., and became stepmother to his two children, James and Claire, whom she loved dearly. Becky’s career as a librarian dovetailed with Michael’s livelihood as the owner of Gibson’s Bookstore. The couple shared a love of books and the community that could be built around the written word. They were passionate about good friends, delicious meals and travel, immensely enjoying trips to Italy, France, and their most cherished corner of the world, St. John. Becky loved to be outside. She grew up learning about horticulture from her father, and as an adult cultivated her talent for transforming her backyards into ambitious gardens filled with wildflowers, vegetables and herbs. The sun, dirt and thrill of a new seedling sprouting from the ground never escaped her. She began hiking in high school with her best friend Lauren Murray, and continued hikes with loved ones until it was no longer possible. Hiking with Becky was intimate; often times, a deeply personal conversation would emerge while summiting a peak with her. She walked everywhere – between meetings at work, or miles around a foreign city. When she wanted to enjoy some stillness, she found connection to yoga and the community that welcomed her so lovingly 15 years ago when she began practicing. Friends and family knew Becky for cooking and baking; her meals were elegant and innovative. Becky enjoyed eating as much as she loved to cook - exploring the chef’s selections at a new restaurant and always making sure to include the suggested wine pairings. She loved the ocean and the seafood that came along with it: lobster dipped in melted butter, steamers and clams. Yet, she was just as appreciative of a meal made by her husband after a long day or her children when she visited them, which she did frequently. Becky loved to sing – alone in her car, in the kitchen along to music, or in the doorway of a sleepy child’s bedroom. And needless to say, Becky loved books. If you were lucky enough to receive a gift from Becky, you could count on it being a book tailored to your taste. She appreciated beautifully composed novels as much as she enjoyed the sound of reading aloud – the poetry of Jane Hirshfield, Louise Gluck and Mary Oliver, or one of the many treasured picture books she recited to her children, then grandchildren. On the evening of her passing, her oldest grandson softly read one of her favorites, “In the Night Kitchen” by Maurice Sendak, at her bedside, a book she knew by heart. During the eight months of Becky’s illness, she endured countless losses. Despite this, she laughed with her daughters, wore vibrant outfits (and earrings), snuggled babies, hosted holidays, vacationed with her husband and continued to work with hardly a pause. At times, she prepared for meetings from a hospital bed, and created dinner menus during her commutes to Boston for chemotherapy. She continued to mentor and connect with colleagues, which was a tremendous source of personal and professional fulfillment. She checked in on her family members, speaking to her mother, sisters, children and friends nearly every day, as she always had. Two days before her passing, she rose from a wheelchair, walked to a podium and delivered a beautiful eulogy for her father at his memorial service. Her determination to honor her father, and accomplish this incredibly difficult task at such an advanced stage of illness, was an act of pure love true to her character. Becky leaves her devoted husband of 20 years, Michael Herrmann of Concord, N.H.; her children and their partners, Lindsay Schulz and Matthew Shapiro of Longmeadow, Mass., Emma and Daniel Azzarello of North Andover, Mass., and Iris Schulz and Tyler Heon of Nashua, N.H.; her stepchildren, James Herrmann and his wife Clark Jackson of New York, N.Y., and Claire Herrmann of Watertown, Mass.; her grandchildren Elliot and Caleb Shapiro, Dean and Cole Azzarello, and her 7-week-old granddaughter Ivy Elizabeth Heon. Becky is also survived by her mother, Dianne Legros of Lunenburg, Mass.; her sisters Laura Kincaid and her husband Gregory of Santa Clarita, Ca., Kathryn Legros of Goleta, Ca., Margaret “Peggy” Casson of Ashby, Mass.; her former husband Hans Schulz of Windham, N.H.; nieces, nephews, cousins and beloved friends. She is predeceased by her brother-in-law, Scott Casson, and her father, Roland Legros. Calling hours will be held on Saturday January 7 from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. at Bennett Funeral Home 209 North Main Street Concord, N.H 03301. A Celebration of Becky’s Life will be held in the Spring, when the flowers are in bloom. The family suggests donations in her memory be made to The Chelmsford Public Library Impact Fund or the Reach Out and Read Program at Boston Children’s Hospital.

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Saturday, January 07, 2023

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