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Dr. Robert Eugene Herndon, 92, of Chickasha died Monday April 9, 2018. A memorial service celebrating his extraordinary life will be on April 20, 2018 at 2:00 p.m. at Epworth United Methodist Church.
Robert was born July 11, 1925, in Tulsa, Ok. to Early Miller Herndon and Della Burden Herndon. Early worked for Carter Oil Co. in Tulsa where Robert grew up and then later in Seminole where he graduated from high school. Robert enrolled in the US Navy as part of the V12 program and spent a year at the University of Texas prior to going on to the University of Oklahoma Medical School and graduating in 1948. He met his soul mate and wife Shirley, a nursing student, while in medical school and they married in her hometown of Gotebo, OK in 1948. After graduation he served as ships doctor aboard a U.S. Navy transport between San Francisco and Pearl Harbor. He later finished his residency at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland in 1953, and then continued his service with the US Navy. He and his family were stationed at the Chincoteague Naval Air Station where he served for two years. He remained in the Naval Reserve for 20 years retiring as a Lieutenant Commander.
In 1954 he and Shirley moved to Chickasha where he was one of the early physicians of the Chickasha Clinic located on Choctaw Avenue. In 1960 the Chickasha Clinic later known as Southern Plains Medical Center, relocated to the Borden Park area next to the new Grady Memorial Hospital, where Robert served on staff for over fifty years specializing in pediatrics. He brought many babies into this world and his love of children was his passion! House calls were a big part of his practice. He loved the interaction with children and their parents. He was an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Children's Hospital and took a day out of every month to spend teaching residents at the OU Medical Center. He served as president of the Oklahoma Academy of Pediatrics. He was also a preceptor for many students who came from OU Medical School to the Chickasha Clinic to observe him practice pediatrics.
When he retired from pediatrics at Southern Plains he joined his son Chris at Duncan Medical Associates. This allowed them to practice together for several years.
He was a pillar of Epworth United Methodist Church where Robert served as chairman and member of many various committees over the years.
Robert had a passion for missions and used his medical skill on countless mission trips to various countries. On one particular trip, Robert took Shirley and the children to Utila, a small island off the coast of Honduras, where he served as a doctor for the village.
Robert was very active in his community where he served on many boards, including the Chickasha School Board, the Chickasha Library board and a charter member of the Chickasha Antique Car Club.
Robert loved music and was an accomplished instrumentalist, playing clarinet with the University of Texas marching band and oboe with an ensemble at U.S.A.O. He was also a member of the Double Reed Society.
Robert's hobbies kept him busy; whether it was flying out of the Chickasha Airport; restoring a Model T and two Model A Fords; or painting, especially oil portraits of his children and grandchildren.
Robert was preceded in death by his parents, Della and Early Herndon, and his wife Shirley Wells Herndon and sister Betty Herndon Meyer.
He is survived by his sons, Chris and wife Karen of Duncan; David and his wife Linda, of Chickasha; John and his wife Loretta, of Chickasha; and his daughter Nancy of Norman; grandchildren Stacie Herndon Elfrink and her husband Nathan; Kirsten Herndon Baer and her husband Tim; Anna Dudding Rath and her husband Shae; Carrie Dudding Feldman and her husband Michael; Penny Keck Martinez and her husband Jose; John Robert Herndon and his wife Rayghan; Courtney Hendrick Tomlinson and her husband Jeremy; John Michael Hendrick and his wife Ashley; great grandchildren Aiden and Caroline Elfrink; Hannah and Andrew Baer; Madison and Brooklynn Rath; Alyssa and Emily Feldman; Madelynn and Hannah Clement; Isabelle, Emma, Colin, Quinn, Matilda, and Adelaide Tomlinson; and Wells Huxley Hendrick.
Inurnment will be in the Columbarium at Epworth with immediate family in attendance. A reception will follow in the Fellowship Hall.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to Epworth Methodist Church of Chickasha.
Published on April 12, 2018
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