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Herman DeSomber
Updated On: May 13, 2009


No Time for Rest

Herman DeSomber’s Retirement Plans Include More of the Same and That’s a Lot

DeSomber plans to retire from his job as a Meat Cutter at Safeway 1592 in Kings Beach.  But his level of activity will hardly diminish.

“When I leave, I’ll be as busy as ever with my side businesses,” DeSomber said. “I like to be as active as possible.  You know what they stay: ‘When you stop working, it’s all over.’ ”

As he looks back on his more than four decades in the industry, DeSomber said he is thankful  that he has had a job with Union-negotiated benefits.

Over most summers, DeSomber paints and restores old houses. “I’ve always been handy, and I love to use my hands to build things, he said.

Herman DeSomber is joined at a restaurant by his wife, Lori, and three UFCW 8 District Union Representatives, (from left) John Micheletti, Jeff Berns and Jay Trumbull. DeSomber is recuperating from an automobile accident

He worked for Lucky/ Albertsons for 34 years. When the store he was working at closed in 2006, he moved over to Safeway

“I’ve made a good living, and now I look forward to retirement with a good pension and health insurance,” he said. “That wouldn’t have happened without the Union.”

Retirement will give him more time to complete work on the home that he and his wife purchased 20 years “It’s been a fixer-upper since day one,” DeSomber said. “I’ll now have the time to get everything done.”

He also wants to spend more time working on his computer.


“Remodeling houses gives me a chance to do both. I do about five or six houses a year.”

He and his wife, Lori, also create Santa Clauses. “We began about six years ago,” DeSomber said. “My wife decided she needed something to work on to relax her. We buy the heads and she decorates them. I build the bodies.

“We make about 40 each year. We sell them alone or as part of a scene. I also make the furniture that goes with each scene.”

The Santas range in size from four inches to four feet and sell for $60 to $80.

The DeSombers sell them during the weekend before Thanksgiving at the Valhalla Craft Faire in South Lake Tahoe. “We tried to place them in stores but got ripped off,” he said. “So the faire is the only venue where people can get them.”

If that wasn’t enough to keep him busy, DeSomber also owns about 25 vending

machines, located in various businesses.

“I got into that about three years ago when someone I knew wanted to sell a couple of them,&rdquo said. “We sell sodas and hard candies such as M&Ms. I only have to restock them once a month.”

DeSomber has been in the retail food industry for 41 years.


“We have nine children between us,” he said. “I took videos of all of the kids growing up. I want to edit down each child’s footage, put it on a DVD and give it to them for Christmas.”

DeSomber said his wife would like to do more traveling when he retires, but he is not the traveling kind.

“We may wind up traveling some anyway,” he said. “After all, we have 25 grandchildren and three great grandchildren who live all over the country.”


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