JAMES W. HERSHBERGER
November 23, 2011
James Wayne Hershberger, 80 years old of Bonita Springs, Florida, died on Wednesday, November 23, 2011. He was born in Wichita, Kansas on September 2, 1931 to Arthur and Nadyne Hershberger. He graduated from Kansas University in l953, served in the Air Force and returned to Wichita, Kansas where he began his career as an independent oil producer.
His accomplishments in athletics are many and legendary. He set many national track records; played 180 holes of golf (running the entire 60 miles). For his 50th birthday, Jim competed in the Hershberger Games which featured athletes competing in 18 sporting events in 15 hours. This event expanded into the Jim Hershberger MVP Games featuring world class athletes competing again each other in a 10 sport, one day event. At the age of 56, Jim won the overall competition - and then retired from competitive sports.
Kansas University named its track in his honor and in l986; Jim was chosen to appear on the Wheaties box. He was awarded the AAU All - American status at the age of 43 years.
He founded Second Chance, a private charity granting low-interest loans to people who had encountered catastrophic circumstances in their lives: served two terms as President of the Sedgwick County Mental Retardation/Disability Governing Board and co-founded the Wichita Chapter of Goodwill Industries, serving two terms as President and four terms on the Board. He was awarded their highest national honor for his service.
For thirteen years, he founded and sponsored the annual Jim Hershberger Thanksgiving Dinner in Wichita, Kansas which fed from 1500 to 2400 each year; he was named Kansas Man of the Year; was the recipient of the American Cancer Society's Excalibur Award as well as the Sigma Chi "Significant Sig" award.
In spite of all the above, Jim always felt that his greatest achievement was in marrying his wife, Sally. Jim leaves behind his beloved wife, Sally and their children: Erin Marshall of Bonita, Springs, Florida, Shannon Hershberger of Wichita, Kansas, Sally Ann Hershberger of New York and California, Chris Hershberger of Phoenix Arizona, Chris and Dr. Nicole Hall of Portland Oregon, Dr. Ben and Angie Gaddie of Louisville, Kentucky as well as grandchildren Evan Hershberger, Kristina Shepherd and her husband, Mark of Eudora, Kansas, Sloane and Georgia Gaddie, Fritz Hershberger Hall and Great grandchildren Gage, Brooklyn and Cadance Shepherd. He is preceded in death by his parents and two sons, James Hershberger, Jr and Michael Hershberger.
A Memorial Service celebrating Jim's life will be held Tuesday, November 29, 2011 at 1:00 PM at Joanne's House at Hope Hospice 27200 Imperial Pkwy., Bonita Springs, FL 34135. Arrangements are being handled by Shikany's Bonita Funeral Home.