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Dr. Alan Ray Herrin

March 13, 1936 ~ October 24, 2022 (age 86)


Dr. Alan Herrin of Tahlequah, Oklahoma, departed from this life on October 24, 2022. He was the son of the late J.R and Geraldine (Corliss) Herrin and was born March 13, 1936, in Muskogee, Oklahoma where lived the first five years of his life. He was preceded in death by his wife of 59 years, Frankie Nell Herrin.

At an early age he developed a love of nature and the outdoors. This led to a lifetime of hunting fishing and appreciating the Cherokee way of life. His love of learning led him across the United States, starting with his Bachelor's Degree in Chemistry from Northeastern State University and then his Master's Degree in Biological Sciences from Oregon State University. He received his PhD. in science education from Nova Southeastern University in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida in 1972. He taught Biology at Tahlequah High School for a decade until he decided to make bows and write full-time. He wrote a weekly column for the Tahlequah newspaper for many years. Al is the author of the White Bear Newsletter and three books-Cherokee Bows and Arrows: How to Make and Shoot Primitive Bows and Arrows (1989), Surviving the Illinois River (1987), and Cherokee Calling: A Guide for Spiritual Growth (2004). In addition to bows, he made arrows from river cane, and knapped points. A strong supporter of preserving what once was considered "lost arts", Al shared his knowledge of Cherokee bow making and culture. For that, he was named a Cherokee National Treasure in 1991.

Alan married his high school sweetheart, Frankie Parris, on July 25, 1958. This union was blessed with four children. Al and Frankie loved to travel and lived from Alaska to Florida, and many places in between where they both taught and Al pursued his higher education. Each summer, they returned with their children, to their home on the Illinois River at Tahlequah, because that was always home.

He is survived by his loving family, which includes four children. Mark Herrin and his wife Deanna of Tahlequah, Gerri Lawson and husband Terry of Tulsa, Jane Phillips and husband Todd of Tahlequah, and Jay Herrin and wife Missy of Tahlequah; his beloved grandchildren include: Emily, Brett, Carly, Jennifer, Kacy, Kelsy, Jake, Luke, Baylee and Reece; and great-grandchildren, Sam, Henry, Gray, Mac, Beau, Eli, Duke, Annabelle, Georgia, and Zander; and sister in law Billie Parris of Tahlequah.

Officiating the funeral will be, Bill Wiles and Sam Dunn.

Pallbearers are his grandsons, Jake and Luke Phillips, Brett and Reece Herrin, Ethan Henley, David Howard, Alex Simpson and Micah Moles.

Private Family Burial.

To send flowers to the family, please visit our floral store.


Public Viewing
October 28, 2022

9:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Hart Funeral Home
1506 N. Grand Ave

Funeral Service
October 29, 2022

11:00 AM
Hart Funeral Home
1506 N. Grand Ave

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