Floyd L. Herald

March 27, 1939 ~ April 19, 2019 (age 80)


Floyd L. Herald, 80, passed peacefully on April 19, 2019 in Sebastopol. Floyd was born on March 27, 1939 to Marjorie Jeanette (Hyser) Herald & Alfred Milton Herald in Indiana.    

After graduate school at Michigan State, Floyd and wife, Jan, drove to California in 1962 with their newborn daughter, Kathy, in a 1956 Chevy with a bottle-warmer that plugged into the cigarette lighter, and the promise of a job at Del Monte in San Francisco, where he became Director of the Ocean Transportation Department for the next 38 years. 

In 1967, Floyd and Jan moved from San Francisco with their now three children to live “in the country” in an old ranch-house on the outskirts of Petaluma. They fell in love with Sonoma County and made it their permanent home. The family soon was headed to the mountains most weekends. There they shared with their children their mutual love and respect for nature and the outdoors. Floyd loved the challenge of the elements, and he will be remembered for his many outdoor adventures including living on a glacier in Alaska; backpacking in the Teton and Wind River Ranges of Wyoming; hiking the trails of the Western Sierras; many bear-encounter stories; rock-climbing; cross-country skiing; and lots and lots of camping adventures. He also loved ice hockey, playing into his 70’s and always cheered for the San Jose Sharks.

Floyd was a very talented artist, having held multiple art shows both in Wyoming and California.

Finally, Floyd was an accomplished piano, accordion and banjo player, he was an avid lover of many styles of music. His favorite band Hot Club of Cowtown out of Austin, TX, honored him with a personal live concert for his 80th birthday when he was unable to make it to their concert due to his declining health.

He retired from Del Monte, only to become the “shoe salesman with the special way of tying shoes” at REI Santa Rosa. His greatest enjoyment came from encouraging and preparing those new to outdoor experiences (especially children) to have successful, enjoyable adventures. “If it isn’t fun, you won’t go back.”

His advice: “Always remember to look up. If you stare at the ground, you will miss the most beautiful skies.”

Preceded in death by his loving wife and best friend of over 52 years, Janice (Freiburger) Herald in 2016.

Floyd is survived by his children: Kathleen (Richard), Christopher (Emily), and Katy (Bud); his grandchildren: Nolen, Galen “Nyph”, Annie (Adam), Ben, Justin (Dezi), Kayla, Alex, Sky*; his great grandson, Benny; his brother’s-in-spirit: Keith and Guy (Carol); and his cousins: Sandra Stephen, Robert Barger, and Janet Leap among others...

Friends are invited to attend a memorial celebration in June. Contact family for details at In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to Alzheimer’s Association. Checks mailed to family or brought to memorial event will be forwarded or you may donate online at  

To send flowers to Floyd's family, please visit our floral section.


A service summary is not available
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