June 10, 1925 ~ June 18, 2020

Born in: Evansville, IN
Resided in: Asheville, NC

Lewis Elmer Herron, age 95, passed away at home on June 18th. He was born in Evansville, Indiana on June 10, 1925. He was predeceased by his parents, Lewis Edward and Lora Marie Roberts Herron, and his wife, Josefa Lunsford Herron.

Lewis graduated in 1943 from Washington High School in Washington, Indiana. He served his country in the 100th Bomb Group, 8th Air Force, US Army Air Forces during World War II. He flew 33 missions from Thorpe Abbott, England as a tailgunner on B-17 Bombers. Memories of his service can be read on the 100th Bomb Group website. He was awarded numerous medals including the French Legion of Honor Award in 2016, the European Theatre Medal with three battle stars, the Air Medal with 4 Oak Leaf Clusters, the Polish Army Cross, the Russian Victory Medal, and the Victory in Europe Medal.

After the war he attended Purdue University on the G.I. Bill, graduating in 1950 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in forestry, having been inducted into the Xi Sigma Pi honorary fraternity.

His career in forestry included 22 years as Area Supervisor with Champion Paper which included an assignment as Chief Forester on the Biltmore Estate; 5 years with Ethan Allen Furniture Company; 10 years as Corporate Lumber Buyer with Bruce Hardwood Floors Co. in Dallas, Texas; and 18 years as Consulting Forester for Biltmore Farms Inc.

He was proud to have been a Scoutmaster for 13 years at Lake Junaluska, with six of his scouts becoming Eagle Scouts. He also was a Worshipful Master Western Star #91 in the Masonic Order and was an active member of Trinity Episcopal Church. Lewis was a faithful volunteer at the VA hospital with more than 4,000 volunteer hours.

He is survived by his wife, Polly Feitzinger; his three children Lora Herron Coffey of Mars Hill, Carol O’Neal (Greg) of Gold Hill, Oregon, and Ed Herron (Karen) of Hickory; three grandchildren Amy Herron (Austin Stricker) of Denver, Colorado, Brett Herron of Hickory, and Callie Herron Jansen (Alex Jansen) of Charlotte. In addition, he is survived by his stepchildren Laura Feitzinger Brown (Peter Brown) of Spartanburg, South Carolina and Edward Feitzinger (Kristen McKillop Feitzinger) of Palo Alto, California, and eight step-grandchildren; Hannah, Nathan, Abigail and Joseph Brown; Lauren, Ryan, Allyse and Nicholas Feitzinger.

The family would like to thank Marcia Lunsford, Lew’s hospice nurse, for her compassionate care.

A celebration of his life will be announced at a later date and will be held at Trinity Episcopal Church.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The 100th Bomb Group Foundation; the 8th Air Force Museum in Savannah, Georgia; or Trinity Episcopal Church.


Funeral Home Assisting The Family:

Groce Funeral Home at Lake Julian
72 Long Shoals Road
Arden, NC 28704


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  1. We so enjoyed getting to know Lew as we stopped by to see Polly and him on our yearly trek to the beach. He was always bright, engaging and had wonderful stories. He will be missed.

  2. It was wonderful to get to know Lew and Polly through chamber music and piano forum concerts and to stop by and have lunch often. He was an inspiration to me. I was surprised when he told me that he had to give up golf when he was in his 80’s! We will miss him

  3. Coming to know this fine man was such a joy. I always looked forward to his big smile and warm greeting whenever I saw him. He was a true gentleman.

  4. What a lovely and inspiring man Lew was. His family can be so proud of the man he was all his life. As with so many of our 100th BG Veterans, he kept a smile on his face and was a joy to know. All respect to this Hero. We will miss him.

  5. Lew was an incredible guy. I started attending a monthly luncheon in Hendersonville, NC with a group of WWII 8th AF veterans about 7 years ago and thoroughly enjoyed the time with them. Lew was special to me, because he is a native Hoosier as am I and because he was amazingly fit for his age, sharp of mind, had fascinating life stories, and always had a great sense of humor. I am blessed to have had the opportunity to get to know him.

  6. Lew and my father were on the same crew and l got to know him at several reunions. My dad had a deep love for those he went through the crucible with and l know he is waiting for him as he makes his way to heaven. He, and all the others on the Anderson crew are now ready to truly fly a “Heaven Sent” mission once more. God bless you Lew, you led a wonderful and extrodinary life.

  7. My sincere condolences to all of the Herron Family! I have fond memories of Lewis and Jo from many years ago.

    Annette Coleman
    Retired Bank of America

  8. My husband Edi and I were so delighted to get to know Lew when our dear friend Polly introduced us to her new husband. – For many years, we shared many wonderful
    memories of vacations in Asheville, New Jersey and Rhode Island. I am so grateful for that. My heartfelt condolences to the Herron and Feitzinger families.

  9. I worked with Lew for ten years on the Biltmore Farms and got to know him well. Ed, my sincere condolences go out to you and all of Lew’s family at this time.

  10. Although I had not seen Lew in many years, I thought of him often. We shared a lot of good times together talking forestry, Purdue, and many other common topics. Good memories of Lake Junaluska, almost bought that house from Jo and Lew. He was a very special man and will truly be missed.

  11. I Volunteered with Lew at the Charles George V A hospital. He was such a super individual who was smart, informed, caring and of course courageous. He loved his wife and family so very much and when he talked about each family member he had that big smile on his face and seemed to light up. He also loved volunteering and took his responsibilities very serious. He will for sure be missed at the VA.

  12. Polly, Sorry for your loss.
    Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this time.
    Todd & Kerstin

  13. Carol and your family are in my prayers my condolences on the passing of your father. He was an amazing man.
    My sincere sympathy to all of the Herron Family

  14. Ed
    Your Dad was a terrific man and was always engaging on forestry and life issues. I am glad that I knew him.
    Best regards to your family.
    Tom Inman

  15. Lew was a champion and defender of ideals, and he was a leader of people. While the forest products industry does not award medals for achievement, there are measures of accomplishment. What Lew may or may not have known is there is an army of men and women in this industry that he influenced in a positive and meaningful way. Setting the right path for the next generation and generations beyond that is one of his legacies. It is my honor to have known Lew.

  16. On behalf of the Board of Trustees, the staff and volunteers of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, we would like to extend our deepest condolences for your loss. Please know the passing of your loved one is felt by all those who honor the Greatest Generation and their sacrifices.


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