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Mike Herring

Posted By obits On January 24, 2022 @ 4:05 pm In Elizabeth City,Obituaries | 42 Comments

Herring Screenshot opt 1

Mike…. Fella…..Moose…. Big Mike…. Coach…. Dad….G-Poppy….. so many names, and they only tell a small part of a big life of a man who filled all these roles for so many people. Charles Michael Herring was born on November 28, 1945, to Charles S. and Pauline L. Herring in Tulsa, OK, beginning a journey that would span 76 years and touch thousands of lives in the classroom, on the football field, in the shop, the community, the church and his home.

Mike was raised in Whiteville, NC, the oldest of his three brothers and sister. Moose excelled on the grid iron, and he earned the opportunity to play in the East-West Shrine Bowl, as well as an athletic scholarship to play football at East Carolina University. Moose continued to excel on the field at ECU where he was a part of the 1965 Tangerine Bowl winning team. He was proud of all was able to accomplish through the game and took immense joy in seeing his children’s and grandchildren’s faces light up when they saw his name in the record books years after leaving the game. He loved the Purple and Gold of his Pirates!

It was while he was at East Carolina that he met and married his first wife, Susan, in 1967. The two of them had dreams of traveling the world as he was enlisted in Officer Candidate Training with the U.S. Navy but due to injuries sustained on the football field, he was unable to pursue this dream. While traveling to the Outer Banks for a family function, as fate would have it, they ran into Mike’s high school coach and teacher, Walter “Buck” Jolly at a gas station in Elizabeth City. Coach Jolly hired him on the spot to come to Elizabeth City Junior High School to coach football and teach shop. So, in August 1969, the pair brought their growing family to Elizabeth City and began a life that was dedicated to the youth of the tiny river town.

For the next sixteen years, Coach Herring helped shape the lives of hundreds of young men on the field at both the Junior High and Northeastern High School, with three of those years as Head Coach at NHS. He strived for excellence always. He was a tough but fair, hard-nosed football coach that cared about the character of the young men he was working with as much as the win-loss record. It was extremely important to him that they not just be good football players, he wanted them to be even better people. Many of these men went on to spend many years teaching and coaching the next generations of football players, sharing the love of the game and life, and that was always a major source of pride for him. Anytime he ran into one of his former players or students, his face would light up at being able to see them and remember the good old days.

Not only was he skilled on the field, but he could turn a piece of ordinary wood into a fine piece of furniture or art. He took considerable pride in his shop in the Annex of Elizabeth City Junior High School and loved teaching all the students that walked through those doors to appreciate and care for the tools of the trade as he did. He also shared his craftmanship skills with the local theatre group, The Albemarle Players, building sets and props for many years. He would build and Susan would paint, bringing their creations to life on the stage. If you ever stopped by the house, you could often find him in a pile of sawdust turning that plain piece of wood into the next creation that he was shaping.

Mike dearly loved his family, friends, and community. He took extraordinary pride in participating in events in the community. He could often be found working events with the E. C. Jaycees, setting up and organizing huge 4th of July events in his neighborhood of Pine Lakes and hosting neighborhood street dances and fish fry’s. He was instrumental in a lot of the childhood memories of all the kids that grew up in Pine Lakes as they were always welcome at the house to swim and hang out. If there was something that needed to be done, he was always willing to lend a hand. Mike was also a past member of New Lebanon Lodge #314 and enjoyed the fellowship and service of the Lodge.

After leaving teaching and coaching in 1985, Mike started a commercial construction business and was soon joined by his son Jon. The two of them worked side by side, traveling and building gas stations and convenience stores for many years. Soon after Susan’s death in 2006, Mike decided to retire and spend more time with his daughter Michaelle’s children, following them as they pursued their dreams. It was during this time that Mike and his family were blessed to have JoAnn bravely take on the challenge of attempting to coordinate this crazy life of his. His family often tells JoAnn that she is the guardian angel Susan sent to take care of Mike……… because she knew he needed one!

