John Anthony Herbst, 86, of Canton, husband of Marcia E. (Copenhaver) Herbst, died Tuesday, June 4, 2019, at St. Francis Hospital in Hartford. He was born May 6, 1933, in Ford City, PA, the son of the late John H. and Mary (Bartek) Herbst. Raised in Ford City, John later lived in Madison and retired in Columbus, GA, before moving back to Connecticut to settle in Canton 21 years ago. John attended the University of Notre Dame, where he double-majored in Chemistry and English and played Varsity Football on a full athletic scholarship, and later graduated from West Virginia Wesleyan University (Class of 1960). In 1971, John was awarded his Ph.D. in Chemistry from West Virginia University. Between his years as an undergraduate, John served in the U.S. Army as a paratrooper. Later, he served in the U.S. Naval Reserve, attaining the rank of Lieutenant Commander before receiving his honorable discharge.
Dr. Herbst was a Research Chemist at Olin Corp. and Callaway Chemical Co. before retiring from ExxonMobil Corp. in 1996. His work as a research chemist led to the development of a unique chemical patent in 1975. In his leisure time, John was an experienced and passionate grower of lilies and was an honored member of the New England Lily Society. He was also a model car enthusiast, having been a long-time member of the Packards International Motor Car Club. In addition to all of this, he was also a first-rate brewer of beer.
Besides his wife of 63 years, he is survived by his daughter Julia Wholey and her husband Brien and their daughter Nina Wholey of Canton; his son Andrew Herbst and his children Nicole and Nathan Herbst of Seattle; his sister Maryanna Fichthorn and her husband Dr. Joseph Fichthorn and niece and nephew Joanna Fichthorn Rosebush and Ross Fichthorn and their children, all of whom reside in Maine; his brother Henry E. Herbst; his sister-in-law Mrs. Doris Herbst (widow of John’s late brother Joseph Herbst) of Ford City, PA; his brother-in-law Michael Angello Sr. and wife Joann, also of Ford City; his sisters-in-law Melissa Ebig and Patty Charney; and cousin Janet Cloak along with all of his other cousins in Pennsylvania. His many nieces and nephews include Donald, Gregory and Nanette Herbst; Drew Ebig; Deanna Angello, Michael Angello Jr. and Christine Klingesmith; and Ellen Barker and Richard, Edward and Robert Charney. Besides his brother Joseph, John was predeceased by his beloved son Arthur D. Herbst. John was always very devoted to his family and will be deeply missed by all, including his adored cats Socrates and Plato.
There will be no calling hours, and services will be private. Memorial donations may be made in John’s name to a favorite charity. Arrangements are in the care of Vincent Funeral Home of Canton. Please visit John’s “Book of Memories” at www.vincentfuneralhome.com for online tributes.