Herbert Shedroff, son of Edward and Rose Shedroff, loving husband, father and grandfather, died on Sunday at St. Francis Hospital in Hartford, Conn. He was 89. Herb was born and grew up in Colchester, Conn. After graduating from Bacon Academy in 1951, he enlisted in the Navy and served through 1955. On his return, he devoted his life to education, attending Willimantic State Teachers College (now Eastern Connecticut State University), graduating in 1959. He taught science in East Hampton and went on to become principal of Gilead Hill Elementary School in Hebron. He spent 25 years, from 1969 to 1994, as the principal of Dominick F. Burns Elementary School in Hartford. On the occasion of his retirement from Burns, the Hartford Courant ran a profile of Herb. Students and colleagues praised him as a steady force, a role model who took the reins of an overcrowded school at the tail end of the turbulent 1960s. He was, they said, the first person in in the mornings, the last to leave in the evenings. “He’s the captain of the ship,” a colleague said. “If something goes wrong and he’s there, you know everything’s going to be fine.” In the Courant, as well as in a 1989 story in The New York Times about economic disparities in Connecticut schools, Herb is described as always having his door open to students and his eyes open to the challenges they confronted. He was proud of an addition to Burns that was completed in 1992 and dedicated in his honor. The expansion made possible, for the first time in Herb’s tenure, for all Burns students to learn under the same roof. “Public schools are merely a portion of society, so if there are problems in a societal setting, it’s a reflection of the school,” Herb told the Courant. “We can’t become part of the problem. We can’t express fear. Our rule is to be a solution to the problem.” In his retirement, Herb continued to work as a student teacher supervisor at the University of Saint Joseph and the University of Hartford. Known for his firm handshake, quick wit and direct, no-nonsense approach with people, Herb was a devoted fan of the Boston Red Sox and New England Patriots. He loved animals, especially his cats Yogi and Boo-Boo. He walked five miles a day. Herb will be missed by his wife Harriet, of West Hartford; his son Mike Shedroff and his husband Linwood, of Windsor; his daughter Lisa Cooper and her husband Chuck, of Narbeth, Penn.; his stepchildren Susan Wilkinson and Melissa Kirsch; and his grandchildren Eric Schlesinger, Daniel Schlesinger and Emma Wilkinson. A graveside service will be held on Thurs., May 19, at 11:00 a.m. at Fairview Cemetery, 200 Whitman Ave., West Hartford.