James Ray Herndon, 84, formerly of Ottawa, passed away Friday, Dec. 4, 2020, after a long illness, although the immediate cause of his death was COVID-19.
Private graveside services will be Monday, Dec. 14, 2020, at Woodlawn Cemetery, Pomona, Kansas with Masonic services by the Anchor Lodge #224 A.F. & A.M. of Williamsburg and Waverly. The family suggests memorial contributions to Abdallah Shriners of Overland Park c/o Dengel & Son Mortuary, 235 S. Hickory, Ottawa, Kansas 66067. Family and friends are encouraged to post their condolences and memories on James’ Tribute Wall at www.dengelmortuary.com.
James was born at home on Jan. 26, 1936, near Mount Vernon, Missouri, the son of James Harold and Gertrude Alice (Ford) Herndon.
He grew up on a rural farm near Mount Vernon and graduated from Mount Vernon High School with the Class of 1955. James moved to Olathe, Kansas, for a job with Delco and better schooling for his children. After retiring in 1988, he relocated to his dream home on a farm outside of Ottawa where he raised Angus cattle.
James married T. Phyllis Collins, Dec. 14, 1957, in Plattsburg, Missouri. She preceded him in death, Aug. 26, 2009. He then married Clara Lee Scott in 2010. She preceded him in death in 2019.
His sister, Helen Virginia Herndon Bird, and sons-in-law, James Reynolds and Mike Ross, preceded him in death.
Survivors include his daughters, Rita Louise Herndon Reynolds and Sandra Kay Herndon Ross; son, Roger Alan Herndon; younger sister, Carolyn Susan Kreitzer Swan; four grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.
While James was first and foremost a farmer at heart, he earned his living working at the Delco battery plant in Olathe, Kansas, 1957-1988, where he was active in UAW 1021. Upon his retirement from Delco, he raised Angus cattle until 2007. He then retired from active farming, renting out his land.
James served in the U.S. Army Reserves in the 1950’s. He was a ham radio operator, and a member of the Abdallah Shriners of Overland Park, Masonic Lodge McKinley #41 in Pomona, and the Franklin County Democrats.
Posted online on December 11, 2020