Friday, July 24, 2015


As most of you know, my brother Kerm passed away.  This post will take me down memory lane.  So first of all, the obit had this to say about Kerm.

Born: September 17, 1942
Died: July 20, 2015
U.S. VeteranKermit P. Bromeland, 72, of Sycamore, Illinois, died Monday, July 20, 2015, at Kishwaukee Hospital, DeKalb.

Born September 17, 1942, in Sandwich, the son of Kermit Stanley and Edith (Chamberlain) Bromeland, Kermit married Roberta Madison on April 23, 1966, at First United Methodist Church, DeKalb.

He had worked 39 years at Del Monte. Kermit was a veteran of the US Army, having served during the Vietnam era. Kermit and Roberta were huge supporters of current and retired military personnel. He was widely known as "Mr. Fix-It."

He is survived by his wife, Roberta; son, Matthew (Julie) Bromeland of Sycamore; grandchildren, Madison and Gwen; sister, Bonni Feltz of DeKalb; and many nieces and nephews; along with all of the friends who knew and loved him and relished his sense of humor and joy of life.

He was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Tony; and sister, Pat. 

Now for the rest of the story...

Kermit (or Kurt, Kerm, Kermie) was a great brother.  He was 14 years older than me which made it easy growing up.  I wasn't underfoot and he I don't remember him being in the house except for short periods of time.  Oh I know he had to have been living with us but my memory doesn't go back that far.

I never doubted that Kerm loved me and I know that he knew I loved him.  We weren't the most demonstrative to each other but we knew it.  In fact I introduced him to his wife Bobbie. Here's the story as I remember it.  

Kerm was old enough that he would have been drafted and sent to Vietnam.  The recruiter came out to the house and said if Kerm enlisted he could make sure that Kerm wouldn't go to Vietnam but could go to Germany.  Not sure how that worked but Kerm enlisted and yes, he went to Germany.  Of course we wrote letters to him every week and even sent reel to reel tapes to him.  Later on we learned that he couldn't understand 90% of what he said but he didn't want to tell us that because we might have stopped sending them and even that 10% that he could hear made him feel like he was at home.  I remember the whole family would sit around the large dining room table and take turns telling him what we did that week.  Even Patti and I.  Of course our big events were things like "we found a new stray dog and we named him..." or "I went to the library today", etc.   
One time Patti and I asked him in our letter to him what we could do.  He wrote back saying he would like to have a girlfriend when he got home so we could find him one.  He even gave clues like

She has to be around 6' tall because he was 6'3"
He liked blondes so we had to ask Mom what "blondes" meant.
and she had to have a nice smile and be nice.

Patti and I had a mission.  Keep in mind that we lived in the country outside of a small town.  There weren't any women that seemed to match Kerm's criteria.  One day, while going into DeKalb for weekly errands like laundry and groceries, mom and us girls were in line for groceries.  Patti and I kept staring at the clerk and mom was starting to get mad at us because that was rude.  Mom kept giving us "that look" but we ignored it.  Finally it was our turn to check out and while mom was busy putting groceries up on the belt, I opened up my big mouth and said to the clerk "Wow, You're tall.  How tall are you?"   She laughed and said 6' 1".  Then she smiled and we liked her smile and we asked if her hair could be called blonde.  She laughed and said yes.  By this time Mom was about ready to kill us but the girl said it was ok.  Then the big question.  "Would you like to write to our brother in Germany?  He's in the service and he wants a girlfriend who is tall and pretty and has a nice smile.   Do you want his address?"  Mom was MORTIFIED!  Patti and I were happy.  Bobbie, real name Roberta, gave us her address since we didn't have Kerm's address on us.  I always wondered if mom had it but just didn't want to give it to us since she was so embarrassed.  In the next shipment of letters we sent along Bobbie's address and her and Kerm started to correspond.  The rest, as they say, is history.
They got married and were together ever since.  Here are some pictures which I like.
These pictures are Kerm and Bobbie showing Grandma and Grandpa Chamberlain her engagement ring.  (Notice the quilt being used as a chair cover).

I always thought that Kerm had a James Bond look in this picture. 

Kerm and Bobbie always were cooking out.  This picture is one of the first one that they did. 

That's Kerm in the plaid shirt.  Bobbie did great watermelon bowls!

This picture is much later when he is cooking out at his farm.

The last picture for now is where Kerm, one Christmas at Mom's Senior Citizen Housing was standing next to his Granddaughter Madison.

Madison is all grown up now but I think this is a great picture of them.

R.I.P. Kermit Philip Bromeland
Remember the embroidery floss project?  I made progress on it.  This is what it looks like now.  The fullest box covers 200-699.  I find that I have a free box so I might split that to make more room.  I have a third box for numbers 900 and onward.  I just noticed that I put 700-800 as my label when it needs to be 700-899.  An easy fix but I'd better do it soon or else I'll forget.  LOL.

I need to sign off now and get back to some stitching.  My cat "hang in there" cross stitch is almost done and I hope to finish it this weekend.  I'd have taken a picture of it to show you but my phone camera isn't working for some reason.  My regular camera is at work so next post you'll have a picture.
Everybody have a great day.


FlyLadyFan said...

I'm am sorry for your loss. You have written a beautiful and loving tribute to him. Best wishes.

Sue Cottle said...

Great blog post, great story about setting Kerm up with Bobbie - goodness, it's a wonder Edith didn't actually kill you - I can believe she would have been absolutely wanted to disappear into the floor at yours' and Patti's behaviour! It's lovely that Kerm and Bobbie had such a long life together, and there's grandchildren to remember them.

I'm glad you you have such great memories you can share. I thought it was interesting that you all stayed pretty much so close to home.

oh lol - nearly posted this as 'Azariah Brown' - Becca's girlfriend has been using my laptop! That would have confused you.

Those thread boxes are looking good - I have mine in A4 folders! Have a great day with your stitching

lots of love, and big hugs

Marsha Clark said...

So sorry for your loss Sis ! Hugs <3
Great pics and memories ! Thanks for sharing with us. :)