Cover photo for James Clifton Herring, Jr.'s Obituary
James Clifton Herring, Jr. Profile Photo

James Clifton Herring, Jr.

October 30, 1938 — December 13, 2020

James Clifton Herring, Jr.

James Clifton Herring, Jr. October 30, 1938 – December 13, 2020 Dr. James Clifton Herring, Jr. passed away peacefully on December 13, 2020. He was affectionately known as “Dr. Jim” to many of his former patients and friends, but to his six grandchildren he was simply their “Doc.” Born in Kinston, on October 30, 1938, he was the elder son of James Clifton and Irene Tyndall Herring. He grew up in Wilson, graduating from Charles L. Coon High School. One of his fondest memories was seeing Elvis Presley perform in his school auditorium and catching a glimpse of the King’s pink Cadillac outside. He was a member of the first freshman class at Wake Forest University when the campus moved to Winston-Salem. He was a member of the Theta Tau chapter of Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity, recognized as Who’s Who among American Colleges and Universities, and chaired the Student Honor Council. After earning his undergraduate degree at Wake Forest University, he completed his Doctor of Optometry at the New England College of Optometry. For over 49 years he practiced the profession he loved by faithfully caring for the needs of his patients in Fairmont, Chadbourn, Lumberton, and the surrounding areas. Jim believed in community involvement, taking leadership roles in civic organizations in Fairmont and Lumberton. He was a founding member of the Fairmont Jaycees and supported the Lumberton Rotary Club. He was a devoted member of Trinity United Methodist Church in Fairmont and later Trinity Episcopal Church in Lumberton. An avid biblical reader and scholar, Jim enjoyed teaching Sunday school classes. He loved and listened to a wide variety of music, ranging from country to opera, but his favorite entertainers were Neil Diamond and Luciano Pavarotti. His love of music spilled into his love of singing, and he lent his baritone voice to church choirs and chorales. Jim remained faithful to his professional allegiances. He engaged actively in the North Carolina Optometric Society, as well as the American Optometric Association. He remained a strong supporter of his alma mater, the New England College of Optometry, and held distinction as a member of the President’s Circle. Jim is survived by his loving wife of over 57 years, Mary Lou Aycock Herring; his children Mary Lou Herring Webster (Oliver) of Troy; James Clifton “Chip” Herring III (Terri) of Columbia, South Carolina; and Allison Elisabeth Herring Owen (Robert) of Cary; grandchildren, Nicholas Raines Webster and William Corbett Webster; James Clifton “Jayce” Herring IV and Elise McCoy Herring; Elijah Wagner Owen and Wyatt Wakefield Owen; brother Charles Tyndall Herring (Connie) of Grifton, and nephews Charles Tyndall Herring, Jr. and Alan Patrick Herring, both of Winston-Salem. The family would like to thank the tireless efforts of Dr. Jim’s doctors and caregivers at Scotia Village in Laurinburg, and are grateful for their loving care and attention over the course of his stay. A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, remembrances for Dr. Jim may be made to Trinity United Methodist Church of Fairmont, North Carolina, Trinity Episcopal Church of Lumberton, North Carolina, and Scotia Village of Laurinburg, North Carolina. Condolences directed to Joyner’s Funeral Home and Crematory at www.joyners.net.
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