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John E. Herbert

July 29, 1929 - July 6, 2019


John Emery Herbert was born July 29, 1929 to John Robert Herbert and Mary Emily Beaman Herbert in Forest Grove, Oregon.

He passed away peacefully on July 6, 1929 at the age of 89 surrounded by family.

He graduated from O.C.E. with a Bachelors’ degree in Elementary Education in 1951

and later earned his masters’ degree from the University of Oregon.

John said the most important event of his college years was meeting Donna Olson, his future wife.  They were married May 25, 1952 in Albany, Oregon and were married for 59 years.

John started his teaching career in Roseburg, Oregon. He moved to Eugene soon after and worked at Cascade Junior High in the Bethel School District.

In 1968 John joined the State Department of Education in Salem as a specialist in junior high school education. He was then principal of Walker Junior High School, Whitaker Junior High and Hoover Elementary Schools.

He retired in 1985 when Donna became ill. After she recovered, John became a licensed and bonded contractor, painting and doing minor remodeling jobs.

His hobbies included carpentry, painting, genealogy, family and people. He was very active in the Methodist church. John never met a stranger. He was very generous with his time. He loved to visit elderly people and entertain his grandchildren. 

We would like to thank the staff and residents at Gibson Creek Assisted living for their kindness in caring for Dad. They truly made him feel like family. 

He was preceded in death by his parents, wife, Donna, stepsisters Della Starr, Merle Purkerson, and Mildred Judson, brother Leighton and sister Evelyn Aronson.  He is survived by brother Dewey, son Stephen of Powell Butte, daughter Luanne Smith of Helena, MT (John) and son John and daughter-in-law Rhonda Herbert of Salem, 8 grandchildren, and 15 great grandchildren and many cousins, nieces and nephews.

There will be a Memorial Service Saturday, July 27 at 2:00 p.m. at Virgil T. Golden Funeral Service.  In lieu of flowers, please do a random act of kindness for someone you don’t know or befriend someone less fortunate than yourself.  

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Maggie and I will always remember John as the person who first made us aware of the fact that my mother's paternal ancestors migrated to Oregon by wagon train in 1845 on the OREGON TRAIL.  My mother was previously not aware and had I known about it when in the 8th grade studying Oregon and that historic migration, I would have been a celebrity.

We visited with John at every one of the Herbert Family reunions from 1995 to and including the last one in 2012.  We will miss him.

We have a treasured copy of John's book as well as his later addendum.  You will find us listed with the Jesse Herbert family.