Herman was born at home (1904 Main Street, NLR) in 1928. Two brothers followed in 1930 and 1932. He attended NLR schools and was involved in many activities at the Boys Club. During the early stages of WW2, he sold Arkansas Gazette newspapers at Camp Robinson, arising at 5:00 a.m. Worked his way up to the base hospital where everyone wanted to buy a paper, plus the cooks at the mess hall furnished a nice breakfast every morning. Herman’s dad was drafted at the age of 37 in 1943 and his mother was called upon to work long hours as a telephone operator during war years. Did this inspire Herman to spend every evening doing his high school homework? Afraid not…. and he graduated in 1946 in the middle of his class. Was on the Wildcat track team when that sport resumed in 1946. Played on the NLR American Legion baseball team and was selected as an outfielder on the 1946 All-Arkansas team.
The GI Bill was about to expire and a decision was made to join the Army…..two years of service for four years of college…..”best deal I ever made.” After basic training, Herman spent his 18th birthday on a troop ship headed for Japan and was assigned to the 10th Information and Historical Unit, Military Intelligence Division of the Eighth Army located in Yokohama, about 30 miles south of Tokyo. When spring rolled around Herman tried out for and made the 8th Army baseball team and had dreams of playing baseball during the summertime, but his Colonel would not release him to Special Services…that ended the dream. The primary purpose of the 10th I & H was to interrogate Japanese Generals and Admirals (many of whom were on trial for war crimes) on the conduct of the war in the Pacific. Very interesting work for a kid from NLR. Made Staff Sergeant just as he turned 19 and was making $139 per month and sending $100 home for college.
After serving 19 months in Japan, Herman headed home and enrolled at Arkansas State Teachers College without any idea of what he wanted to do. Was an outfielder on the baseball team and ran on relays and long-jumped on the track team which won the AIC championship in 1950. Herman’s father was an accountant and that was the last thing Herman Jr. thought he wanted to do, but in his sophomore year took a basic accounting course and liked it, so he made the decision to transfer to the U of A at Fayetteville to pursue a degree in accounting. One last fling was to Kansas in summer of 1950 to play in a semi-pro baseball league made up of college players from all over the country. Herman’s experience there told him that he was not going to play in the Yankee outfield with Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle.
Had to buckle down and really study at the U of A. Got involved in campus politics and ran unsuccessfully for Student Body Treasurer. Was selected to be a member of Blue Key, a National Honor Fraternity. and was a member of the Student Senate. Graduated in January 1953 with a major in accounting and a Second Lieutenant’s commission in the Army.
Married and went to work for a CPA firm in Little Rock. Passed the CPA exam on first attempt in May 1955. The work with the firm was very educational since Herman was involved in both audits and tax work. After practicing as a CPA for over ten years he was asked to join one of his clients, Winrock Enterprises in 1965 as the CFO (called Treasurer then). One of the outfits that Winrock provided management and financial advice to was J. B. Hunt Company, which at that time was a very small trucking company located in Stuttgart. Then Herman became involved with Winrock’s housing operation as VP/General Mgr. In 1975, Herman served as President of the 500 member Home Builders Association of GLR and later served as President of the Arkansas Home Builders Association and was a National Director for several years. Attending the meetings took them to Washington D.C. every spring to lobby for the homebuilding industry, plus other meetings all over the country. The last year at Winrock was the best year ever for that operation with over 200 homes sold in GLR and 75 in Shreveport. Sue was working at Winrock and they married in September 1976 and soon thereafter left the company and began a partnership known as Herman Shirley Home Builders. Most of their homes were semi-custom type on lots in NLR. When Herman reached 65 he turned the home building over to Sue’s son, Chris (who joined the business when he graduated from Hendrix College in 1985).
What does Herman do in retirement? Well….if you have seen our Woodland Gardens you know that this takes lots of effort. He has also served as Chair of the NLR Housing Board of Appeals, currently Chair of the NLR History Commission, serves on the Arkansas Board of Optometry, and active in Rotary Club. In 2001 he was so proud to be inducted into the NLR Boys & Girls Club Hall of Fame. After retiring from golf in 1976, Herman started playing again in 2006….how is he doing….scores not so good but fellowship is great.
Sue Rudolph was born at a St. Louis hospital on June 23, 1942. She has an older brother and younger sister. The family lived in Webster Groves, a suburb of St. Louis. Sue loved to be involved and participated in the neighborhood swim team and was active in her high school sorority, which was the center of many social activities. She was a “Candy Striper” for the Red Cross, serving at the Veterans Hospital and local nursing homes, plus participation in the Kiwanis Capers. Upon graduation from Webster Groves High School in 1960, Sue attended the University of Kansas, majoring in art (flunked nude drawing). After one year of college Sue married and her only child, Chris was born in 1962. Her husband’s job brought him to Little Rock in 1969 and they purchased a home in Indian Hills and joined Indian Hills Methodist Church. Sue was active in the Indian Hills PTA and served as a den mother for cub scouts.
Sue went to work for Winrock Homes at their Indian Hills office (now the Fire Station). Her job entailed selecting the brick color, roof color, interior and exterior colors, etc for all of the Winrock homes, both in GLR and Shreveport. When Winrock began a program of having model homes in their subdivisions, Sue selected the furnishings and saw to it that they were properly arranged.
Sue and Herman were married by Rev. Wayne Clark at Indian Hills Methodist Church in September, 1976. Sue and Chris moved their church membership to Lakewood Methodist, where Herman was a member. During their thirty year membership at Lakewood, Sue served as the only female member of the Building Committee for the recent $4 million addition, as church librarian and worked with the youth groups. Herman served on the Finance, PPR, Board of Trustees and was the teacher of a Sunday School Class for nine years.
Sue left Winrock in 1976, along with Herman, and they formed their own home building operation. In addition to selecting colors, Sue worked with trim carpenters, painters, etc, adding touches to the homes. After doing this for several years, Sue joined Rye Furniture and then opened her own interior design business. When the Arkansas Residential Interior Design law was initiated, Sue was the first person to pass the exam and her certificate bears #1. After practicing for many years,
Sue has now retired.
Sue has continued to keep in touch with a core of 6-8 of her high school friends, meeting annually at various places around the country, at which time they revert to their early teens. No husbands allowed at these gatherings!!
Their travels have taken them to Germany, Switzerland, Scotland, England, France, Spain, Mexico, Morocco, Canada and Canary Islands, plus Herman took a trip to Greece and Turkey to follow the footsteps of Apostle Paul. Trips in the US ranged from Vermont to Portland, OR; the Florida Keys and San Diego with many stops in between plus a couple of visits to Hawaii.
Their combined family consists of Sue’s son Chris, wife Dana, kids Clay and Caroline; along with Herman’s two daughters, Lynn who lives in Rogers with her husband Mark; and Dinah who lives in the Heights with husband Mike, son Garrett. Dinah’s older son lives in Chicago.