Willis Ray Herndon

Willis Ray Herndon, 87, of Marionville, passed away April 22, 2019, in his home with his loving wife, Gina, by his side. He was born Dec. 5, 1931, to EB and Flo Herndon. He was the third child of six. Hendon attended several small country schools where he of course had to walk up hill both ways. He met the first love of his life, Kay Sonya, in Feb. 1954, and they were married March 6, 1954.  This two week courtship turned into a lifelong love that lasted over 60 years. They were blessed with one child.  If you ever met Willis, you never forgot him. His personality was a force of nature but in every positive way possible. He cared deeply about those he loved, and never met a stranger. lives.  
Herndon was a United States Air Force veteran. He retired after 21 years of service. After retiring from the Air Force as a Master Sergeant, Willis then went to work for the Bureau of Federal Prisons for 22 years. After his second retirement, Willis filled his time with all things. He was a championship bowler and a fisherman, but his true love was golf. Willis also became involved in city of Marionville politics where he served multiple terms as city alderman and town mayor. He was always involved in church related activities. He rededicated his life in 1968 at Burns Flat Baptist Church and was baptized on the same day. Herndon was a deacon and Sunday school teacher at Marionville First Baptist. His first wife passed away in 2014 after 60 years of marriage, he was blessed with a second love Gina Stringer and they were married in 2017.
Herndon is survived by: his wife, Gina; daughter Gayle (Randy) of Marionville; brother, Robert (Sara) Herndon of Marionville; and adoptive son, Keith Cook; two grandchildren. He was preceded in death by: his parents; brothers, Junior, John and Don Herndon; and sister, Betty.
A funeral service, under the direction of the Crafton-Cantrell Funeral Home in Aurora was held April 25, 2019, at the Marionville First Baptist Church with interment at the Marionville IOOF Cemetery. Memorials may be made to the Marionville First Baptist Church Pavilion Fund in care of the funeral home. Online condolences may be shared at www.CraftonCantrellFuneralHome.com.


Lawrence County Record

312 S. Hickory St.
Mt. Vernon, MO, 65712


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