James Edward Herndon died peacefully on December 19, 2016 at the Atlanta Hospice Center in Brookhaven with his family by his side. He was 88 years of age.
He was born to the late James Edward Herndon and Virginia Mauney Herndon on September 23, 1928 in Charlotte, NC.
Jim was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 49 years, Patricia Johnson Herndon and his two younger brothers, William Mauney Herndon and Robert Eugene Herndon.
Jim graduated from Davidson College in 1949 with a B.S in Economics and Business. He lettered in Basketball in 1946.
A year later he earned his MBA from UNC Chapel Hill. He was commissioned into the United States Air Force on March 22, 1951 and served as 1st Lieutenant for 4 years. He was inducted into the Mach Busters Club and was appropriately nicknamed “Judge” by his comrades. “Judge” was one of the first fighter pilots to break the sound barrier flying the F-86D fighter interceptor. Their motto was “faster than sound upside down,” which those who knew him well heard often.
He married Patricia Rae Johnson on March 6, 1954 of Taylor, Texas. In March of 1955 he resigned from the USAF and moved to his hometown of Kings Mountain, NC to join his father and brother Will, to help manage the family textile business, JE Herndon Co.
Jim was a faithful servant of God and was very active in St. Matthews Lutheran Church. He was one of the youngest to be awarded Eagle Scout from Troop #91 of St. Matthews.
He generously gave to numerous charities, churches and served as the Chairman of the Cleveland County School Board for 6 years.
Jim will be remembered for his integrity, modesty, hospitality, keen sense of humor, unfailing love and devotion to his family, friends and employees. His generosity knew no boundaries.
He enjoyed people from all walks of life and undoubtedly made an impact on their lives. If he ever told you to “keep your nose low in the turns” when you were leaving you knew he treasured you dearly.
He his survived by his four devoted children, James Edward Herndon III and wife Jane Klinger Herndon of Kings Mountain, NC. Patricia Herndon Whiteside and husband James Monroe Whiteside of Charlotte, NC. Elizabeth Scott Herndon of Atlanta, GA . Charlotte Herndon Cahoon and husband Daniel Thomas Cahoon of Atlanta, GA. He had five beloved grandchildren, Charlotte Coleman Penninger and husband Ryan McCoy Penninger of Washington, DC. Julia Langhorne Coleman of Charlotte, NC. Kathryn Pierce Herndon and James Edward Herndon (“Jay”) of Kings Mountain, NC. Kathryn Ravenscroft Cahoon of Atlanta, Ga.
A memorial service will be held at Peachtree Road Lutheran Church, 3686 Peachtree Road, NE, Atlanta, GA 30319 on January 7, 2017 at 2:00 pm.
The family will receive friends immediately following the service at Capital City Club, 53 W. Brookhaven Drive, NE, Atlanta 30319.
In lieu of flowers the family requests a contribution to the Atlanta Hospice Center, 1244 Park Vista Drive, Atlanta, GA, or a charity of your choice .
Published in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Dec. 25, 2016