John C. Herion, 87, retired Professor of Medicine at the UNC, died at home on March 31. Services were held this past Saturday, April 4. He was born in Salisbury, NC, and after high school enlisted in the U.S. Army, stationed in Korea. He graduated from Davidson College in 1949, but waived a contract to pitch for the Washington Senators to attend medical school. He earned an M.D. at Harvard in 1953, and that year met and married his lifetime love and companion, Mary Macleod, a nurse from Nova Scotia, Canada.
John then joined the faculty of the UNC School of Medicine. For over forty years, he treated countless patients from across the state, combining compassionate bedside care with rigorous medical research in leukemia and other blood disorders. He and his colleagues, many of whom remained lifelong friends, published over forty articles in major medical journals. John’s devotion to compassionate patient care was recognized by patients who established a special fund in his honor. He also served as chairman of UNC’s Committee for the Protection of the Rights of Human Subjects, retiring from UNC in 1996. John was an active member of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Chapel Hill. In 1969 the Chapel Hill Chamber of Commerce recognized him as one of its six Fathers of the Year.
He is survived by his wife, Mary M. Herion of Chapel Hill, and their five children: Gary A. Herion of Durham, NC, wife Carol Creath Herion and children Melissa, Sam, and Daniel; John M. Herion of Wilmington, NC, wife Robin Wynne Herion and children Caroline, John, and Robert; Diane Herion Bell of Ashebor, NC, husband Clark and daughters Blakely and Rebekah; Carol Herion Buckner of Cary, NC, husband Kenn and children Stephen and Mary; and David W. Herion of Chevy Chase, MD. He is also survived by his brother Charles G. Herion and wife Sherry of Charlotte, NC; and by his sister Elizabeth (“Libby”) Herion Deal and husband Claude V. Deal of Durham, NC.
Memorial donations can be made either to Holy Trinity Lutheran Church earmarked for the Renovation of the Ministries Center Fund (300 E. Rosemary Street, Chapel Hill 27514), to UNC Hospice (https://www.unchealthcare.org/site/hospice/donations), or to Lutheran Services for the Aging (P. O. Box 947, Salisbury, NC 28145-0947).
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