Mike and JoAnn got married in August 2012 and the two of them brought together their families and created a life that gave each of them the happiness they so needed at that point in their lives. They enjoyed traveling and going to the grandchildren’s events……relishing the life they were building and each other every day. Together they enjoyed supporting their church and all that their ministry were doing. JoAnn was the calming, guiding light Mike needed and she has stood by his side throughout his health struggles the last few years and the loss of his son Jon, never wavering, never faltering……

Although Mike accomplished much personally and professionally, the greatest source of pride for him was his children, Jon and Michaelle, but his grandchildren…….shew, they swelled his heart to bursting. He never boasted about his accolades, but buddy could he tell you everything Steven, Beth, Logan, Alex, and Audrey were doing! He loved watching them have success in the arena, on the ball diamond, in the classroom, at dance, professionally in their careers……whatever they were doing, they were his world and gave him a reason to keep on keeping on. If there is anything they should remember about their G-Poppy and his love for them, it is “Don’t Stop Believing” …. because he will always believe in them.

Mike leaves to cherish his memory his loving wife JoAnn Dowdy Herring, his daughter Michaelle Overman and her husband Nicky, their children Steven, Logan, Beth and husband Blake Stephenson, his daughter in law Shelly Herring as well as JoAnn’s daughter Caroline Lee, her husband Ryan and their children Alex and Audrey. His brothers Roy (Thelma), Mel (Vivian), Steve (Jennifer), his sister Karen (Ron) in addition to his brothers in law Frank Stone and David Dowdy (Mona) and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Charles and Pauline Herring, his first wife Susan Stone Herring, and his son Jonathon Michael Herring.

In lieu of flowers the family wishes donations in Mike’s memory be made to: City Road United Methodist Building Fund- 511 North Road Street, Elizabeth City, NC 27909 or SPCA of Northeastern NC 102 Enterprise Dr., Elizabeth City, NC 27909.

A celebration of life will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Friday, January 28, 2022 at Twiford Memorial Chapel. The service will be livestreamed at www.facebook.com/TwifordFuneralHome. A visitation will be held on Thursday from 5:00 – 6:30 p.m. at the funeral home. Twiford Funeral Home, 405 East Church Street, Elizabeth City, NC 27909 is serving the Herring family. Online memorial condolences may be sent to the family at www.TwifordFH.com. To plant a tree in memory of Mr. Herring, please visit www.TwifordFH.com/send-flowers.

Contact Information:

Twiford Funeral Home (Elizabeth City)

Memorial Chapel
405 East Church Street,
Elizabeth City, NC 27909
United States (US)
Phone: (252) 335-4395
Fax: 252-335-4329
Email: J.J.Twiford@TwifordFH.com

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Condolences for the family of “Mike Herring”

Condolence from Frank Koch on January 24th, 2022 5:00 pm

Condolences to the family, this was an inspiring tribute . I had the honor of both knowing and playing football under Coach Herring . He instilled confidence in people and all of his players. I consider him one of my best mentors over the years and he strived to build solid responsible citizens through sports and day to day contact with everyone he met. The world is surly going to miss a man of Coach Herrings caliber. Rest In Peace Coach.

Condolence from william sanders on January 24th, 2022 5:00 pm

what a fine man if everybody could be like him what a world will miss you my friend

Condolence from Gil and Tricia Lee on January 24th, 2022 5:10 pm

Tricia and I are so sorry for all the family. I really loved the big guy!

Condolence from Pauline & Henry on January 24th, 2022 5:43 pm

A friend a neighbor and someone I wish I had spent more time with- always a smile-
Sending prayers to all the family- jo Anne is the Angel Susan sent to be with Mike- she is so special- thinking of all of you

Condolence from Pat and Radcliff Reel on January 24th, 2022 5:48 pm

So many memories between our family and his. Not enough words to express our deepest sympathy to Mike’s family.

Condolence from Kathryn Gray on January 24th, 2022 5:52 pm

Joann so sorry to here this. He was a great person and loved life to the fullest. Pete and I were blessed to have know him…may God bless you and the family in the coming days..
Love and prayers
Pete and Kathy Gray…

Condolence from Pam Mathews on January 24th, 2022 6:19 pm

What a beautiful tribute to a wonderful man. Sending prayers for comfort to his family and close friends.

Condolence from Betsy and Charles Meads on January 24th, 2022 6:42 pm


Lifting you and your family in prayer.

Betsy and Charles Meads

Condolence from Betsy White on January 24th, 2022 6:43 pm

So very sorry for your loss. He was such a nice man and respected by all who knew him. Prayers for the family.

Condolence from STEPHEN and Dianna COLCLASURE on January 24th, 2022 7:03 pm

So sorry for your loss. He was a good man who loved the Lord and his family.

