Photos and articles courtesy
of Meyer Denn
Herman A. Denn was born Abraham Herman Denn on June 19, 1921, in Wharton, Texas. Whilein high school in Bay City, Abraham Herman became known as Herman A. Denn. Herman was the eldest son of Joe and Bertha Schwartz Denn. He was graduated from Bay City High School in 1940 and in 1941 he enlisted in the United States Army.
Herman was first stationed at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, then transferred to Shephard Field in Wichita Falls, and afterseveral other transfers, he landed in England to participate in the third day of the invasion of France, and saw action in Belgium and Germany.
After the war, Herman came back to Bay City, and on March 3, 1946, married Roseie Ray Wurzberg, the daughter of Chaim and Mirl Wurzberg of Houston. Herman and Rose first settled in Houston, but then entered business in Bay City with his younger brother, Manuel. In 1947, they opened Bay City Surplus Sales Company at 1904 Seventh Street in a business site of their aunt, Esther Goldman, who ran the E. Goldman grocery. Their other brother Sidney soon joined the business and Mrs. Goldman retired from business. In 1948 the Denn brothers expanded their business into her location, renaming it Denn Brothers Sporting Goods. In 1969 they moved the business across the street to 1911 Seventh Street.
Herman and Rose had two daughters: Mirl Paula, and Belinda Lee. In 1973, Mirl married Ron Cohen, and they had two sons, Jaime Eron and Joe Russell. The family resided in Barker, Texas. In 1986, Belinda married Scott Chanin and they had one daughter, Lila.
Herman Denn was a life member of the Bay City Lions Club, was a member of the Lions Crippled Children's Camp, the Bay City Masonic Lodge #865, and the Scottish Rite. The Denns were members of the Shearith Israel Congregation, and Herman served on the board of directors. They were also members of Beth David Center in Bay City. He was a member of B'nai B'rith and Rose was a member of Hadassah.
Rosie Denn died on November 16, 1995 in Bay City. Herman died on August 30, 2002 in Houston. Both were buried at the Shearith Israel Cemetery in Wharton, Texas.
Historic Matagorda County, Volume II,
pages 126-127 2013
Abraham Herman Denn of Bay City, Texas and Houston, Texas passed away on Friday evening August 30, 2002.
Herman, as we all knew him, was born June 19, 1921 in Wharton, Texas to Joe and Bertha Denn. A deeply devoted family man who was always willing to help his friends and anyone in need.
He was the eldest of four children, Herman, Sidney, Manuel and Ethel, who all grew up in Bay City.
After graduating high school, Herman was quick to enlist and serve his country.
He was a sergeant in the Army Air Forces from December 1941 to September 1945. He proudly served with the 394th Fighter Squadron in battles and campaigns in Normandy, Northern France, Ardennes, Central Europe and Rhineland Air Offensive in Europe.
He received the EAME Campaign Medal with six bronze stars, a distinguished unit badge and numerous other metals of distinction.
He often shared stores of his experiences in Europe with his children, grandchildren and friends.
After his service, he returned to the Houston area, met his wife Rosie Wirzberg and quickly went to work starting his career.
In 1948, he and his brothers, Sidney and Manuel, formed a partnership and started an Army Surplus store in Bay City, Texas.
They built this business into a thriving Sporting Goods store that focused on school and team sports in the South Texas area.
They often ventured in numerous innovative areas, including the first Panasonic/Sony televisions and a Honda/Harley Davidson motorcycle business.
The "Bidness," the love of his life-greeting and meeting new people, seeing friends, he would smile and you could see how happy he was.
Donating his time and energies to festivals and fundraisers, he was constantly giving back to the little town he so loved.
He was a member of Shearith Israel Synagogue in Wharton, Texas and served on the board.
He will also be remembered for assuring that everyone received their honors during high holidays for many years.
He was active in the Bay City Lions Club, Fraternal Order of the Eagle, the Shriners, Masonic Lodge, Veterans of Foreign War, American Legion, B'Nai Brith, a Hadassah associate and Girl Scouts.
He worked tirelessly for these organizations, teaching his children and grandchildren the importance of doing good deeds. He was truly a good man and will be missed immensely.
Herman was preceded in death by his wife of 40 years, Rosie Wirzberg Denn; brothers, Sidney and Manuel Denn; sister, Ethel Hoffman; and his parents, Bertha and Joe Denn.
He is survived by children: Mirl and Ron Cohen, Belinda Denn and Scott F. Chanin; grandchildren, Jaime and Joseph Cohen and Lila Chanin; sisters-in-law, Becky Meyer and Gertie Denn; as well as numerous nieces and nephews who he also considered his children.
Graveside services were held on Sunday, September 1, 2002, at Shearith Israel Cemetery in Wharton, Texas.
Rabbi Shaul Osadchey officiated. Donations can be made to the Wharton Chapter of Hadassah c/o Marlene Rosenberg, 1217 LaDelle, Wharton, Texas 77488. A00014B2002SP04
Bay City Tribune, September 4, 2002
Rosie Ray Wirzberg Denn, 73, of Bay City passed away November 16, 1995 at Matagorda General Hospital in Bay City. She was born January 23, 1922, in Houston, Texas to Chaim and Mirl Wirzberg. She had been a resident of Bay City since 1946 and was a member of Shearith Israel Synagogue in Wharton, Texas. Rosie was a former leader of the the Brownies, Girl Scouts, and Young Judeans as well as the VFW Ladies Auxiliary and the American Legion. She was an active life member of Hadassah, Shearith Israel Sisterhood and Beth David Center in Bay City. She was always willing to take on any job that needed to be done.
She is survived by her husband of 49 years, Herman Denn of Bay City, by two daughters and sons-in-law, Mirl and Ron Cohen of Houston and Belinda Denn and Scott F. Chanin of Houston, by two sisters, Fannie Bazaman of Detroit, Michigan and Becky Meyer of Houston, by two brothers-in-law and their spouses, Sidney and Gertie Denn and Manuel and Helen Denn all of Bay City, by three grandchildren, Jaime Cohen, Joey Cohen and Lila Denn all of Houston.
Funeral services are scheduled for 2:00 p. m. Friday, November 17, 1995 at the Shearith Israel synagogue in Wharton with Rabbi Ted Sanders officiating. Burial will follow at the Shearith Israel Cemetery in Wharton.
Pallbearers will be Sidney Schwartz, Nathan Blum, Scott Chanin, Ron Cohen, Jaime Cohen and Joey Cohen. honorary pallbearers include, Manuel Denn, Sidney Denn, Vernon Leissner and Glen White.
Memorials may be made to the Hadassah, PO Box 384, Bay City, TX 77404-0384 or to the charity of your choice. Arrangements are with Taylor Bros. Funeral Home in Bay City.
Daily Tribune, November 17, 1995
Copyright 2009 -
Present by the Denn Family
Oct. 9, 2013
Oct. 24, 2013