Dr. Raymond W. Herrmann, 79, director of rehabilitation


Dr. Raymond William Herrmann, the former medical director of the Maryland Rehabilitation Center and an avid jazz saxophone player, died Thursday of kidney failure at Manor Care Health Services in Rossville. The Lutherville resident was 79.

Dr. Herrmann became medical director of the new Maryland Rehabilitation Center in 1972. He oversaw the center's occupational, physical, and hearing and speech therapy programs, rehabilitation and physician services and clinical departments.

"Patients called him for years after just to tell him how they were doing," his daughter, Constance Pryor of Frederick, said. "People called him the Marcus Welby of physicians. He knew how to give them health and hope."

A native of Scarborough, Ill., Dr. Herrmann graduated from the University of Illinois in 1941. He graduated in the top 10 percent of his class at the St. Louis University Medical School in 1946 with a concentration in urology.

"He loved the mystery of the human body and its ability to work with such finesse that you don't know what you've got until it's gone," a son, Christopher Herrmann of Lutherville, said.

After graduation, he served in the Navy and rose to the rank of captain in the Public Health Service, working as staff physician at bases in Savannah, Ga., Charleston, S.C., and Staten Island, N.Y., from 1947 to 1953.

He preferred to work for the federal or state government rather than open a private practice, relatives said.

"He said it allowed him to practice medicine and not worry if the secretary showed up or the papers were filled out," said Christopher Herrmann. "He was a gentle man and a gentleman."

In 1953, he became chief of the urology department of the Public Health Service military base in Norfolk, Va., where he practiced until 1959, when he left to become chief of urology at the Public Health Service hospital near Wyman Park in Baltimore.

Dr. Herrmann retired from the federal service in 1967 and became a staff physician at the former Montebello State Hospital.

"Anyone could approach him and tell him their problems," said Dr. Rhodora Tumanon, who worked with him at Montebello and at the Maryland Rehabilitation Center.

While at Montebello, Dr. Herrmann was a clinical instructor of urology at the University of Maryland Medical School.

He also helped set up physician's assistant training programs that began in the 1970s at Essex Community College and Franklin Square Hospital.

In 1984, after being named Physician of the Year in Maryland by the Governor's Committee for the Employment of the Handicapped for a second time, Dr. Herrmann retired.

He had played jazz saxophone since he was a youth and in retirement he played with two local groups, the Gazebos and Sentimental Journey. He was past president of the Chesapeake Band, a group with which he performed at outdoor concerts and at nursing homes and hospitals.

Dr. Herrmann was past president of the Seminary Valley Optimists Club.

He was a longtime member of the Church of the Nativity, 20 E. Ridgely Road in Lutherville, where services are scheduled for 3 p.m. today.

Dr. Herrmann married Priscilla Jo Farmer of St. Louis in 1947, after they met at a hospital where he was an intern and she was a nurse. She died in 1989.

In addition to his son and daughter, Dr. Herrmann is survived by two other sons, Carter Herrmann of New Freedom, Pa., and Cameron Herrmann of Ellicott City; eight grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.

Pub Date: 7/19/98

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