Hermione was the daughter of Hans Curjel and the former Carol Rebecca Leinkauf. She attended Newcomb College at Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana and the College for Women at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia as a member of the Class of 1938, but interrupted her studies after she met and married attorney Edward Friend Jr. She completed her bachelor's degree at the University of Alabama in 1968.
Friend helped to establish the Alabama Symphony Orchestra, served on the board of the Birmingham Museum of Art and chaired the advisory board for the Jefferson County Family Court. She chaired the Birmingham Festival of Arts' 1970 Salute to Great Britain. She was honored for her work by being named "Birmingham Woman of the Year" by the Business and Professional Women of Birmingham that October.