James Herndon, 85

Posted on October 2, 2012

James “Jim” Kenneth Herndon, 85, of Bluffton, passed away Thursday evening, Sept. 27, 2012, at River Terrace Estates in Bluffton.
Born on Sept. 20, 1927, in Huntington County to Elijah J. and Mary L. (Holmes) Herndon, he married Rita E. Geis in Decatur on March 26, 1949.  Rita passed away on Feb. 17, 1966.  Jim then married Miriam J. (Ginter) Sommer in Decatur on March 4, 1967; she died on Apr. 29, 1996.  On July 12, 1997, in Bluffton, Jim married Lela K. (Minger) Claghorn; she survives.
A 1947 graduate of East Union High School, Jim was in the U.S. Marine Corps during the Korean War. He retired from International Harvester as a machinist and also worked locally for Lin’s Lock and Key.  He was a member of Bethel Church, the Union Township Lion’s Club, American Legion Post 468 of Berne and the Decatur Coin Club.  Jim was also an avid woodworker.
Additional survivors include two sons, Daniel P. (Susan) Herndon of Roanoke, and Leslie K. (Mary) Herndon of Ossian; Rita’s two sons, Stanley A. Smitley of Yoder, and Gerald L. Smitley of Fort Wayne; Lela’s four sons, Alan K. (Karey) Claghorn of Milo, Iowa, Ted M. (JoAnn) Claghorn of Bluffton, G. Brian Claghorn of Shirley, Ind., and Bradley W. (Victoria) Claghorn of Bellbrook, Ohio; Lela’s daughter, Jean A. (Jon) Shepheard of Wasilla, Alaska; Lela’s daughter-in-law, Sandra S. Claghorn of Chesterfield; 24 grandchildren, 24 great-grandchildren, and two great-great grandchildren.
Jim was also preceded in death by a son, Gary Keith Herndon; a daughter, Juanita J. Gleason; four brothers, Glenn, Virgil, Garl, and Carl Herndon; two sisters, Ruby Mulles and Bernice Cormany; Rita’s daughter, Sylvia Bohnke; and Lela’s son, John J. Claghorn.
Services will be held Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. at Goodwin Memorial Chapel with Pastor Lloyd Harlan officiating. Visitation hours there will be Tuesday, Oct. 2, from 2 to 8 p.m. and Wednesday one hour prior to the service.
Burial will be at Elm Grove Cemetery in Bluffton.
Memorial contributions may be given to Bethel Church of Bluffton.
Online condolences: www.theGMCfamily.com.

This obituary contains corrections to that printed in Monday’s News-Banner.

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