Art Creative 04

James Francis Herndon

November 4, 2021


Born August 11, 1929, in Indianapolis, Indiana.  Died November 4, 2021, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  Survivors include his son, David Herndon, and daughter-in-law, Cindy Kirsch; granddaughters Rachel Herndon and Meredith Herndon; niece Hilary (Joe Tesoriero) Beall; and many other relatives.  He was predeceased by his wife of more than sixty-seven years, Doris Arlene Beall Herndon; and his parents, Francis Earl Herndon and Mary Agnes Demmer Herndon.

James was a 1948 graduate of Cathedral High School in Indianapolis and subsequently attended the John Herron School of Art, also in Indianapolis.  He received his undergraduate degree in Studio Art and Art History from Indiana University at Bloomington, Indiana, in 1952.  Following graduation, he enlisted in the United States Army and was stationed for a year in Germany where he served in the Counter Intelligence Corps.  He received his M.A. in Political Science from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, and his Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  He had a career as a professor and taught at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa; the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, North Dakota; and Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia, where he served from 1967 until his retirement as Professor Emeritus in 1994.  In Blacksburg, James and his wife enjoyed living for forty-seven years in a home which they designed and built themselves that overlooked the Blue Ridge Mountains, and they were members of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the New River Valley.  In retirement, he returned to painting and spent many happy hours in his studio. Please visit for an online memorial celebration, photos, paintings, suggestions for memorial contributions, and contact information.   Arrangements by John A. Freyvogel Sons, Inc. (


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