Herb died peacefully and quietly in his sleep with loved ones at his side, on February 28, 2023, at Pine Grove in Fredericton. Born in Moncton, on February 28, 1935, he was the son of the late Myrtle (Sproul) and Herbert Fillmore.
Educated as a young boy in Bathurst, he went on to matriculate at Rothesay Collegiate, graduate from UNB with a BA in ’58, DAL BEd in ’60, St. Mary’s MA in ’61, later Marquette and the University of Missouri PhD in ’78, and his Post Doctorate in ’79 at East Texas. Original intentions had him preparing for a career in medicine, but exposure to psychology courses aroused his interest in this field to the extent that he majored in psychology, however maintaining a minor in biology and a life long interest in science. Herb was a lifelong learner and educator to his core. He was a natural leader and held positions in educational administration (head of testing at the department of education in NS, superintendent, principal, and school psychologist), but his true passion was teaching the sciences.
His career path spanned NS, NB, and the US, with the bulk of it in his beloved New Brunswick, where he was close to family and could enjoy his passion for the outdoors. An avid outdoorsman, he loved waterfowl hunting, fishing, gardening, bird watching, paddling his canoe, snowshoeing – any means to spend time in nature. He was an ardent shotgun enthusiast, skeet shooting to perfect his aim, and always promoted safety and responsible firearms ownership. He held certification as a master guide in NB and Florida, where he spent winters with Anne upon their retirement. Herb was a Freemason attaining the 32nd degree and holding numerous positions within the fraternity. He was also a volunteer organizer and strong supporter of Ducks Unlimited. Herb was widely read and politically engaged. His library contained an eclectic mix of genres and subjects from history, especially of NB, birding, chess, genealogy, the study of war, politics and geography to anything scientific and related to the natural world which he valued. He possessed the rare skill of being able to engage in conversation on any subject with whomever he met. He was witty, adventurous, sometimes mischievous, and fun to be around. A generous host known for his culinary talents and dinners with “grown on the Acres” herbs and veggies, and occasional wild game. You never left his dining table without being well fortified and deliciously stuffed.
Herb endured painful tragedies in his life, having lost his daughter Kathy in a car accident in 1976, followed by his wife Anne’s stroke in 1986, and later death in 1993. The loss of his only son Jeff in 2005 to leukemia was a particularly hard blow, but he maintained positivity and a love of life. He was a source of inspiration, hope and strength to his remaining daughter Carolyn throughout. In 2010 he married Karen, and through a 28-year relationship, they had wonderful times together at Lakeville Corner celebrating many a happy hour with their B&B neighbours Ron and Christine, cruising in the winter months, and caring for their lab and scottie dogs on their beautiful waterfront property (Fillmore Acres), now home to Carolyn and Mike.
He is survived by his wife Karen Love, daughter Carolyn (Michael McKinley), and sister Marilyn (David Hoar). Herb is also survived by Jeff’s wife Angela, Karen’s daughter Lisa (Costa Papista and daughters Eva and Stella) of Michigan, sister-in-law Betty Campbell of Halifax, niece Dr. Stephanie Hoar (Brent Stevens and children Claire and Andrew) of Ottawa, as well as many beloved cousins, nieces, nephews and friends.
The family would like to express their deep appreciation to the entire staff at Pine Grove for their compassion and care of Herb and his family over the past five years.
A private family burial will be held later in the year at Riverbank Cemetery in Norton. Herb will be dearly missed, but often referenced in happy memories. Please raise a glass of your favourite beverage in celebration of a life enjoyed and well lived.
Dad supported several causes over his lifetime, and for those who wish to make a donation in his memory, they may do so to a charity of their choice.