Isaac Wilhelm “Ian” Hermann, 83, of Columbia died Feb. 22, 2020.

Funeral services will be 2 p.m. Friday, Feb. 28, at The Crossing, 3615 Southland Drive. Family will receive friends from 1 p.m. until time for the services. Burial will follow the service at 4 p.m. at Columbia Cemetery, 30 E. Broadway.

Ian was born Oct. 10, 1936, in Palestine, to the late Heinrich Wilhelm and Erika Rachel (ben Levi) Hermann. During World War II, Ian and his family escaped to German Southwest Africa (Namibia), where Heinrich’s parents had previously settled. Ian grew up in Okahandja, Namibia, went to boarding school in South Africa and to Nottingham University in England from 1958 to 1960, earning a degree in commerce.

While in South Africa, Ian played on the Springboks rugby team, winning a scholarship to Nottingham. In later years, Ian’s grandparents moved to Cape Town, and Ian always considered Cape Town his home.

After school, Ian came back to Africa, working on the copper mines in northern Zambia and then moved to Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) to start a furniture factory with his cousin — a trade he learned from his grandfather.

During a vacation to Israel, the Six-Day War started. Ian joined the Israeli Defense Force and fought as a paratrooper in the Negev Desert.

In the ’60s, Ian converted to Christianity after attending a Billy Graham Crusade in London and so began his new life in Christ.

In 1974, Ian met Iowa Peace Corps volunteer Kathy McMullen while working in Malawi. They were married March 12, 1976, at St. Peters Anglican Church in Lilongwe, Malawi.

They moved to the United States in 1978, settling in Gallup, New Mexico, where Ian opened a furniture business and their daughters, Rachel, Carol, Sharon and Christina, were born.

In 1981, the family moved to Columbia. Ian worked worked briefly for Ethan Allen and then started his own furniture business that he ran for over 30 years.

Rugby continued to be a big interest for Ian. He served as the coach for the Mizzou Club Rugby team for 20 years.

Ian was always involved with church life, serving as a Sunday school teacher in men’s groups and prayer meetings. Ian was always thankful for the new life and family he found in Christ.

Our family will always remember Ian as a fun-loving husband, father and grandfather and an example of Godly wisdom to everyone who knew him.

He is survived by his wife, Kathy; daughters Rachel (Austin) Reed and Sharon Johnson; and grandchildren, Maxwell, Charlie, Ethan, Ariah, Ian, Aliyah and Noah.

Memorial contributions are suggested to Ian Hermann MRAA Scholarship, c/o Mizzou Rugby Alumni Association. Online condolences and tributes may be shared with the family at

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