Joe Herman, a Westchester-Playa del Rey resident for 25 years and former principal of Westchester High School, passed away Sunday, September 11th, at the age of 82.

No funeral services are planned, but memorial donations may be made in his name to Habitat for Humanity International, 121 Habitat St., Americus, GA 31709-3498 or

Herman was born in New York City December 5th, 1922, to parents William and Beatrice Herman, who were traveling vaudeville singers.

The Herman family moved to the Los Angeles area when Joe Herman was five years old and settled in South Gate. He graduated from South Gate High School in 1939 and attended Los Angeles City College, where he met his future wife Betty.

Herman served in the U.S. Army Air Corps on the Pacific front during World War II.

Much of his wartime service was spent as an air traffic controller on the island of Guam.

He married Betty during a service furlough in November 1943.

After the war, Herman graduated from UCLA and began his career as an educator.

In 1950, Herman was one of the first teachers at Westchester High School when the school opened its doors at the present site of Orville Wright Middle School.

Joe and Betty Herman moved with their children to a just-built home on Kenyon Avenue in Westchester.

At the high school, Herman taught math and music and he was the band director. Family and friends say that he always enjoyed music and played the trombone in a small brass band until his death.

Between 1957 and 1985, Herman was an administrator for the Los Angeles Unified School District and returned to Westchester High School in 1967 as principal.

He served as principal until 1975 and saw two of his children — daughter Chris Herman and son Steve Herman — graduate from the high school.

In retirement, Joe and Betty Herman lived in Orange and Riverside Counties and most recently in Mission Viejo.

Herman enjoyed playing bridge and golf, church activities, singing and writing lyrics, taking digital photos, and traveling on cruise ships.

He is survived by his wife Betty, brother John, sister Fritzi, sons Joe and Steve, daughters Sheri and Chris, nine grandchildren, and 15 great grandchildren.