Mr. Johnjack Herndon, 58, of the Five Points neighborhood in Athens, GA, rose peacefully "to the Spirit in the Sky" Friday afternoon, Jan. 11, 2013, from Wendover Hospice House in Shelby.
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Born into a Navy family on Nov. 12, 1954, in Pensacola, FL, he was the only son of John Glenn Herndon of Warner Robins, GA, and the late Willie Leona "Billie" Riddle Herndon. He was a 1972 graduate of Elbert County (GA) High School and a graduate of Young Harris College. He served four years in the U.S. Navy, where he worked as an aviation mechanic. He later traveled to and lived in Germany, a time he still treasured, working as a "roadie" for rock bands, including The Mothers of Invention. He remained a dedicated "Dead Head" the rest of his life.
A "Jack" of all trades for a while, he worked as a Volkswagen mechanic, an auto parts salesman and a tree surgeon, then settled in for more than ten years at the University of Georgia's College of Veterinary Medicine. Caring for the animals who were brought there became his passion and purpose in life. His sweet and gentle personality calmed countless horses, cows, cats and dogs and one badly injured circus zebra, as well as professional staff who marveled at his natural gifts.
Johnjack leaves to remember him well his father, John Glenn Herndon and his wife, Alice, of Warner Robins, GA; two sisters, Cassie Herndon Tarpley of Shelby and Martha Celeste Herndon, also of Shelby now, but formerly of Athens, GA; his soul mate niece, Andrea Kruse Van Wie of Atlanta and her wife, Melissa Van Wie, and their daughter, his only grandniece, Sophia Grace Corsi-Van Wie, all of Atlanta; two aunts, Iris Riddle Emery and Betty Lou Riddle Stubbs, both of Shelby; aunt and uncle, George and Becky Herndon of Smyrna, GA; nine cousins; and a host of friends from the Athens area.
Family and friends will celebrate his life at a service Monday, Jan. 14, at 2 p.m. at Aldersgate United Methodist Church in Shelby. The family will receive friends at the church starting at 1 p.m. A later service will be planned for his community in Athens.
Rather than flowers, the family would prefer memorials to the animal
or to Aldersgate United Methodist Church, 1207 W. Dixon Blvd., Shelby, NC 28152.
Cecil M. Burton Funeral Home and Crematory is serving his family.
Published in Athens Banner-Herald on Jan. 13, 2013