Darrel Fred Herdman Sr.
1948 - 2021
FUNERAL HOME
Murphy Funeral Home - Chagrin Falls
95 S. Franklin Street
Chagrin Falls, OH

XENIA — Darrel Fred Herdman, Sr., known to all as Fred, passed away suddenly on Monday, July 19, 2021. He was an athlete, a student, a coach, a teacher, a salesman, a fast friend to many, and a beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother, and cousin. In addition to his family and friends, he leaves behind a coonhound who won't stop running away, a mutt who can barely walk, two cats that all but him had forgotten, and an armful of shotgun ammunition that he intended to use this fall on ducks, but will instead be fired in his honor by his boys and at least one granddaughter. Like most of his many tall tales, what follows is based on a true story. Fred was born in Troy, Ohio on Flag Day in 1948, less than a year after his older brother, John. His parents, Darrel and Johnena, first raised Fred and John on a farm famous in family lore for its lack of indoor plumbing and an outhouse filled with snakes. After a few years of farm life, Darrel and Johnena moved the family to Xenia. The Herdmans spent the next decade in and out of Little League, basketball, and Pop Warner football games. While still a youngster, Fred hit a game-winning homerun that was witnessed by a rookie player for the Cincinnati Reds, who promptly asked for the ball and signed his name - "Pete Rose" - on it. Fred went on to Xenia High School, where he was a three-sport athlete and also proudly represented his school at Buckeye Boys' State. In his senior year, he was awarded the Rocky C. Thomas prize for the best all-around male student at Xenia. The summer after his senior year, Fred and his brother John drove out to the countryside to share a few adult beverages. While they were parked near a cornfield, they saw a flying saucer rise out of the crops - it then followed them all the way back home before ascending to a high altitude. The story of this sighting, and whether it was the product of chemical influence, was the subject of family debate at every holiday or birthday gathering for the next half century. Fred went on to Muskingum College, where he started as a freshman and played in the 1966 Grantland Rice Bowl. Fred's lack of speed at fullback was more than made up for by his willingness to run full speed into oncoming defensive linemen. In his spare time, he met his first wife (Kathaleen) and made lifelong friends as a member of the Mace Club. While his time at Muskingum produced volumes of memorable stories, perhaps the most well-known came after Fred and his friends watched the film Cool Hand Luke. After seeing Paul Newman's character eat 50 hard-boiled eggs in an hour, Fred bet his fraternity brothers that he could eat 60 eggs in an hour. The attempt, which was held in front of a standing-room only crowd and covered in the local newspapers, failed in spectacular and disgusting fashion when one of his buddies slapped Fred's stomach after he downed egg 51 (with plenty of time remaining). After graduation, Fred and Kathy married and moved to Kettering, Ohio. Fred taught English and coached football at Fairmont West High School and eventually became the Assistant Principal at Fairmont East. In 1975, Fred and Kathy welcomed their son, Justin, and two years later, he was joined by their daughter, Karah. Fred spent these years barbequing by Darrel and Johnena's pool, hopelessly failing at training his springer spaniels to work pheasant fields, and purchasing the finest leisure suits the decade had on offer. In the early 1980s, Fred and Kathy moved the family to Coral Springs, Florida, where they were soon joined by Darrel, Johnena, and John. Fred spent the next few years traveling the globe, first as a salesman and then as a marketing executive for U.S. Surgical. His many airline trips led to a series of celebrity tales, all of them highly unlikely, but these legendary yarns included bird hunting with Walter Payton, assisting Gary Coleman in stowing his carry-on baggage in the overhead compartment, sharing mid-flight cocktails with Diane Sawyer, drinking beer with Andre the Giant, and helping John Denver pen the famous song "Rocky Mountain High." Fred returned to Ohio in 1989 and soon met the love of his life, Patricia, whom he married in 1990. Patty brought her two children - Katie and Chris - to the family, and a year later, they added Fred Jr., thus completing what became a blended crew of parents and five children. In the 1990s, Fred moved the family west to pursue new job opportunities, first to California and then settling in Scottsdale, Arizona. Here, Fred hit his stride in several areas. With Fred Jr. entering high school and Chris