Hubert (Herb) Weller

Hubert P. (Herb) Weller passed away June 29, 2023 after sustaining injuries in an accident. He was born in Holland, MI, February 27, 1934, and graduated from Holland High School, where he started studying Spanish and fell in love with the language. He went on to earn degrees in Spanish at the University of Michigan (BA) and Indiana University (MA; PhD). Much to his surprise (his three older brothers had all left Holland), he returned to his hometown to teach Spanish at Hope College (1962-96), including two terms as department chair. In the 1970s, he saw the computer’s potential for educational use and developed the groundbreaking SPANCOM program for instruction in Spanish. He had lived in Chile and Peru and traveled extensively throughout the Spanish-speaking world. Upon retirement, Herb used the language daily as a translator, interpreter, and private instructor.

Herb served for 13 years on Holland’s International Relations Commission and was deeply involved in the Sister City program with Querétaro, Mexico. In 2022, he received a lifetime achievement award from Holland’s Human Relations Commission for “dedicating his life to building a culture of learning and connection between the City of Holland and the wider world.”

Diversity, inclusion, and equity were core values. He was a founder and database manager of the Alliance for Cultural and Ethnic Harmony and an active member of First United Methodist Church, especially its Justice for Our Neighbors program. He was involved in the Hope Academy of Senior Professionals (HASP) and several Hispanic organizations.

Herb was an avid fly-fisherman and a sailor and was especially proud to earn a private pilot’s license at age 67. He was an excellent cook, studied classical guitar, liked to travel, enjoyed word and math puzzles, and raised three dachshunds. He was a kind, gentle, and generous man.

Above all, Herb cherished his extended and blended family and his friends. He was preceded in death by his mother, Huberdina, when he was six; his father, Peter Sr., when he was in college, his stepmother Trudy in 1965, and his brothers Peter Jr., John, and Tony and their wives. He is survived by his loving wife, Ann, whom he married in 1995; his son and daughter-in-law, Christopher ’91 (Becca ’91) and their daughters Gretel Weller Geiger ’23 (Zach) and Bridget Weller; his stepchildren Stephen ’84 Underwood (Salmy) and Susan Goff (Gerald); step-grandchildren and great-grands, including Rachel, Casey, David, Jonathan, Zana, Ian, Khloe, and David; sister-in-law Lynn Emerick; and beloved nieces, nephews, and cousins and their families.

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