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James Kenneth Herndon

October 1, 2012

    James “Jim” Kenneth Herndon, 85, of Bluffton, passed away Thursday, September 27, 2012, at River Terrace Estates in Bluffton.
    He was born on September 20, 1927, in Huntington County, to Elijah J. and Mary L. (Holmes) Herndon.
    On March 26, 1949, he married Rita E. Geis in Decatur; she passed away on February 17, 1966.
    Jim then married Miriam J. (Ginter) Sommer in Decatur on March 4, 1967; she passed away on April 29, 1996.
    On July 12, 1997, Jim married Lela K. (Minger) Claghorn in Bluffton; she survives.
    A 1947 graduate of East Union High School, Jim was in the U.S. Marine Corps during the Korean War. He retired from International Harvester as a machinist and also worked locally for Lin’s Lock and Key.
    Jim was a member of Bethel Church, as well as a member of the Union Township Lions Club, American Legion Post 468, in Berne, and the Decatur Coin Club. Jim was also an avid woodworker.
    Among survivors are two sons, Daniel P. (Susan) Herndon of Roanoke and Leslie K. (Mary) Herndon of Ossian; Miriam’s two sons, Stanley A. Smitley of Yoder and Gerald L. Smitley of Fort Wayne; Lela’s four sons, Alan K. (Karey) Claghorn of Milo, Iowa; Ted M. (JoAnn) Claghorn of Bluffton; G. Brian Claghorn of Shirley, Ind.; and Bradley W. (Victoria) Claghorn of Bellbrook, Ohio; Lela’s daughter, Jean A. (Jon) Shepheard of Wasilla, Alaska; Lela’s daughter-in-law, Sandra S. Claghorn of Chesterfield, Ind.; 24 grandchildren, 24 great-grandchildren, and two great-great grandchildren.
    He was preceded in death by a son, Gary Keith Herndon; daughter, Juanita J. Gleason; four brothers, Glenn, Virgil, Garl, and Carl Herndon; two sisters, Ruby Mulles and Bernice Cormany; Miriam’s daughter, Sylvia Bohnke; and Lela’s son, John J. Claghorn.
    Visitation will be from 2-8 p.m. on Tuesday, October 2, at Goodwin Memorial Chapel, Bluffton.
    Funeral services will be at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, also at the funeral home, with visitation one hour prior to the service. Pastor Lloyd Harlan will be officiating.
    Burial will be at Elm Grove Cemetery in Bluffton.
    Preferred memorials are to Bethel Church of Bluffton.
    Online condolences may be made at

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