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1930 William 2022

William Mcdaniel Herr

June 7, 1930 — December 10, 2022

William McDaniel Herr, born June 7, 1930, in Westminster, Maryland, departed this life on December 10, 2022, at his adopted hometown of Carbondale, Illinois, at the age of 92.

Throughout his life, Bill was a strong advocate for the value of education. He completed his undergraduate education at Cornell University (B.S., 1951), earned a master’s degree from the University of Illinois (M.S., 1952), and then returned to Cornell where he completed his doctorate in agricultural economics (Ph.D., 1954). In addition, he later engaged in post-graduate study in economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Chicago. After completing his formal education, Bill was an agricultural economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago before commencing his career as a professor at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale in 1957. He was the first chairman of the Department of Agribusiness Economics in the College of Agriculture at SIU, a position he held for many years. During his tenure at SIU he authored many published scholarly articles on agricultural economics. Ultimately, Bill completed 37 years of service at SIU when he retired in 1994 after being honored to serve as the Interim Dean of the College of Agriculture.

While associated with SIU, Bill received two appointments to the Agricultural Finance Branch, USDA, Washington, DC, also served as visiting Scholar at the Farm Credit Administration, Washington, DC, and on three separate occasions taught and did research in the Department of Agricultural Economics at the University of New England, Armidale, New South Wales, Australia. He also served for many years as a member of the Board of Directors of Farm Credit Services of Illinois. Post-retirement, Bill provided in-service training to branch bank managers about farm credit in Omsk, Russia, under the sponsorship of Agriculture Cooperative Development International, and evaluated agriculture projects in the Tula and Kaluga Oblasts of Russia under the sponsorship of Volunteers in Overseas Cooperative Assistance.

Bill was a man of keen wit, boundless energy, an adventurous spirit, and varied interests. As World War II ended in Europe, at the age of 16, Bill volunteered with Heifer International as a “seagoing cowboy” helping to husband over 800 horses to Poland on a Liberty Ship. In retirement, he was an active volunteer with Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge, helping to build and maintain many popular trails, including Rocky Branch trail, Cove Hollow trail, and the trail around Little Cedar Lake. For several successive years he was named Crab Orchard volunteer of the year. Bill was also a volunteer with Shawnee Alliance for Seniors for many years. His active pursuits included tennis, hiking, biking and bridge with family and friends. He also enjoyed orchestral concerts and opera, attending performances locally and at numerous venues around the world. An avid collector of Australian stamps, Bill contributed articles to the Journal of the Society of Austrasian Specialists/Oceania.

Bill married Lois Tuthill of Mattituck, Long Island, New York, on September 1, 1951, and they enjoyed 65 years of marriage. They met while Bill was working for Lois’ parents on their farm on Long Island during the summer when he was in college. He literally married the farmer’s daughter. Bill and Lois traveled the world together throughout their lives. Lois preceded him in death on September 10, 2016. A son, John McDaniel Herr, also preceded him in death.

Bill was a devoted and caring husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. His surviving family includes daughter, Debbie Sparks, granddaughter, Tracy Dusch, and great-grandson, Tyler Jack; daughter, Marleigh Stewart and son-in-law, Bruce Stewart, granddaughter, Christy Stewart, granddaughter Lynsey Stewart Wegman and husband John Wegman, and great-granddaughters Nora Wegman and Maggie Wegman; and a close nephew, Robert Tuthill.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Meredith Funeral Home in Carbondale. To leave a story or memory of Bill please visit At his request, a private, family memorial service will be held at a later date.

Memorial contributions can be made to the William McD. Herr Scholarship Fund, Southern Illinois University Foundation, Colyer Hall, 1235 Douglas Dr., Mail Code 6805, Carbondale, IL 62901; the Dorothy McDaniel Herr Memorial Scholarship Fund, Office of Institutional Advancement, McDaniel College, 2 College Hill, Westminster, MD 21157 (the college was named after Bill’s grandfather, William McDaniel, who was President of the college then known as Western Maryland University); Hospice of Southern Illinois, Inc., 204 Halfway Road, Marion, IL 62959; or to any other charitable organization as a memorial to William McDaniel Herr.

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