Ocean Beach 07

John Herkes

April 25, 1927 ~ February 5, 2022 (age 94)


John William Herkes 94, of Moscow, Idaho, returned to our heavenly Lord on February 5, 2022.

John was born on April 25, 1927 in Hilo, Hawaii to his parents Edwin Bailey Herkes and Janetta Annie Williamson Herkes.  His idyllic childhood spent with his schoolmates diving, fishing, and camping with the Scouts came to an abrupt end when he was 14 with the attack on Pearl Harbor.  In order to finish high school, he got a ride on an Army ship and went to Honolulu where he graduated from Punahou H.S. in 1945.  A few months later he joined the Army and was shipped to New Caledonia, in the southwest Pacific Ocean, where he served until the end of the war.  Using the GI Bill, he enrolled in Montana State College, Bozeman, and earned a BS in Engineering Physics.  He returned to Hawaii and specialized his education with certifications in both Sugar Technology and Sugar Cane Agriculture.  

work experience started primarily in sugar cane processing.  Major products that sugar factories produce and sell are:  sugar, alcohol, electricity, and molasses.  Minor products produced are fiber board, CO2 and yeast.  Later activities centered on agro-industrial consulting in both enhancing economics and developing new projects from virgin land.  His work covered many disciplines as most large-scale agro-industrial operations are self-sufficient, developing their own water and infrastructure, producing their own steam and electric power, and doing their own maintenance, clean-up and waste disposal.  

John’s work is published and he was awarded three patents for his inventions. He was especially proud of developing the first long line (over one mile) furrow irrigation system for the flat, tight soils of central Africa and the development of a construction method in order to have stable buildings in the swelling and cracking soils there.   John has worked at agro-industrial development throughout the world including major assignments in:  Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Malaysia, Mexico, Sudan, Puerto Rico, Liberia, Peru, Hawaii and Louisiana.  

In 1990 John retired in Moscow and to keep his mind sharp he enrolled in the University of Idaho and after earning his Masters of Engineering in Biological and Agricultural Engineering he continued on as an instructor.  He loved teaching the young and upcoming engineers.  

 John had many interests over the years, including:  HAM radio, scuba diving, seashell collecting, square dancing and calling, and puzzles of all kinds.  A project that gave him great joy was working with other Herkes throughout the world to trace and compile his family tree and organize a world-wide clan gathering in Scotland in 2011.   John belonged to Rotary International, the VFW, and the Moscow Idaho Roadrunners.

John is survived by Sharon Herkes, his wife of 30 years; by his sister Jana Herkes, his sister-in-law Jo-Anna Herkes, and by his four children: Katherine Augustine (Joe), Ian, Janetta Napp, and Jennifer Williams (Chuck).  Grand children:  Nils (Kirstin H. Petersen) Napp, Malte (Janeane) Napp , Kai Napp.  Great grandchildren:  Carl, Cuan and Vivian.

The family would like to express our heartfelt thanks to the following for their expertise and kindness during John’s recent illness: The Doctors, Nurses, and Staff at Palouse Medical, Pullman Regional Hospital Emergency Room and Intensive Care Unit personnel, the Physical Therapist, Nurses and other staff at Avalon Care Center, and all the care and support giver of St. Joes Hospice.

To send flowers to John's family, please visit our floral store.


Memorial Service
February 26, 2022

11:00 AM
St. Mary's Catholic Church
618 E 1st st
Moscow, ID 83843

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