Roger Herndon was born on June 11, 1936, in Rustburg, Virginia to the late Robert Herndon and the late Lillian Mitchell. He was the youngest and the last surviving child of twelve children from their union. Roger was raised in a loving and Christ-centered home. Roger was educated in both the Farmville & Campbell County School Systems. He transitioned his earthly life to a heavenly life on January 18, 2024, in Charlottesville, VA at Albemarle Rehab & Health Facility.
In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by his wife, Shirley Herndon; his first-born infant, Roger Nathaniel; beloved daughter Shelbry Bender; a devoted son in-law Dieter Blank; and all eleven of his much-loved siblings: five brothers, Pledge, Wallace, Edward, Clyde, and Wesley; and six sisters, Martha, Ruth, Lillian, Emma, Ethel, and Mary.
At a young age, Roger knew the value of establishing a close relationship with God and was baptized, becoming a member at St. Paul Baptist Church in Rustburg, VA. As an adult, Roger became an active member at Chapel Grove Baptist Church, where he attended faithfully until his wife became ill. Roger was a member of the Male Choir and the Senior Choir. Although he stepped down from singing, he continued to come to service when he could. When not physically in Church, Roger enjoyed watching different services on TV or watching sermons on his DVD player.
Roger married his childhood sweetheart, Shirley Laverne Mickles on November 19, 1955, and they became the proud parents of four children: Roger Nathaniel, Shelbry Cecilia, Shelia Laverne, and Veronica Lenora. These children would fill their home in Rustburg with love, laughter, and many unforgettable memories.
Roger was tall in stature with a very quiet, loving personality. He was a humble man who loved the Lord and tried to live his life accordingly. Roger was a “family” man. He loved playing with and chasing his girls when he got off from work. On Friday nights, Roger would take the family to the airport and watch the airplanes come in, while the girls sat in his convertible car, watching the planes with such excitement in their eyes. Every Saturday, Roger took the family, after wrestling went off, for errands. Sunday mornings were spent in Church and after service, the family would hang out with Granny (Roger’s mom) and cousins.
In his early years when his girls were young, Roger worked as a Truck Driver. He would often give them rides in his flatbed tractor trailer on the way to dropping the truck off for the weekends. As the girls became adolescents, Roger decided it was time for him to be off the road and home during the week.
Roger accepted employment in Construction and building bridges. He would often come home telling stories from his workday at the construction site. His girls loved hearing stories of how they were reconstructing the bridge from Madison Heights into Lynchburg. Roger retired from Counts & Dobyns in 2005.
Roger was devoted to his wife of 59 years and his daughters throughout his life. He was the primary caretaker of his wife for fourteen years, after she suffered from a stroke. Roger always said, “in marriage, you accept the good with the bad”. He never regretted or complained, not one day for providing care to her. He remained by her bedside until God called her home in 2015.
Roger loved his role as “Granddaddy” to his three grandchildren and later to his four great grandchildren. He always looked forward to taking trips to Richmond to play with them and “chase” them throughout the house. They will truly miss Granddaddy.
Celebrating Roger’s life and cherishing his memory are his two daughters Shelia Bush (Charles) and Veronica Blank; an honorary daughter, Helen Adams of NJ; three grandchildren Shannon Werts (Kenneth) of Glen Allen, VA, Trey Perry (Cares’) of Midlothian, VA and Shirkenia Barrett of Atlanta, GA; four great grandchildren, Kenny, Kiley and Kenzie Werts and Eugene C. Perry, IV (Phor); and Ash Barrett who he loved as a grandson. He is also survived by four sister in-laws, four brother in-laws and a host of nieces, nephews, friends, and church family.
A funeral service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, January 27, 2024 at Chapel Grove Baptist Church, Evington, Va., his remains will lie in repose one hour prior to the service. Burial will be held in the church cemetery.
Tharp Funeral Home & Crematory, Lynchburg, is assisting the family.