Dr. Stephen Richard Herr passed away Nov. 1 in his new home city of Cuenca, Ecuador.
An informal memorial service will be held at Boston Avenue United Methodist Church on Sunday, Nov. 24, at 12:30 p.m. The ORU community is invited to attend.
Herr served as a professor of physical and environmental science at Oral Roberts University for 20 years using his experience and humor to inspire students.
Colleagues remember Herr working with students to clean up Lake Evelyn and Fred Creek and identify trees on campus by putting up wooden stakes with useful information.
“He was passionate about helping students appreciate and understand God’s magnificent creation,” said Dr. John Korstad, professor of biology. “He was an amazing man of God.”
He was born Nov. 27, 1945 in York, Pa. He later attended Juniata College in Pennsylvania, where he met and fell in love with his wife Maret Piirand Herr before moving on to the University of Iowa to earn a Master of Science in Paleontology in 1970.
He originally moved to Tulsa to work in the oil industry with Texaco, and later Amerada Hess and Mabee Petroleum. His oil career ended with a four-year stint working for Aramco in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia.
After resigning his position, Herr returned home to Tulsa and earned a Ph.D. in Environmental Science from Oklahoma State University.
Herr retired from his 20-year tenure at ORU in 2012 and was excited about his recent adventure in South America.
Even though his time in Cuenca was short, he felt that it had been well worth the effort.
He is preceded in death by his parents John and Ester Herr.
Herr is survived by his wife Maret; son Andrew and wife Brenda Herr; son Jeremy Herr and wife Huey Fang Lim; son Timothy and wife Ryan Winkler Herr; three grandsons, Logan, Cyrus, and August (and one more pending); sister Helen Stoner, brothers John and David Herr and their families.
His ashes have been laid to rest in Cuenca, where his wife Maret will live.
Charitable donations can be made in Herr’s name to scholarships for students of Oral Roberts University and the University of Oklahoma.