Howard F. Herrin Jr.
November 16, 1946 – November 21, 2019
Howard F. Herrin, Jr., age 73, passed away peacefully while sleeping on Thursday, November 21, 2019. He is known to many as Dad, brother, mentor, friend, uncle, and grandfather. Self-described as a "Tough old coot from Texas," Howard was a native Austinite. He was born at Seton Hospital to parents Howard, Sr. and Jewell Janell Palmquist Herrin. His first home was located off of Montopolis in East Austin. He started private school at age four, but transferred to Brentwood Elementary public school at the beginning of 2nd grade, when the family moved to Justin Lane in North West Austin. As he matriculated through school, he attended Lamar Junior High and then McCallum High School. Howard was part of the first graduating class, Class of 1964, that attended McCallum High School from 9th-12th grades. While there, he earned his Eagle Scout, sang bass in the school choir, played football, enjoyed driving his 1953 Ford and going with his friends to the drive-in theater, sometimes letting his younger brothers tag along. As the oldest son of two Travis County Sheriff Deputies, he learned the importance of character and integrity, values that he later instilled in his children and grandchildren. Howard was also an active childhood member of the Crestview United Methodist Church.
After graduation, Howard joined the Navy and reported for duty in San Antonio. He enlisted as a Seabee, the Naval Construction Battalion, and served in Vietnam from 1965-1967. After returning home, he began college at Southwest Texas State University, where he later graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in 1975. While attending the university, he enlisted into the Navy Reserves. In 1972 he met and married his wife of 47 years, Jane Anne Henderson Herrin, at First United Methodist Church of Austin.
Howard and Jane welcomed their oldest daughter Lara Janell in 1978, followed by daughter Leigh Anne in 1982, Lindsay Marie in 1985, and adopted daughter Kembra Rose in 1998. If asked, he would also include Susan and Donald Sistrunk as his adult children. From 2000 until 2009 he welcomed sons-in-law Joe Raesz, Jon Walter, and Josh Robison as well as grandchildren Dustin Blue Herrin, Wyatt Stone Raesz, Orion Allen Cole Smith, Keidara Xsi Robison, Ivy Elizabeth Raesz, Dallas Jordan Roberts, Tayleigh Autumn Walter, and Scarlett Jane Walter to the family.
Howard was proud of the construction company he owned and operated and enjoyed pointing out different places around central Texas that he helped build. In 1989 Howard joined the management team for Travis County in the Transportation and Natural Resources Department. In 2012 he retired from the county and devoted his time to family.
Brother Howard followed his father’s footsteps becoming a Master Mason in 2006 and Past Master of The Norton Moses Lodge #336 in Leander, Texas from 2011-2012. Howard received many accolades during his Masonic Career, such as the Golden Trowel, The Cornerstone Award, and Cryptic Triangle, these awards are given for a members’ hard work and effort and are the highest awards received from a local chapter. His zeal for the Fraternity and his excitement for the teaching of Freemasonry led him to other Masonic bodies, such as C.O. Jones Chapter #86, C. O. Council #141 and Commandery, Scottish Rite and Ben Hur Shrine. Brother Herrin exemplified Masonry’s values, which he passed on through his support of the youth. His grandsons, Dustin, Wyatt, and Orion belong to the International Order of DeMolay for Boys, Teddy Roosevelt Chapter and his daughter Kembra and granddaughter Ivy were members of the International Order of the Rainbow for Girls Assembly #5. His mentorship and words of wisdom will live on in the hearts and minds of his brother Masons.
In addition to his participation in Freemasonry, Howard also volunteered with the Girl Scouts of the USA, Boy Scouts of America, and the Parent Teacher Association (PTA).
Throughout his life, he enjoyed being in nature and was a responsible hunter and fisherman. He taught his children and grandchildren to appreciate and respect all living things. He loved watching the ocean, taking drives, visiting historical sites, listening to the Astros games on the radio, and watching westerns and classic movies. Howard loved family, Brother Masons, friends, and life!
His wife Jane Anne Henderson Herrin survives Howard; as well as daughters Lara Janell and husband Joe Raesz; Leigh Anne Herrin Smith and fiancée Josh Robison; Lindsay Marie and husband Jon Walter; and Kembra Rose; many grandchildren and loved ones. Brothers Terry Lee Herrin and wife Elsie; Larry E. Herrin, Sr. and wife Paula, nieces and nephews, great-nieces, cousins, and mother- in- law Lorrie Foster Henderson. Howard was predeceased by his parents Howard F. Herrin, Sr. and Jewell Janell Palmquist Herrin, father in law CP Henderson, and nephew Larry E. Herrin, Jr.
Memorial Service Wednesday, November 27, 2019, at 10:30 AM, First United Methodist Church of Round Rock.
Scholarship donations may be made in the name of Howard F. Herrin, Jr. in lieu of flowers. Make checks to Norton Moses Masonic Lodge, note on the check memo line Scholarship. Mail to: Norton Moses Masonic Lodge, PO Box 586, Leander, TX 78646
- Memorial Service Wednesday, November 27, 2019
Howard F. Herrin Jr.
November 26, 2019
Heartfelt wishes to Howard's Lady, Jane, and to all the family.
November 24, 2019
Jane, Lara, Leigh Anne, Lindsay, and Kembra, Terry and Larry, all the grandchildren, sons-in-law, neices & nephews, and many, many cousins, we have lost a most special person from our family. Howard has been such a mainstay for so many years it is hard to imagine the impact of his absence. My prayers and love to you all. I am so happy to have had the opportunity to spend a little while with Howard at the last Herrin/Davis Reunion and terribly regretful that we will be unable to attend the Celebration of his life with you all. God bless each of you. Your cousin, Joyce Marie
November 24, 2019
I will miss our adventures on the road and at the ocean.
Many sweet memories my love.
November 23, 2019
I always enjoyed the years that I worked with Howard at Travis County. Howard never shied away from being active in any group or committee where he thought that his involvement would make a difference, and often it did. I always enjoyed our talks over many cups of coffee, and the history he could give you on many topics. More recently, living only a couple of miles apart from each other here in north Austin, we often ran into each other at the Grocery stores in our area and had a chance to catch up on current events and politics. Our Prayers and Best Wishes go out to the entire family and close friends.
Howard will truly be missed! Rest in Peace my Old Friend.
November 23, 2019
I met and came to know Howard when we both worked for Travis County. Howard was always friendly and offered his opinion with any questions asked. I always enjoyed his safety meetings he conducted because he had an opportunity to display his unique sense of humor.I wish I could have continued to listen to his stories after we both retired,but did not. My condolences to his family and friends.Howard will be missed,but left us all with a multitude of great memories.
November 22, 2019
I worked with Howard at Travis County and always enjoyed my chats with him. I often went to Howard for advice. He was always a joy to be around and always had something funny to say. I was just thinking about him last week and I was so saddened to hear of his passing . I am so glad to have known Howard and my prayers are with his family.