It’s difficult to put a person into words…
Joan Alice Reichert Herndon (née Slief) passed away on Friday, September 1st, 2023, at the age of 87. She was a caring wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and friend and a kind, generous woman.
She is survived by her sister Carole Dowling (Willie), daughter Nancy Reichert Seidner (Phillip), son Bob Reichert (Lynda), daughter Susan Barkocy (Bruce), grandchildren Kathryn and Patrick Reichert, Kyle Culp and Stephanie Seidner; great-grandchildren Sylvie Dian and Max Malo; and numerous nieces, nephews, extended family and friends.
She was preceded in death by her infant son William Karl, parents Mary Josephine and Floyd Leo Slief, her brother Leo Floyd Slief, her sisters Marilyn Morales and Bertha Fallaschek.
Family was extremely important to Joan. She was born October 28, 1935 in Oklahoma City to Floyd and Josephine Slief. She grew up with her brother and three sisters on Eubanks in OKC in the house that her father built. The five of them (“one plus four” as they were known) stayed close and frequently travelled together. She attended John Carroll Elementary and Bishop McGuinness Catholic High School. Even though she only attended Mount St. Scolastica College for two years, education was very important to her and all three of her children graduated from college. She later went back to college to study sociology at Oklahoma City University and was a lifelong learner. She earned her real estate license and was a realtor for over twenty years.
She married Bob Reichert September 5th, 1955 and they raised three children. After five years of marriage they built a house on Vermont Avenue in Oklahoma City. She would often redecorate and rearrange the house. In 1975 they purchased a house on 20th street and worked together remodeling it. That was no small project. She also decorated this house with flair. They volunteered together. They worked along with other parishioners to build St. Patrick’s Catholic Church. They were very involved with Neighbor for Neighbor in OKC, serving on its Board of Directors for twenty years. He preceded her in death (1999).
She married Don Herndon January 23rd, 1998 and tirelessly cared for him for fifteen years after a car wreck left him wheelchair-bound. He also preceded her in death (2021).
Joan loved to travel with family and friends, visiting Europe, Hawaii, Mexico and more. On a trip to England with friends, she found herself in a crowd waiting to see the future King, Prince Charles, who was visiting the small town. As he talked to the crowd, she stuck out her hand and shouted “I’m from Oklahoma City!” The Prince stopped, shook her hand and said “Terrible tragedy occurred there. I hope you’re doing well.” He wished her a good trip and moved on. She was very impressed and told her friends she thought that the polite young man would make a good King.
She was a lifelong Catholic. Her compassion, caring and very generous nature are evidenced by her volunteer work. In addition to those mentioned above, she also helped start Little Flower Montessori School, was a member of St. Stephen’s Ministry, a member of St. Charles RAIN team (AIDS patient ministry), a member of NAACP and the Panel of American Women.
She stood up for her beliefs and was a frequent protester of war and supporter of human rights. She felt strongly about peace and ending hunger as evidenced in her protests with slogans like “Make bread not bombs” and “If you want Peace, work for Justice”.
Friends will be received at Buchanan Funeral Service Chapel (8712 N. Council) on Wednesday, September 13th from 6-8pm. Mass of Christian Burial will be Thursday, September 14th at 1 pm, St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church (5024 N. Grove Ave. in Warr Acres with burial at Resurrection Memorial Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to one of Joan’s favorite charities: Catholic Charities, Heifer International, Doctors Without Borders.
“Those we hold most dear never truly leave us…they live on in the kindnesses they showed, the comfort they shared, and the love they brought into our lives.” (I.Norton)