Condolence from Betty Sue Readling on January 24th, 2022 7:08 pm

JoAnn & family.
So sorry about BigMike.
He worked with Rodney quite a few years building gas station. Over those years we became wonderful friends with him & Susan ,then with Jo Ann.
We would come to Elizabeth City spend the nite. Then go to one of Frank’s. Houses at the outer banks.
Such great times. They would come up to the mountains with us .
Mike all ways made me laugh. He was so funny . He could talk about anything.
When Hayden worked at the outer Banks the last 2 summers he would go meet Big Mike and Jo Ann & eat with them . Hayden really enjoyed Mikes stories..
He will surly be missed ,

Condolence from Donnie & Jeanne Simpson on January 24th, 2022 7:16 pm

So sorry to hear of Mikes passing. We coached together @ Eliz. City Jr High. Enjoyed my times when I would bump into Mike & Joann @ Hardees. Prayers for all, RIP Mike he will be missed by so many.

Condolence from Laurie and Lee Jennings on January 24th, 2022 7:23 pm

Joann and Family, What a wonderful deserved tribute given to Mike. Lee and I have you all in our prayers

Condolence from Penny Spence Raby on January 24th, 2022 7:25 pm

I am saddened to hear of Mike’s passing. I was a 7th grade student in the fall of 1969 when he began his career in the Elizabeth City Pasquotank Public Schools. I remember him so well. We had a course called Cooperative Education in which we were introduced to a variety of different vocational classes during the semester. One of those was shop class, so I was lucky enough to have Mr Herring for a teacher, briefly. My husband, Eddie, played football for Coach Herring. Eddie admired Coach Herring immensely and talked often of the life lessons he learned from Coach Herring both on and off the field. Coach Herring was even mentioned in Eddie’s memorial service March, 2011 as one of the people who had taught Eddie more than just football; morals, ethics, fair play, perseverance, etc. Eddie never forgot those lessons and lived by them til his dying day. Finally, I knew of Coach Herring’s wood working skills. We have a beautiful, one of a kind, handmade ark that he built, and Susan painted, pairs of animals and all. It is beautiful and we treasure it.
My condolences to JoAnn and all of the family. May God bless you with His peace.

Condolence from Jenneal Harrell on January 24th, 2022 7:31 pm

Coolie & I were so sorry to hear of Mike’s passing. I worked with Mike at ECJHS & got to know him. He was an all around nice guy. Prayers for JoAnn & family.

Condolence from Gene Scott on January 24th, 2022 7:55 pm

Mike was a good man who touched many lives in a very positive way! I liked him. My sincere sympathy to JoAnn and the entire family!

Condolence from Robin Harney on January 24th, 2022 8:11 pm

Condolence To Herring family
My heart is a little heavy This man gave me my first job
This man was real he had aBIG HEART for everyone young and old I know he will truly be miss

Ben Robin Harney

Condolence from Lucien morrisette on January 24th, 2022 10:13 pm

I’m shocked just spoke to Joann and mike just a short while ago.so sorry for your loss. He was a great football coach.

Condolence from Darryl Morse on January 24th, 2022 10:36 pm

Rest in Paradise Coach Herring. Heaven truly gained an Angel. Praying that God will comfort the family and give them peace during this time. Coach was a truly great individual and an inspiration to all that he came in contact with.

Condolence from Rob Jones on January 25th, 2022 2:45 am

I can’t say enough about a great teacher, wonderful mentor, and fantastic role model. Thank you for being all of those for me as well as a wonderful neighbor. I knew if I needed help with anything all I had to do was walk across the street. During the summer I worked for you fixing the schools I learned much that I’ve used all during my life. I remember the last time I saw you was sitting with Buck Jolly at City Road when we lost Louise Hill. God made Raleigh St. a special neighborhood and you were such a big part of it. Wish with all of my heart peace and many happy memories for your family. God only made one like you and I thank him for letting me be a part of your life God Bless all of you family and friends. My heart is broken for you all.

Condolence from Chris Lee on January 25th, 2022 7:50 am

I enjoyed the countless hours that Mike and I shared about football. He was a great friend and will be missed by the entire community. Rest in peace my friend.

Condolence from Janie Lassiter on January 25th, 2022 9:46 am

I’m so saddened by this. Mr. Herring was a huge influence on my life when I was a young teenager and he never even knew it. He was my inspiration to carry on and hold my head high. I loved him like a father and he never knew it. He will be missed. Until we meet again.

