Royce Chester Herndon, 72, of Columbia, Mo., passed away on Oct. 30, 2023. He was born on Sept. 27, 1951, in Houston, Mo., and lived a life filled with adventure, love and hard work. Royce was a beloved husband, father, grandfather, son and brother who held his family close to his heart.

Left to cherish his memory are his loving wife, Maris (James) Herndon, his daughters Marissa (Herndon) Gaither and husband Jeremy, Karissa (Herndon) Greer and husband Morgan, and his adored grandchildren Tyler, Paisley, and Parker Gaither, and Luke, Kaleb, and Isabelle Greer. Royce is also survived by his father, Chester Herndon, and his siblings Judy (Herndon) McClain and her husband Don, Mark Herndon, Brent Herndon and his wife Reba, and Melissa (Herndon) Fockler and her husband Paul Fockler. He was preceded in death by his dear mother, Violet (Davenport) Herndon, his mother-in-law, Versa James, and his father-in-law, Ted James.

Royce graduated from Houston High School in 1969 and went on to attend Mineral Area College in Park Hills, Mo. He began his career at AB Chance in Centralia, Mo., and then traveled throughout 48 states promoting underground switchgear. For 30 years, Royce served as a sales account manager for electrical supplies, selling to rural electric cooperatives and city municipalities across the state. 

A man of faith, Royce found solace and inspiration at Woodcrest Chapel for 28 years, where he nurtured his spiritual connection. Outside of his professional pursuits, he found joy in the simple pleasures of life. Royce had a deep appreciation for nature, enjoyed hunting, woodworking, and fishing, and was a passionate fan of Mizzou football and basketball. He also possessed a talent for making beautiful picture frames and held a special affection for his farm in Houston. Royce’s prized possession was his 1975 Pontiac Trans Am, which brought him great delight.

Family and friends are invited to pay their respects during the visitation at 1 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2023, with a Celebration of Life service following at 2 p.m. The visitation and service will take place at Woodcrest Chapel, located at 2201 W. Nifong Blvd, Columbia, Mo. 65203. 

An additional visitation will be held for family and friends in southern Missouri at 1 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 8 at Ozark Baptist Church, 17490 Ozark Rd., Houston, Mo.

A private burial will be at Ozark Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to Woodcrest Chapel or the Parkinson’s Support Group at 1311 Vintage Dr., Columbia, Mo. 65203.

Bach-Yager Funeral Chapel in Columbia, Mo., is assisting the family with the arrangements.  For those unable to attend the services please visit to view the service.  

Royce Chester Herndon will be deeply missed by all who knew and loved him. May his soul rest in peace.


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