Emma Herndon

Emma Jean Herndon (Ash)

Friday, January 30th, 1925 - Friday, May 15th, 2020
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Emma Jean Herndon, 95, of St. Joseph passed away Friday, May 15, 2020, at The Whitcomb Senior Living Community in St. Joseph. Arrangements are entrusted to Starks & Menchinger Chapel.

A private family burial will take place in Oaklawn Cemetery, Batesville, Ark. Memorial contributions may be made to the First Baptist Church, St. Joseph. Those wishing to leave an online condolence may do so at

Emma Jean Herndon “showed up” for life. Whether that was teaching AWANA, Sunday school or being a part of prayer committee. She enjoyed baking for any occasion and you couldn’t leave her house without taking a little treat with you. Emma Jean and her husband Hayden owned and operated Herndon’s Tasty Grill on Niles Ave. in St. Joseph for many years, retiring in 1973. She worked very hard throughout her life and even into her late 80’s was a caretaker for several elderly folks.

Grandma ...You were more than just a Grandmother to us. You helped shape who we are today and always provided unconditional love and support. We won’t think of what we didn’t get to do or say but rejoice in the memories we have with you. We can rest knowing you are with your Lord and Savior and reunited with your family. We love you from here to Arkansas and back again. Until we meet again…..Love Jeff, Dana, Brooke and Britney

Emma Jean is survived by her grandchildren-Dana (Scott) Humes, Jeff (Lisa) Kirshenbaum, Brooke (Brendan) Gualdoni & Britney (Steve) Burkett; ten great-grandchildren-Michael (Danielle) Humes, Tyler (Olivia Payne) Humes, Nick (Emily Mara) Humes, Frances Lou Gualdoni, Esther Marie Gualdoni, Hunter Hayden Burkett, Colten Stephen Burkett, Grace Lou Burkett, Josh & Halley Kirschenbaum; her brother Willis Dean (Joy) Ash of Deshay, AR,; her sister Rosie (Ken) Saupe of Brimfield, IL; and numerous nieces & nephews. Emma Jean was preceded in death by her husband Hayden in 1997, her children-Sgt. Thomas Herndon in 1970, Linda Bowman in 2002, Corinda Herndon in 2015, and siblings-Jerald Ash, Arvel Ash & Pauline Stinson.
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Service Details

  • Service

    First Baptist Church - St. Joseph
    902 Broad Street
    St. Joseph, MI 49085
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Due to Covid-19 precautions, Services will be announced at a later date. Private burial will take place in Batesville, Arkansas. Memorial donations in Jean's name may be made to First Baptist Church in St. Joseph, Michigan


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Lucy DEN BLEYKER and son, Matt

Posted at 12:21pm
Jean was a wonderful person and so pleasant to be around. I have fond memories of going to the Tasty Grill when I was a little boy. Hayden made the best pies in the Mid-West. Lucy considered Jean to be her shirt-tail sister because they were both from the South. I remember the day we got the call about Tom getting killed in the Vietnam War. But through all that happened with Jean's family over the years, she was a stalwart in her faith in God. Most mild mannered person I have known. God bless her grand kids now and hope to see y'all next year in St. Joe.

Charles F. Poll

Posted at 08:56am
I have fond memories of the Herndon family. I was the military escort for Jean's nephew, Ricky Lynn, at his burial in Batesville in August of 1967. The whole Herndon family treated me as if I were one of their own.
The Tasty Grill was right next to Herald's Nursery and Garden Center. Harold was my father-in-law. He ate there often and knew Hayden and Jean very well.
Charles F. Poll

Cheryl Knuth

Posted at 12:30pm
Jeanie was a very special lady. My first job was at the Tasty Grill and Jeanie taught me many things about life when I was at a very impressionable age. She always taught and served with love and kindness. I was a classmate of Linda’s and spent a lot of time at the house. Jeanie always welcomed me and made me feel like family. A true testament to her character was her steadfast faith during so many of her family tragedies. She never wavered and was an example to all. May you all find strength, comfort and peace in your memories and in looking forward to the reunion you will have with her some day.

Sami Stevens

Posted at 08:28pm
Super G was the best grandma I never knew I needed. I loved seeing her all the time. I will miss her hugs and her I love you hunnys.
She definitely made her mark on the girls at the Whitcomb.

Denise Taylor

Posted at 12:43pm
I was thinking about Jean the other day as I was reminded of her favorite song, "His Eye is on the Sparrow". I smiled fondly, and thought I must get that music out and play that song when we are able to go back to church. The next day, I found out that she had passed. I am pretty sure that Jesus got the biggest hug ever, when Jean walked through the Pearly Gates. That lady has left such an impression on so many lives. Yes! She definitely showed up for life and didn't want to miss out on anything! We found our common ground in Jesus and that we both have roots in the Batesville, Arkansas area . She was also a special friend to my Grandma who hailed from Oil Trough, Arkansas. The girls met late in life and loved talking about their years "back home". My prayers are with all of Jean's family and close friends. There is going to be a big void many hearts. I will treasure the precious moments spent with her - especially eating out on Sunday after church - and look forward to being reunited in Heaven.
Denise Taylor

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