Dr. Jimmy Ray Herndon, Jr.,
Sept 21, 1952 – Feb 16, 2017
Dr. Jimmy Ray Herndon, Jr., was born in Shawnee, Oklahoma, on September 21, 1952, to Jimmy Ray Herndon, Sr., and Mary Francis Wisdom Herndon. He departed this life on February 16, 2017, in a tragic car accident.
He established himself a “workman unashamed” in the service of his Creator, church, and community. He continually professed his love for his Savior, and how he was so thankful to be a sinner saved by grace.
His early years were spent in Asher, Oklahoma. He graduated as valedictorian from Asher High School in 1970. He loved sharing “embellished” stories of being an Asher Indian with their rich baseball state championship heritage. Fond memories of his being the pitcher, his brother Danny the catcher, and his Dad the little league coach are still shared at family gatherings. Sharing this rich baseball heritage with his “amazingly talented” seven-year-old grandson Austin blessed him so. Another source of pride was his preservation of the Herndon family farm home, which fulfilled his promise to Papa Herndon to keep his birthplace in the Herndon name.
In 1972, he married LaReeca Ann Hogan. Through his gentlemanly actions, it was obvious to all he had great respect and admiration for her. He loved and adored his three children: daughter Dr. Rachel McKinzie and husband Rob of Edmond; son Michael Reece Herndon and wife Janna of Hamptonville, North Carolina; and daughter Anna Kaydean Wood and husband Cory of Edmond. Jimmy received much happiness and pleasure from his six grandchildren: Adison Ella Rae and Austin Michael McKinzie; Emily Lynn, Madelyn Elizabeth, Lillian Rae, and Michael River Herndon. Jim is also survived by his father, Jim Herndon, Sr., and wife Shirley of Tulsa; sister Deborah Dean Phillips and husband Dwight of Sallisaw; brother Danny Joe Herndon and wife Patti of Muskogee; sister Pamela Kay Coleman and husband Larry of Bristow; brother Dr. Michael Wayne Herndon and wife Jolynn of Edmond; sister-in-law Linda Hogan of West Plains, Missouri; uncle Tom Wisdom of Carrollton, Texas; cherished cousins, nieces, and nephews; and a host of other family members, friends, and former patients.
Jim graduated from Oklahoma Christian College in 1973 and earned his master’s degree from the University of Oklahoma in 1974. He completed his doctorate in osteopathic medicine in 1978. His name is familiar to residents of Sallisaw, where Dr. Herndon began his cherished medical practice with Dr. Rick Robbins at Redwood Medical Clinic.
Jimmy loved traditions and telling stories – some were true, but most were exaggerated … or as Uncle Totsy says, “lovingly embellished.” Another idiom, “If something is worth doing, it’s worth overdoing,” would describe Jim’s commitment to his medical career. After his treasured years in family medicine in Sallisaw, he followed his calling to use his God-given diagnostic talents in the St. Edward’s/Mercy emergency room. His devotion to medicine, and his love and respect for veterans, led him to serve at Fort Smith Veterans Administration Clinic.
Even as he “retired” and moved closer to his daughters, he remained devoted to serving others. After many years suffering from essential tremor, Jim underwent a revolutionary procedure that instantaneously took his tremor away. For the last year, with extreme gratitude, Jim resumed his practice of emergency medicine. Not a week went by without him boasting of his suturing skills. He worked the positive into the worst tragedies and had fun influencing lives.
As a licensed minister, Jimmy was honored to perform marriages and to help families say goodbye to their loved ones. He truly took care of families from birth to death. He was a warm, genuine man who could love simply … with no strings attached.
Jim’s Edmond viewing will be Sunday, February 19 from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Matthews Funeral Home at 601 S. Kelly Ave. The family will be present at the viewing from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Jim’s memorial service, under the direction of Agent Mallory Martin Funeral Home, will be at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, February 21 at Immanuel Baptist Church in Sallisaw. Family visitation will follow the service in the Immanuel Fellowship Hall. The casket bearers will be Zac Phillips, Timothy Phillips, Bart Herndon, Jeremy Hogan, Josh Hogan, Joseph Hogan, and Adam Herndon. The honorary casket bearers will be Dr. Rick Robbins and Dr. Hal Robbins.
Jim was preceded in Heaven by his mother Mary Herndon; maternal grandparents SweetMother Ruth Wisdom, SweetPapa Raymond Wisdom; paternal grandparents Papa Art Herndon, Mamaw Nola Herndon; and nephew Danny Joe Herndon. Jim’s legacy of love will live on through the lives he touched in the church and community. To share a fond memory or condolences, visit http://matthewsfuneralhome.com/obituaries or http://www.agentfuneralhome.com/obituaries.html.