Baylor Mourns Passing of Faithful Alumnus

  • News Photo 5053
    Dr. John Wyatt Herndon of Houston, Texas
  • News Photo 5054
    Dr. John Wyatt Herndon of Houston, Texas
Feb. 14, 2011

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An alumnus who faithfully carried the torch of Baylor tradition, the life of Dr. John Wyatt Herndon of Houston, Texas, will forever be emblazoned on the memory of those at Baylor University. Dr. Herndon passed away on Feb. 8, at the age of 81.

Graduating from Baylor University with his bachelor of science degree in 1950 and a doctorate of medicine from Baylor's College of Medicine in 1953, Dr. Herndon soon became a loyal friend and generous supporter of the university.

Eager to enrich the already distinct Baylor experience, he and his wife, Roblyn (BA '54), supported projects that infused Baylor's campus with beautiful sounds and cultural expressions. Their ballad of giving reached a crescendo when they funded the Waco Hall Auditorium Organ, restoring the rich sounds of organ music to Waco Hall and honoring Roblyn's late parents, longtime organ professor, Dr. Robert Markham and his wife, Enid, who penned "That Good Old Baylor Line."

"Given John's joyous personality, we should celebrate his wonderful life rather than morn his death," said Dr. Will May, dean of Baylor's School of Music. "The hundreds whose lives he touched, including all those at Baylor, know full well about which I speak and will join me in that celebration. We will remember him fondly."

Demonstrating a wholehearted commitment in every aspect of his life, Dr. Herndon exemplified the values and traditions esteemed at Baylor. A member of Friends of Truett Seminary, Strecker Museum Friends and Strecker Museum Associates, Dr. Herndon also served on the Baylor Development Council from 1997-2004 and was actively involved with the Bear Foundation from 2003-2004.

Through the very last days of Dr. Herndon's life, he undertook every opportunity to serve his community. As an otolaryngologist with the Medical Center Ear Nose and Throat Associates of Houston, Dr. Herndon never retired from his post as physician. Treating adult and pediatric patients with ear, nose and throat disorders, he was determined to empower others to experience life in its fullest, even when he, himself, was unable.

Accordingly, Dr. Herndon's sacrificial service to his patients earned him several awards and honors, ranging from Who's Who in America to the Distinguished Alumni Award of the Baylor College of Medicine. Publishing advanced articles and presentations on the various aspects of the ear, nose and throat, and serving in several medical associations, such as the Texas Association of Otolaryngology and the Harris County Medical Society, it is evident that the works of his life will indeed continue to touch hundreds of people.

Survived by his wife, Roblyn, their two children, Sally Herndon Lombardo (BA '81), and her husband, Randy, and John Herndon, III, and his wife, Amy, five grandchildren, two of whom are Baylor graduates, and sister, Katherine Westmoreland (BA '64) and her husband, Louis (BA '63), Dr. Herndon's family stands testament to the flame of tradition and servanthood in his life that will never grow dim as the torch passes on.

A funeral service was held Feb. 11 at South Main Baptist Church of Houston, where Dr. Herndon was an active member.

Media contact: Lori Fogleman, director of media communications, (254) 710-6275

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