Lowell-Tims Funeral Home
1100 E. Tamarack Road
Altus, Oklahoma 73521
James Lee “Bimbo” Herron
(1953 – 2017)
James Lee “Bimbo” Herron, 64, passed away Saturday, November 18, 2017, at his mother’s home in Altus. He was born in Paris, Texas, on January 9, 1953, and was adopted in 1957 by Earl and Frances Herron and their daughters, June and Cecilia. The day after the adoption, Frances bought a copy of Bimbo the Elephant for him. When the book was read to him, James laughed and said, “Call me Bimbo.” Embarrassingly, that moniker stuck with him throughout his life.
Earl immediately bought his son a pony named Silver, a dog, and a pair of cowboy boots. He also brought an old mattress home from the furniture store to make a high jump, and James’ athletic career was launched. After the Kiwanis Junior League was formed, James excelled yearly in baseball, basketball, and track.
James attended Eugene Field Elementary School and Central Junior High and graduated from Altus High School in 1972. Throughout his years in the Altus Public Schools, he received excellent instruction from caring teachers. According to his mother, “Bimbo made A’s and B’s when he tried and D’s when he didn’t.”
While at Eugene Field, he placed second in the Junior Olympics. When he entered Central Junior High School, he chose to pursue football, basketball, wrestling, and track. In 1971, he was awarded Second Place as a Junior Olympian in the AAU (Amateur Athletic Union). And, in his senior year, James was a member for the 1971 Altus Bulldog team that brought home the first-ever state football championship for Altus High School.
James received a track scholarship from the University of Oklahoma. After the first semester, he transferred to Cameron University where he excelled as a split end on a winning football team for three years. In 1977, he signed with the Toronto Argonauts but was cut after the second game and returned to Oklahoma to start a new career of bull riding.
James received a Bachelor’s Degree of Science in Secondary Education from Cameron University in Lawton, Oklahoma, and a Master’s Degree in Physical Education and Public School Administration from Southwestern Oklahoma State University in Weatherford, Oklahoma. Over the course of his career, he taught and coached at Eisenhower High School in Lawton, Oklahoma; Altus High School; Cameron University in Lawton, Oklahoma; Sante Fe High School in Sante Fe, Texas; Palo Verde High School in Blythe, California; Oklahoma Panhandle State University in Goodwell, Oklahoma; Texas City High School in Texas City, Texas; Galena Park High School in Galena Park, Texas; Clearcreek High School in Friendswood, Texas; West Brook High School in Beaumont, Texas; and Ball High School in Galveston, Texas. Typically, each time a head coach left a school, he took James with him. He posted his longest tenure – 14 years – at Kirbyville High School in Kirbyville, Texas, where his football teams chalked up 13 years of post-season play. He retired from Kirbyville in 2016.
James was inducted into the Jackson County Athletic Hall of Fame in 1974 and the Cameron University Athletic Hall of Fame in 2008. His Cameron University citation reads: Legendary Cameron athlete James Herron was a three-time All-American in track and field and was the NAIA National Decathlon Champion in 1974 and 1975. He finished second in 1976 despite nursing a hamstring injury that could have potentially set him much farther back in the field. In addition to his track and field accomplishments, Herron was a member of the Cameron Aggie football team in the 1973-75 seasons, with career numbers of 57 rushes for 162 yards, 76 receptions for 1,114 yards, and 7 touchdowns. Herron accomplished his greatest numbers in 1974 when he caught 24 passes for 504 yards and 4 touchdowns. Herron helped to lead the team as they advanced to the NAIA National Semi-finals in 1974: a year when he also led the Oklahoma Collegiate Conference in punt returns.
James is survived by his wife Shannon of Orange, Texas; two step-daughters, Kelly Dobson and her children Carlos, Caden, and Chloe of Conroe, Texas and Cortney Sanders and her husband Joe and their children Sophia and Emma of Orange, Texas; one step-son, Cody Cornish of Beaumont, Texas; and three step-grandchildren, Kailey Showalter of Nederland, Texas and Corleigh and Colton Cornish of Beaumont, Texas. He is also survived by his mother Frances Herron of Altus; two sisters, June Bolton and Cecilia Nicholas and her husband Ron all of Wagoner, Oklahoma; two nephews, Keith Bolton and his wife Joelle of Las Vegas, Nevada and Steve Nicholas and his wife Jennifer of Wagoner, Oklahoma; two nieces, Katy Miller and her husband DeWayne of Broken Bow, Oklahoma and Holly Jones and Tony Bos of Wagoner, Oklahoma; as well as many loving, supportive relatives and loyal, cherished friends.
Memorial services will be at 2:00 pm, Monday, November 27, 2017 at the Lowell-Tims Funeral Home Chapel in Altus Monday, November 27, 2017 with Dr. Jeff Moore officiating.
In lieu of food or flowers, the family requests that memorials be sent to the cancer center of your choice.
Lowell-Tims will be providing a live web-cast of the service beginning at 1:58 p.m. on Monday. Go to www.Lowell-Tims.com and click on obituaries. Then click on James “Bimbo” Herron. There will be a large area inviting you to join the web-cast
Arrangements are under the direction of Lowell-Tims Funeral Home and Crematory of Altus.
To sign the online guest book and share memories with the family please visit www.Lowell-Tims.com