Thomas E. Herrington

Thomas Edward Herrington

September 25, 1931 – March 11, 2019

Thomas Edward Herrington was born in Bastrop County on September 25, 1931 to Thomas J. and Irene Bollier Herrington. He was educated in Smithville schools and graduated as Salutatorian of the Smithville High School class of 1951. He attended Rice University for two years, before transferring to the University of Texas at Austin where he received a degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1956. On the same day, he married Polly Ann Morris in Belton.

Tom worked in commercial airliner Research and Development at Pan American Airlines in Miami, Florida, and military airplane R&D at Convair in Ft. Worth before joining the space race with Brown Engineering at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama. In 1965, Tom and Polly moved to Houston, then Friendswood,  where he worked for the National Aeronautics and Space Agency. At NASA he worked in the Gemini Program Office, then the Apollo Program Office where he was assigned to the group who designed and developed the experiment package left on the moon. He resigned in 1981 to pursue other interests in the Houston area.

In 1992 Tom and Polly moved to Bandera, where he raised gamebirds for hunting and ranch restocking. In 1995, along with his son John, he limited production to quail for meat as well as hunting and restocking. Tom built the first USDA approved gamebird processing plant in Texas and supplied quail to fine restaurants all over the country – including the White House. He was a founding member of the Texas Gamebird Association, and held the offices of President and Treasurer.

The family also owned and operated the Diamond H Bed and Breakfast in Bandera from 1992-2010. Due to failing health, both businesses were sold and Tom and Polly relocated to the Bryan area to be near family.

Tom is preceded in death by his parents and his son John David Herrington. Survivors include his wife of 62 years, Polly; daughter Linda Jeffress and husband Chuck of Kurten and their children Jennifer of Dallas and Drew of College Station; son Jim and his wife Kathy of Fredericksburg; son Mark, his wife Anita and their children Angelica and Blake, all of San Antonio; grandchildren Garrett of Memphis, Tennessee and Morgan Hargrove of Chicago, Illinois, and their mother Tamara Turner of Ft. Worth; great-grandchildren Kaden and Cohen of Chicago; and brother David Herrington of Smithville and his children Michael and Lisa.

Thomas Edward Herrington died on March 11, 2019 at the Hospice Brazos Valley Inpatient Facility in Bryan. Visitation will be at Callaway-Jones Funeral Home in Bryan from 6 -8 p.m. on Tuesday, March 19, 2019, with burial to follow in Bandera at a later date.

The family will be forever grateful to Dr. Richard Smith for his kindness and caring support over the years and to all the incredible staff of Hospice Brazos Valley, especially Kitti, who was with us at the end and sang a beautiful rendition of “Amazing Grace.” In leu of flowers, please consider making a donation to the Kurten Volunteer Fire Department or Hospice Brazos Valley in memory of this good man, a Texas Longhorn with a soft spot for the Aggies.

Services are in the care of Callaway-Jones Funeral and Cremation Centers, Bryan-College Station. Expressions of condolences may be made at


  1. Linda and Family,
    Keeping you all close to my heart and in my prayers during this very difficult time.

    • Dear Mrs. Herrington, Linda and family. Me Errington’s video was beautiful and such a wonderful keepsake for your family. One could tell the love put into its making.
      I didn’t know Mr. Herrington, after reading his obituary I soon learned what a wonderful and giving life he lead to family and community.
      The Nelson family sends much love and prayers. Your loving memories of your husband, dad and grandfather will be such a blessing to the entire family.
      Love you Linda!

  2. Dear Linda & Family,
    The keepsake video is so sweet. We hope these beautiful memories of your Dad continue to bring you, your Mom and the family comfort and hope.
    Maz & Ray

  3. Our hearts are heavy as we learned of Papa Tom’s passing. He achieved so much in his life and we know how much he was loved by family and friends.
    We are grateful that we were able to share many family events over the years. Tom was a very special person and he and Polly’s open door policy made us feel welcome whenever we came to Bandera.
    Thank you for many happy memories.

  4. Dear Polly, I will be lifting you & your sweet family up in prayer as you grieve the loss of your dear Tom. My Joe McKenzie knew of Tom from his NASA work, as I remember our happy days teaching together at Greene Elementary. I hope to be in contact with you soon to share some fellowship with one another. You may remember I married Buck Isbell who was married to another Greene teacher, Carrie before her death in 1996. Love to you & yours! Virginia McKenzie Isbell

  5. Dear Polly and Family:
    We were so sorry to hear about the loss of Tom. The life you had was wonderful and I know you will miss him very much, as we will miss ours when they are gone from here but not too far from the love shared. You have so many stories for the greats and grands and they will be able to keep him in your memory and theirs.

    Please know that we care and share your sadness and think of you often.

    Joan and BW Sandlin

  6. We are very sorry to hear about the loss of Mr. Herrington. Mrs. Polly please accept our deepest and most heartfelt condolences at this most challenging time. Wishing you and your love ones peace to bring comfort,courage to face the days ahead and loving memories to forever hold in your heart. Thank you Mr. Herrington for all you did for us!!
    Navarro Family

  7. Mrs. Herrington and family. So sorry for your loss. Keeping all of you in my prayers.

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