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Herbert G. Wing

Herbert G. Wing

Herbert G. Wing passed away after an extended illness, on October 19, 2006 in Medford, Ore. Born June 8, 1930, in Dodge City, Kans., to Harold G. and Cora Low Wing. Herb moved to Medford as a young child, along with his parents and sisters, Corinne.

Herb graduated from Medford High School in 1948, attended the University of Oregon, and graduated with a B.S. in Education from Southern Oregon College of Education (now SOU) in 1952. He later obtained in M.S. in Education from SOC in 1959.

On August 17, 1952, Herb married Janet Russell in Klamath Falls. They had two children. Janet preceded him in death. On November 21, 1979, he married Dani Harms in Medford, and immediately took to her four children as his own.

Herb's career as an educator was spent entirely in Medford School District 549c. He first taught at Lincoln Elementary in 1952, and then became principal of West Side Elementary in 1959. While at West Side, in the '60s, he helped launch the VIMS (Volunteers in Medford Schools) program. In 1974, he moved to Washington Elementary, where he remained until his retirement in 1985.

Herb also had many years of civic and community service. He was involved in starting Southern Oregon Drug Awareness (SODA) in 1981. Beginning in 1985, he began taking on many volunteer positions for the city of Medford. He was Ward 2 City Councilman in 1985-1986; while in that position, he served as Hospital Facilities Board Liaison and Planning Commission Liaison, and co-founded the Mayors Youth Advisory Commission. Later, he served on the city's Cemetery Commission. In 1988, he was a candidate for Mayor of Medford. Herb also served a term on the St. Mary's School Board of Trustees, where his sons teach.

Herb was a loving, caring husband, father, and grandfather. He demonstrated a continual willingness to help family members, and many remember his generosity and kindness. This extended into the community. He spent many holiday seasons making appearances in the area as Santa. (Every fall, he would let his beard grow long, so youngsters could pull it to prove he was the real thing.)

His community spirit was also seen in his service through numerous organizations. He was Past Exalted Ruler of Medford Elks Lodge #1168, and had served the Medford Lions in their charitable endeavors. He was a member of Warren Masonic Lodge No. 10, attaining the 32nd Degree. He was Past Patron of both Adarel Chapter No. 3, OES, in Jacksonville, and Alpha Chapter No. 1, OES, in Ashland. He also served in the Shrine, as a member of Hillah Temple, Jackson County Shrine Club, Hillbillies, and Scottish Rite Temple.

In his personal life, Herb shared a great love for the outdoors. He hunted and fished all his life. Fishing trips included spring drifts down the Rogue River, where he was a river guide (once taking Chuck Yeager on a fishing trip), bank casting along the Klamath River, trout fishing at Diamond and Howard Prairie Lakes, and trolling for salmon in the Pacific Ocean. For years, he joined many of his fellow elementary principals for fishing trips. Later, he and Dani took up crabbing, going out of Coos Bay. His love of the outdoors led him to a new vocation after retirement. He spent several years as a woodcutter, going out into the valley and cut many cords of madrone, oak, and pine, to be seasoned and added to area fireplaces.

Through his life, Herb showed an interest in matters of faith. As a boy, he would visit the Church of Christ, "because I loved the music." As an adult, he and his family attended Medford's United Methodist Church, and later they joined Westminster Presbyterian Church. After his marriage to Dani, his interest deepened, and a weekend Walk to Emmaus cemented a recommitment to Jesus Christ in 1997. (Herb later served on the Emmaus board.) He and Dani joined the Talent United Methodist Church, where they served several leadership positions. In his last years, his faith was expressed in a way not unlike the Apostle Paul, who wrote, "I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances" (Philippians 4:11). Because of his commitment to Christ, there is a blessed assurance that we shall someday rejoice with him in Heaven.

Herb is survived by his wife, Dani Wing; sister, Corinne Lombard; sons and daughters, Hal Wing (Fran), Michael Wing (Kathy), Rick Harms (Teresa), Rex Harms, Reanne Harms Cummings (Steven), and Russell Harms; 12 grandchildren; and 6 great-grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, October 28, at 2:00 p.m., at the Masonic Lodge in Ashland. Rogue Valley Funeral Alternatives is in charge of arrangements. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Elks Eye Clinic or to the Shriners Hospital Transportation Fund.

Herbert G. Wing