Herndon was born in Sedalia, on Oct. 11, 1926 to Janie M. (Berry) and Joseph L. Herndon. He attended school first in Sedalia and then in Smithton, which is where he met his wife of 69 years; Roma Maxine Klein. He worked several factory and construction jobs while he waited for his girl to graduate high school. He married her in her parents’ home on Aug. 26, 1944. On July 09, 1945, they had one daughter, Sandra Kay.
He enlisted in the Air Force in April 1946 and was stationed in Japan until March of 1950. Upon his return, Joe and Roma bought a small farm in Florence. They raised sheep, pigs, rabbits and Sandy on their farm until 1963.
He became an electrician and eventually owned a successful electrical contracting business entitled Herndon Electric. In 1982, he sold his business and retired comfortably. Upon his retirement, he devoted his time to researching his family’s genealogy. He successfully traced his lineage to the Norman invasion of England without the aid of the Internet. He also traveled extensively with Roma in their R.V. Joe and Roma joined the Good Sam Club in 1988 and participated in monthly camping trips throughout the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. He served as Wagon Master for his district for many years.
He was an active member of numerous community organizations. He was a member of the Granite Masonic Lodge, the Shriners, Scottish Rite, American Legion, V.F.W., and the Moose Lodge. He was also a committed member of the IBEW. He was devoted to the Georgetown Methodist Church. He had found solace and community with that church as a young child and continued to attend until his final days; often braving inclement weather and health issues.
He is survived by his wife Roma Herndon, his daughter Sandra Becker, and grandchildren Trey, Samantha, and Dawn Becker. His great-grandchildren Kaycee Olejniczak, Brook Becker, Killian McClelland, Clyde Hutchison, Amelia Hutchison, and his great-great grandson Trey Eggleston.
Services will be held at Rea Funeral Chapel on Wednesday, Jan. 29. The family will receives guests at 10 a.m. and a memorial service will begin at 11 a.m.
A private family burial will take place at a later date. The family requests that in lieu of flowers that a donation to Shriners International be made in his honor, in care of the funeral chapel.