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William A Herring
September 24, 1939 ~ July 26, 2023 (age 83) 83 Years Old
27 Trees, Flowers, or Condolences have been shared with support of William's family - View on Tribute Wall
Dr. William Arthur Herring, Jr “Bill”, age 83, passed away unexpectedly on July 26, 2023,
surrounded by family and wrapped in love. Through his final day, Bill lived out his values of
love, family, adventure, education, humor and, especially, service. Bill’s profound influence on
this world is felt in large and small ways beyond anything his proud family can comprehend but
can be captured in his favorite verse, Matthew 25:40 – “Truly, whatever you did for one of the
least of these…you did for me.”
Bill was born in Goldsboro, NC to William A. Herring, Sr. and Melba McBride Herring on
September 24, 1939. He attended Goldsboro High School and went on to attend the University
of South Carolina and, then the Medical University of South Carolina College of Medicine in
1965, where he achieved his dream of becoming an Orthopedic Surgeon. He completed an
Internship at Denver General Hospital and then a 4-year Orthopedic residency at the Medical
University of South Carolina in Charleston, SC. Bill then proudly served our country as a Lt.
Commander in the US Navy in Beaufort, SC.
Bill met his “greatest love”, Jo, in Columbia, SC in their final year of high school; they were
loving and loyal partners in a beautiful 61-year marriage, which gave Bill the foundation to
explore and serve throughout the world. Together, they raised their 4 children and 11
grandchildren and great-grandchildren who are their heart and soul and greatest source of
Bill chased his love of the wilderness through adventures on rivers, mountains, and trails, -
camping, boating, biking, skiing, climbing, running, gardening, and mountaineering, a love he
shared with everyone around him.
Medical mission work in Zaire, Haiti, Honduras, Bolivia, Mexico, Peru, Mississippi and western
North Carolina was a passion of Bill’s and fulfilled his profound lifelong calling to serve the
“least of these” among us.
Bill’s retirement from his medical practice in 2003 afforded him the opportunity to spend his
favorite moments surrounded by the serene beauty of the mountains of western North
Carolina, to become the gardener he had always wanted to be, and to serve the community in
the free medical clinic and migrant clinic in Boone, NC.
Though he served the world in large and important ways as a physician and medical missionary,
his influence in his local community and on those he held close as family and friends is similarly
profound. He was a teacher and servant leader at heart, serving on many boards and in many
positions, including but not limited to the North Carolina Outward Bound School, the Hebron
Foundation, the Appalachian District Health Board, and the Blue Ridge Conservancy.
Left with years of precious memories are his beloved wife, Jo Kirven Herring of Vilas, NC;
children Billy and Disa Herring, Moose and Libby Herring, Jodi and Mike Cash, and Kim and Todd
Ezrine; grandchildren Josie and Lola Herring, Abigail, Molly and Jacob Herring, Kimberly Vines
and husband Daniel Kammerer, and Tucker, Emma and Harper Ezrine; great-grandchildren Bella
and Marley Kammerer; his favorite sister, Patsy Sauls and her family.
He is survived by other family and friends, too numerous to list, but not forgotten.
Bill is now reunited with his parents, William and Melba, his brother, Carl, and all his favorite
Bill’s life was truly a living prayer, dedicated to making life warmer, healthier, sweeter, safer,
longer, and more beautiful for everyone who knew him. His legacy will live on forever in those
lucky enough to witness his life of meaningful acts of love and service like those Christ modeled
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Watauga Hunger and Health Coalition, the Blue
Ridge Conservancy, and the Hospitality House of Northwest North Carolina.