attending college at Arizona State, Fred found himself doing what he loves most: being a dad. Whether he was hosting the football team, wrestling team or rugby team, Fred made sure there was enough room, enough laughs and enough grilled meat for everyone. It was also in Arizona that Fred, who was always on the lookout for talent, hired both his daughter (Katie) and a transplanted Ohio State fan who would eventually become Katie's husband (Jay). After Fred Jr. graduated from high school and pursued his college football career at Youngstown State, Fred and Patty decided a boomerang back to Ohio was in order. What followed was five years of pure joy for Fred. Watching YSU practice, making road trips through snowstorms to see the Penguins play in exotic locales like North Dakota, hosting massive tailgate parties at home games, and always clutching his new grandchildren close during the tensest moments of each contest. In his last months, Fred was able to throw himself into the wedding celebration of Fred Jr. and Katelyn ("Katie" or "FAK"). With his entire family assembled for the first time in well over a year, Fred was able to toast the newlyweds at their rehearsal dinner, walk Patricia down the aisle, and give a knowing thumbs up to friends in the audience on his stroll out of the church. Fred is survived by his wife, Patricia Ann; his children, Justin (Elizabeth), Karah (John Mark) Parschauer, Darrel Fred (Katelyn), Katherine (Jay) Scherer, and Christopher Margrett; his grandchildren, Lucy and Julian Herdman, John Justin, Grace, and Beatrice Parschauer, and Jackson and Calvin Scherer; his brother, John; his nephew, Jonathan; and numerous cousins, friends, and other loved ones. Funeral arrangements are to be provided by Murphy Funeral Home in Chagrin Falls. A memorial service is being planned for this upcoming weekend and details will be available on the funeral home website. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that a donation be made in honor of Darrel Fred Herdman, Sr., Class of 1970, to Muskingum University, Office of Institutional Advancement, PO Box 1837, New Concord, OH 43762 or online at https://www.givecampus.com/campaigns/4797/donations/new. Whenever his children prepared to take the field in sports, Fred reminded them of his two fundamental rules. First, a quitter never wins, and a winner never quits. Second, once your number is called and you enter the game, you will play with reckless abandon. Fred leaves behind a legacy unmatched in its humor and kindness. His laugh will no longer be heard in ears, but it echoes forever in hearts. And his lessons endure beyond his passing. Let it be said… Fred Herdman never quit on life, and he loved with reckless abandon. Please see service details and sign Tribute Wall at: murphyfamilyfuneralhome.com.


Published by Greene County Dailies from Jul. 21 to Jul. 22, 2021.
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7 Entries
Erin, Zach, Scott, and Trent
July 23, 2021
My most sincere and heartfelt condolences to the entire Herdman family. I did not know Fred personally, but I do know the quality of the man he raised in his son, Justin. To the extent that a son reflects the values and integrity instilled in him by his father, then I know that Fred must have been a man of great character who deeply loved his family, God bless.
Trent Shores
July 23, 2021
We are sorry to hear of Fred´s passing. Our heartfelt wishes go out to family and friends. We were reminiscing about YMCA little league base ball and playing against the Herdman brothers. We have 8mm films of some of those games. Gary remembers being on the same team of 13-15 year old as Fred that his dad coached. Darrel recalls baseball and basketball teams with Fred in HS and road trips with Fred in his car. It sounds like Fred had a full and memorable life with stories and a legacy that will live on for many years. May God comfort and bless your family.
Gary and Darrel Hetzler
School
July 22, 2021
My sincerest condolences to Fred's family and his many friends.
Sharon Corbett Harrison
School
July 22, 2021
My deepest condolences go out to Fred's family and many friends. Oh, the memories he left. I will keep you all in my thoughts and prayers.
Linda Gerhardt McCann
School
July 22, 2021
So very very sorry for your loss, family members. Fred was always a smiling and friendly face in the halls of XHS. This was the BEST obituary I have ever read!!! What a tribute to a super guy! Prayers of comfort to all of you.
Peggy (Diener) Leasure..class of `66
School
July 21, 2021
My sincere condolences to the Herdman family. I will keep all in my thoughts and prayers.
Bob Geyer
Friend
July 21, 2021
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