AUGUSTA, Ga. - Colonel Robert McKissen Herron, a retired history professor at Paine College and the Georgia Military College at Fort Gordon, died after a long illness at Saint Joseph Hospital in Augusta on April 16, 2006. He was born on March 11,1922, in Dallas, Texas, the eldest of four children to Robert M. Herron Jr. and Addie Webb Herron. At age 10, he moved to Dalton, Georgia, where his father took over the family textile business. He graduated as the valedictorian at Dalton High School and then earned a scholarship to attend Emory University in Atlanta. He left Emory and enlisted in the U.S. Army and after basic training guarded German POWs. He left active duty and accepted an appointment to the United States Military Academy at West Point in June 1942. He was part of an accelerated class that attended class five and half days a week. When he graduated from West Point in 1945, he was assigned to serve in the Philippines, and then in the U.S. Occupation of Japan, where he interviewed many senior Japanese government officials as part of his duties. He also served on Gen. Douglas Macarthur's headquarters staff. In 1950 he returned to the United States, where he was assigned to serve at the Pentagon, and later as an assistant professor of military science at Georgia Tech. He left active duty in 1956 but continued to serve as a reservist until his retirement in 1978 as a colonel. He worked as a civilian engineer for the Army in Washington, D.C., from 1956 to 1974. In 1974 he moved to Augusta to work as an engineer in the U.S. Army Signal School at Fort Gordon until his retirement in 1977. He then returned to college to get masters degrees in history and education at Augusta College in order to fulfill a lifelong dream to teach history. He taught history and government at Georgia Military College at Fort Gordon for about 10 years. He then taught world history, American history and political science at Paine College for many years, teaching his last class in 2002. For more than 25 years in Augusta, Col. Herron also hosted visiting military officers from a variety of nations at Ft. Gordon and would proudly take the officers sightseeing in and around Augusta. Ft. Gordon honored Col. Herron for his longtime service as host family. Col. Herron served in numerous professional organizations, including a term as chairman of the South Carolina chapter of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. He also received honors from the Reserve Officers Association for a lifetime of service, from the Signal School for professional dedication and from the Army for his efforts as part of a team that developed an electronic communications plan in the 1970s. Col. Herron is survived by his wife, Sophie, and five children: Robert of Annapolis, Maryland, Anthony of Augusta, Georgia, Vincent of Los Angeles, Jim Herron Zamora of Oakland, California, and Margaret Theresa Herron of New York City; brother Warren of Marietta; sister Frances Kline of Evergreen, Colo.; and two grandchildren, Erik Herron of New York City and Maria Rae Jones-Zamora of Oakland. Two daughters, Mary and Annie, and one sister, Dorothy, predeceased him. Col. Herron will be interred at Arlington National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made in Col. Herron's name to the St. Joseph Hospice 2260 Wrightsboro Road, Augusta, GA 30904.
The Augusta Chronicle-April 26, 2006