Stephen Robert Herr, 58, musician, Old Oak owner

By on April 24, 2013

Stephen Robert Herr of Pine Grove Mills, 58, died at home after a brief but valiant battle with cancer. He was surrounded by his family as he peacefully passed on.

Steve was a 1972 graduate of Ephrata Area High School, and attained an AA in Communications and a BS in Business Management from Penn State University. In his teen years, he played organ and keyboard with bands including Jericho and the original Tom Slick and the Thunderbolt Grease Slappers who played throughout eastern Pa. and N.J. He had an extensive knowledge of music, lyrics and bands and shared this with others enthusiastically.

Steve was a partner in Herr Brothers Antiques, employed by Dank’s, State College and by HRB Singer, State College, as a buyer and contract administrator. In 1985, he and his wife Kathy embarked on a new venture: restoring the Odd Fellows Lodge and transforming it into The Old Oak Tavern in Pine Grove Mills.

After nine years, Steve and Kathy were blessed with a daughter: Victoria Stephanie (Baltimore, Md.) and two years later, a son: Alexander William (at home). Steve fell in love with his best friend and wife when she was 18, he 19, and they have been together for 38 years. They did everything together and he will remain in her heart forever.

Besides his wife and children, Steve leaves behind his mother: F. Joan Clelan and her companion, Robert M. Lauman, Cornwall; siblings: Jeffrey B. Herr and his companion, Joella Wilson, Lebanon; Kathleen J. Herr, Lancaster; and Heidi H., wife of Thomas A. Kecskemethy, Wallingford. He had five step-brothers, two step-sisters, four nieces and six nephews. He is predeceased by his father: Harold "Doc" Herr and brother: William H. Herr. Steve was loved very dearly by both his and Kathy’s families.

Steve enjoyed playing Hammond organs and acquiring antiques and old radios. Most recently, he had the privilege of working with his son, Alex on his Eagle Scout project for the Boy Scouts. Renovating old homes and properties and taking on the surprises that come with these challenges were some of Steve and Kathy’s passions. They enjoyed boating and fishing at Raystown Lake, relaxing at the cabin in Vosburg and at the cottage Mt. Gretna.

Steve was technically gifted and was able to take apart, repair and reassemble most anything. As co-proprietor of the Old Oak Tavern, he was very social and enjoyed engaging in conversations with friends and patrons. Steve and Kathy gathered annually with college friends for a "big chill" weekend. It was always an event to remember. He was known for his great sense of humor and will be greatly missed by many.

A gathering to celebrate Steve’s life will be held at a later date. Online condolences can be emailed to

In lieu of flowers, donations can be directed to the "Herr College Fund" c/o First National Bank, 2591 Park Center Blvd, State College, PA 16801.

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