Condolence from Velma and George Gray on January 25th, 2022 9:53 am

Joanne and Family,
So very sorry for your loss of such an all around amazing man I pray for Gods peace and comforting touch especially during the difficult days ahead. He loved his family and friends immensely and he will be missed by all who knew and loved him.
Velma and George Gray

Condolence from Ty & Dawn Lowry on January 25th, 2022 11:17 am

So sorry to hear…..Sending thoughts and prayers for all~

Condolence from Miles Brite on January 25th, 2022 12:54 pm

What a fine role model for my classmates , teammates and myself . Fortunate enough to have played for and coached with Coach Herring , he pushed you to work hard on and off the field . My prayers of comfort go out to Michelle and the entire family .

Condolence from Jenny Jones on January 25th, 2022 3:44 pm

Mrs. JoAnn…my condolences to you and your family.

Condolence from Carolyn Jones Barnes on January 25th, 2022 5:05 pm

Eric and I are thinking of you. We know you will miss Mike. Take care.

Condolence from Teresa Brickhouse on January 25th, 2022 7:05 pm

I remember Mr. Herring while attending Elizabeth City Junior High. He was a kind man, and very much looked up to. He will surely be missed! God be with all of the family!

Condolence from Mitchell Bateman on January 26th, 2022 7:35 am

My prayers for you and your family as you deal with the sorrow of your loss. As you once said, many happy memories of you and your brothers as we grew up together. God bless you all.

Condolence from Barney and Jane Higgins on January 26th, 2022 8:12 am

So sorry for your loss. He was so nice. May your memories be with each of you in the days to come. Praying for y’all.

Condolence from Pat & Fred Davis on January 26th, 2022 11:16 am

JoAnn we are so sorry for your loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this difficut time.

Condolence from Carol Anne Porter Worrell on January 26th, 2022 5:12 pm

Mike was a wonderful classmate and friend. Prayers for strength and comfort during this sad time. Mike was a great guy

Carol Anne porter Worrell
Class if 1964 whiteville High School

Condolence from Nancy Osborne Flynn on January 26th, 2022 6:10 pm

JoAnn, I am so sorry to hear of Mike’s passing. Seeing him and meeting you at our class reunion was such a pleasure. Mike was truly one of the leaders of the WHS Class of 1964, and I am positive they share the sadness of Mike’s passing. We all loved him. My prayers for you and the family in this difficult time.

Condolence from Wanda White on January 27th, 2022 8:19 am

Deepest sympathy to JoAnne and family.

Condolence from Roger and Ursula Tolson on January 27th, 2022 10:33 am

Dear Joanne and family. We were so sorry to read about Mikes passing. He was a wonderful man and much loved and admired by all who knew him . Please accept our sincere condolences.. Roger and Ursula Tolson.

Condolence from Erin Anderson-Edwards on January 27th, 2022 1:36 pm

Michaelle and family,

Sending you all my sincerest condolences and prayers for peace and God’s comfort in this time of great loss. Mr. Herring was a good man. May he rest in peace

Condolence from Molly Brite on January 27th, 2022 3:36 pm

My condolences are with you all. I have many fond memories around the softball field with Mike watching some really great ball games! May you each find peace and comfort at this difficult time through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Condolence from Dr. Hugh and Rita Middleton on January 27th, 2022 6:27 pm

JoAnn, we are so sorry to learn about Mike. I know he had faced difficulty for a long time. Our deepest sympathies to you and his family.

Condolence from MARGEJOHNSON on January 27th, 2022 7:30 pm

Joann, I am so sorry for your loss. The last time I saw you, you were the happiest I had ever seen you. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this time. I never knew Mike, but if Jon was any indication of how he was raised, he had to have been a good man. My only wish is that you could have had more time with Mike. I will always consider you one of the best people I have ever known. Bless you and yours.

Condolence from Robert Poston& Retta Jolly on January 27th, 2022 8:55 pm

Prayers of Comfort and Peace wish we for you. May the love that surpasses all understanding envelop you, and bring to thee the strength in your darkest of days, light and life…. into the gatherings of friends and family …. that shared memories evoke the stories to carry each of you beyond this time and through the generations of this most precious family.
Love to each of you… and Peace walk with you.

Condolence from Rev.Dr Michael (Hipp) & Kimberly C. Barclift on January 28th, 2022 11:51 am

Our prayers and thoughts go out to you and the family. Know that your weep will turn to joy again for those who keep their trust in the Lord s=during these tough times.

Your in Christ

Condolence from Becky Powell on January 28th, 2022 2:23 pm

My deepest sympathy to you all and may the wonderful memories of Mr. Mike bring you comfort in this time and the days to come. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.

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