First Posted: 9/27/2010
Willie Hartford Herring, 90, of Lumberton, died Sept. 26, 2010, at Southeastern Regional Medical Center, surrounded by loving family and caregivers, after a prolonged illness.
The funeral is to take place 11 a.m. Wednesday at Floyd Memorial Chapel. The service is to be officiated by Godwin Heights Minister David Holloway, and Mr. Herrings very dear friend and long-time former pastor, Mr. Baxter Leigh. Interment is planned at New Hollywood Cemetery.
Pall bearers are grandsons, Thomas, Randy, and Wilton Herring, and Brant Mitchell, nephews, John Brisson and Bobbie Herring.
Honorary pall bearers are members of the Saint Luke Mens Sunday School Class of Godwin Heights, and Mr. Clint Sealey, Mr. Nicholas Garner, Mr. Lonnie Brisson, and Mr. Marvin Blackburn.
He was born July 29, 1920, in Robeson County to his parents, Jimmie Melessie Smith Herring and John Frankling Herring.
Willie Herring was very proud to tell of how he made his profession of faith on June 29, 1930. He was baptized and became a member of East Lumberton Baptist Church a month before his 10th birthday. He was a long-time member of Zions Tabernacle Baptist Church and most recently, since 2005, a member of Godwin Heights Baptist Church.
Herring enjoyed a career in the energy industry which took him and his family to various locations in the Carolinas and Florida. His introduction to that profession began as a carpenter, a trade he had learned with his father. He embarked on that career path at the power plant in Robeson County in the 1950s, where he thrived and was ultimately a successful, highly regarded engineer in the business of power plant construction. He was among the first in the nuclear energy installation field. He was a devout Christian and was driven by a strong work ethic gaining him much respect, he had a team of dedicated employees who would move to various projects to work with and for him. It was very important to Mr. Herring as a Christian father and husband to have his family relocate with him and he made certain the family became active in a Baptist Church in each new location.
Among his many personal achievements Willie Herring planned and completed the basement fellowship hall at Long Shoals Baptist Church while living in the Asheville area. He liked to say that he enjoyed building like others enjoyed golf. He would take on ambitious projects such as building a home from the ground up, as something he did after work and on Saturdays. He enjoyed fishing in the Big Swamp and around Ocean Isle where he also built a number of cottages over the years and vacationed with family.
Herring was preceded in death in 1949 by his wife, Beatrice Ray Herring; son, Bernice Frankling Herring in 1988; daughter, Janice Ray Herring Bowen in 1988; daughter-in-law, June Herring; son-in-law, Bruce Worrell; brothers, Joseph and Johnnie Herring; and sister, Annie Lula Sessoms.
Herring is survived by his loving wife of almost 59 years, Yvonne Brisson Herring of the home; daughters, Jimmie Ann Mitchell of Goldsboro, Diann Worrell of Chapel Hill, and Judi Collins of Chapin, S.C.; and sons-in-law, Gerald Mitchell, Mike Bowen, and Ronnie Collins. He was grandfather to nine grandchildren, Thomas Herring of Charleston, Randy Herring and Wilton Herring, both of Lumberton, Ginger Mitchell Underwood of Richmond, Brant Mitchell of Cary, Kim Bowen Woodlief and Michele Bowen Bryant of Wake Forest, Joy Collins Ellis of Chapin, and Kathleen Worrell of Chapel Hill as well as grandchildren-in-law, Connie Herring, Jackie Herring, Pauline Herring, Eric Underwood, Wendy Mitchell, Jeff Woodlief, Dave Bryant, and Scott Ellis. Mr. Herring was also proud of his eight great-grandchildren, Jessica and Ryan Herring, Dominic and Nathalie Ann Underwood, Trey Mitchell, Gage and Max Woodlief, and Sophia Bryant.
The visitation will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at Floyds Mortuary.
There are scores of people Willie Herring and his family would like to thank for their tireless love, support and prayers; among them are Mrs. Maxie Leigh, Ms. Jeannie Davis, Mrs. Nancy Sealey, Mrs. Bobbie Garner, Mrs. Patsy Brisson, Mrs. Betty Blackburn, and the Godwin Heights Baptist Church family.
Memorials may be made to the American Heart Association, 2711 Breezewood Ave., Suite-A, Fayetteville, N.C., 28303 or the American Cancer Society, 8300 Health Park, Suite 10, Raleigh, N.C., 27165.
Arrangements are being made by Floyd Mortuary of Lumberton.
To send online condolences visit, www.floydmortuary.net.