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 https://matthewsfuneralhome.com/obituaries or http://www.agentfuneralhome.com/obituaries.html.


  1. Dr Herndon was a very special person. He made your life better just by knowing him. He gave himself and his love to everyone. I met him as a Nurse at Sequoyah Hospital when he interned there. He loved caring for people and was so kind to all the Nurse’s.
    Everyone loved him. We will all miss him.

  2. Dr. Jim had such a warm and caring soul. He performed the most beautiful wedding ceremony for my husband, Jim, and I 36 years ago. He will always be a part of us. He will live in the hearts of so very many in this community.

  3. I worked with Dr. Herndon for several years in the ER at mercy. He was one of a kind and whenever you found out he was working the ER, you knew it was gonna be a great day no matter what happened during your shift. Always quick with a smile and a joke, he will be missed.

  4. Dr. Herndon was my parents (Jim and Alice Ralls) doctor when they lived in Vian. They spoke very highly of him. LaReeca has been a friend since our OC days. This news was very sad to hear. We send our love to the family. Phyllis Ralls Mitchell

  5. Dr. Herndon was my pediatrician when I lived at home in Sallisaw. He had the softest, coolest hands and the warmest eyes of any doctor I knew then or now. For some years I lost touch, as one does. Then, in my Junior year in high school, I crashed my car and was taken to the Emergency Room in Fort Smith. I awoke to Dr. Herndon smiling down at me, chart in hand. It was disorienting, at first…was I a child again? Then I realized where and when I was and we had a nice laugh.

    It doesn’t seem fair for such a man to leave this life so suddenly. Thank you to him and to his family for sharing his grace and kindness with a community who needed him. He is so loved and appreciated.

  6. Dr Herndon delivered our son and was our family dr for many years until we moved from Sallisaw. He was truly a man of great character and compassion. The best dr we’ve ever had and a really good friend. So sorry to hear that he is no longer with us. Thank you, Dr Herndon, for your lifelong service to God and to your fellow man.

  7. This man was the most nicest caring person i have ever met. He and Dr Rick Robbins has always be there for my family. He always told me when i was in Jr high to always be what you wanna be and never let anyone tell you different. He is going to be missed by so many in this community. Dr Herndon may you rest in eternal peace!

  8. Mom (Jan Jones) worked with Dr. Herndon for several years. Any time I had to go to see him for being sick or just being in the office to talk to my mom, he and I always teased each other. He loved to joke around. Dr. Herndon was a great, fun loving guy that will be missed. We have had a long standing joke between us, since mom worked for him, and to this day when I would see him in town or around somewhere, it was always who could be first at the joke. Rest in peace “nerd”, enjoy your eternal rest. To the family, I pray peace and comfort in your loss. Yes, he went to soon, but in God’s perfect plan he needed him home. God bless.

  9. My thoughts n prayers for Dr Jin’s family. He was my dr for years and my mother n I both loved him dearly. He was there for me when I lost my husband to answer all the medical questions for me and meanings, and I don’t know any dr that would have took the time from their schedule to do that, so to you Dr Jim Thank You from the bottom of my heart. God Rest Your Soul.

    May God give this family comfort and strength to get through this time. Amen

  10. Our thoughts and prayers are with a wonderful family during your time of loss.

    Grant, Lauren, and Molly Merrill

  11. What a legacy he has left. Much love to the entire family. I am so sorry for your loss.

  12. Dr Herndon holds a special place in my heart. He always took time for my kids during their office visits as children. I have several tongue depressors that he drew for them over the years. We even mailed one to him when he was under the weather. He also talked with me as a young mom about schools church and family during visits never rushing our appointments. My heart goes out to this sweet family.

  13. Unfortunately, I have not seen Jim for several years, but a man like him leaves a lasting impression on you. I was fortunate to have a working relationship with him taking care of his patients while I was owner and pharmacist at Vian Pharmacy. He was an excellent physician and a wonderful human being. It was my privilege to know him. My condolences to his family for their great loss.

  14. I am the “other grandpa” in the Michael Herndon family. I did not know Jim as a doctor but as a father and a grandpa. Jim loved his children and grandchildren. I loved when he came to visit his North Carolina family. Jim poured out his love on Michael, his children and Janna, my daughter. I could not have wished for a better “co-grandpa”. Jim, there is no way I can fill your shoes but I’ll try to give extra hugs until you can give them yourself when we all have that great reunion.
    May the God of all comfort be with each member of Jim’s family.

  15. Dr Herndon was the kindest doctor I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with. His kindered spirit was evident to all, and his love for the Lord was obvious in his thought and deed. I will miss him dearly. He was so proud of his children and grandchildren, and shared stories with our staff, which he enjoyed telling as much as we enjoyed listening. Our hospital has lost the best!
    God bless him and his family….

  16. Wow!

    Jimmy was one of the younger ones in our Class of ’78.

    I remember him as a man of class and character. We lose touch with classmates over the years, but his success in helping others in different arenas only speaks of his broad base of understanding people and their needs.

    Jim, you are an asset to the class of 1978.

    May God bring peace to your family and friends as you become a shining presence in heaven.

    Ronnie Keith, DO, Class of 78

  17. How much we are at a loss for words in reading about this incredible man. We can only hope that each one of us will take our God given talents and use them to multiply his Kingdom. God only knows on this earth just how many people were touched by this one man’s ministry. We were and we had never met him.

  18. Dr. Jim was my Doctor many years ago when I developed Asthma, he nursed me through many bad episodes. Jim was also my son Jeremy’s Doctor as he grew up in Sallisaw. I left Sallisaw just as Jim was hit with his first beginnings of Essential Tremor. We were friends as well as doctor and patient and he always gave me a hug when we met out of the office. I today have Essential Tremor that effects my right hand, voice and mouth.
    I am so sorry to learn of his death. I have never forgotten what a wonderful man he was and I pray he now rests in piece.

  19. Jimmy Ray “Ace” left us way to soon. During medical school, Jim Graham and I took him to school, bought him so many breakfasts, and expanded his experiences in spite of LaReeca’s best effort, but it was all in fun. He was an excellent student and helped us to get through medical school. He was a fun-loving, quick witted and excellent student. Each time we talked, I brought up the number of meals we bought for him and it was time for him to pay up.

    Living in Mississippi, I did not see him often but the last time I saw him in OKC at a conference a couple of years ago, we went to lunch at Mantles, and ……………. he got me to pay the pill. LOL, Thank you Jimmy Ray for the memories, God Bless his family that made him so proud. He departed us way to soon.

    Bob Blubaugh, DO, Class of 78

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