Mr. Donald Allison Herndon, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Directors for The Brice W. Herndon and Sons Funeral Homes, age 66, of Walterboro, departed this life to serve the Lord Our God this past Friday evening, July 12, 2019, following a courageous and strong-willed battle that he fought with inspiring hope and determination. He truly demonstrated his strong faith in his Lord and knew that God was in control.
Mr. Herndon was born July 25, 1952, in Walterboro and was the youngest of three children born to the late Mr. Brice Wilbur Herndon of Walterboro and the late Mrs. Katherine Harbiston Herndon of Cottageville. He spent the majority of his childhood days working alongside his grandparents, the late Leroy Tatnall Herndon and Corrie Mae Carter Herndon on their family farm that was located off the Bells Highway in Walterboro. During his teenage years, Donald, along with his brother Buddy, began working in the funeral industry when their father, Brice Herndon, started a partnership with the late Mr. Leon Barrow, operating the Barrow-Herndon Mortuary on Hampton Street in Walterboro and the ambulance service that was operated through the funeral home. As a student at Walterboro High School, he was a four year letterman in football, track, and field – it was during these days that he received the well-known nickname that followed him throughout the rest of his life, “Duck”. After graduation, he continued his formal education at the historic Gupton-Jones College of Mortuary Science at the old Bell-Howell Building on Peachtree Street in Atlanta, Georgia. He graduated with the class of 1972, a member of the Dean's List and holding the class office of Sergeant of Arms. He graduated with high marks on both the International Conference of Examining Boards and the State Board of South Carolina examination.
After college, he played an integral part in moving the family business that was then located on Hampton Street in Walterboro to the current day location in the old Kimbrell Home on Bells Highway. Donald owned and operated Herndon Monuments for several years. In 2007, he made a decision to return to the granite industry by establishing, along with his son, The Stephen A. Herndon Monument Company. Donald received his “hands on” education of putting the needs and wants of the families they served above all else from his dad. After his father’s death in May of 2001, he became the Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of the Directors for the family business. He went on to expand the business by opening our second location in Ehrhardt, South Carolina, in 2002 and the third location in Varnville, South Carolina in 2006, where his daughter, Allison manages daily operations. Each and every day, regardless of obligations, illness, and commitments, Donald placed the families who called upon these funeral homes above all else, working untold hours and was always present whether his health permitted or not. Even when at his lowest point when he was hospitalized, he was more concerned with what was going on at the funeral home than himself.
Donald was raised to know Christ as his Lord and Savior at the old family church, Evergreen Christian Church. After his marriage to Linda Crosby, he moved his membership to Doctor's Creek Baptist Church. There he was a member of the Deacon Board, the Adult Choir, Assistant to the Treasurer, and a member of the Cemetery Committee. He was a former member of Unity Masonic Lodge No. 55, Ancient Free Masons in Walterboro and now holds his membership at Bells Masonic Lodge No. 236, Ancient Free Masons. He served as a member of the Colleton County Board of Disabilities, was a Sponsor Member of The National Wild Turkey Federation, and The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, Lodge No. 1988 as well as several other civic and community organizations. Professionally, he was a member of the National Funeral Directors Association and the South Carolina Funeral Directors Association, where he served as group Chairman with the Central Coastal Group. He also gave his support to numerous organizations and individuals.
The farming and horse world was a very dear part of his life. His final and probably one of the most treasured ventures in his life was establishing The Brice Herndon Draft Horse and Carriage Company. During a weekend excursion with his son and good friends, Timmy Sumner, Jared Sumner and Mike McLaine, he came home with the first of his draft horses and carriages. He oversaw the purchase and creation of Perchwood Farms in Walterboro. Until his last days, he remained resolute to the care of his beloved French Percherons, Clydesdales, and other horses. This endeavor brought full circle his childhood memories with horses - watching them work, perform carriage work, compete and do trail rides.
“Duck” was a huge NASCAR Motor Sports Racing fan. He and his good friend Jack Jones attended their first NASCAR race in 2000 at Daytona Speedway. The thrill of those races influenced him to purchase infield passes to the Darlington Speedway each year for the race. He enjoyed years of “race weekends” with his kids, and good friends, Mike McLaine, and Scott Smoak.
He was in every sense of the word a family man. He supported and loved his wife and kids dearly. During Jodi’s days as a young child, through her education at Columbia College and into adult hood, he stood by her giving his advice, thoughts, and knowledge, becoming ever so proud of the woman she has become. He came to know the voice of an angel and one of his greatest enjoyments in life was hearing Allison sing. He encouraged and supported her vocal growth from her teen years and into adult life. He walked beside her as she ventured into a career in funeral service, making sure that she knew the value of service and ministering to the families who called on them just like his father had taught him. He became his son’s best friend as Anthony continued in his footsteps. He was so proud of the young man Anthony has become.
He is survived by his devoted wife – the light and love of his life for forty-two years, Mrs. Linda Crosby Herndon; three children, Allison Herndon – Campbell of Walterboro, South Carolina, Stephen Anthony Herndon of Walterboro, South Carolina, and Jodi Crosby Fletcher of Fountain Inn, South Carolina; his three grandchildren who were the sweet spots in his heart, Adalin Grace Campbell, Ethan Allan Fletcher and Jillian Grace Fletcher; his other “son”, Brandon Murray Reeves of Reevesville, South Carolina; his father and mother-in-law, Jimmie vonLehe Ramsey and Ruth Craven Ramsey of Walterboro, South Carolina; and his constant side-kick, his beloved grand-dog who had a permanent spot at his side, Copper Wills. They could be seen policing the neighborhood on their golf cart on a daily basis. He is also survived by a host of nieces to include, Donna Beckett Reynolds, Scarlett Herndon Rizer, and Jennifer Ramsey Mixson; nephews to include William Brice “Bud” Herndon, Jr.; and cousins whom he loved and cared for deeply as well as aunt and uncles, Jackie and Eugenia Herndon, Shirley Herndon Bailey Baker, Elizabeth Craven Abbey, Isaiah and Annie Ruth Crosby, and Tommy and Nancy Dandridge; two very special lifelong friends Timmy Sumner and Jack Jones; a sister-in-law, Gail Crosby Haddock ; and two brothers-in-law Jimmie Ramsey, Jr. and Perry Ramsey.
He was preceded in death by a daughter, Rebecca Lynn Herndon; a brother, William Brice “Buddy” Herndon, Sr.; and a sister, Patricia Herndon Beckett Way.
Over the last few years of Donald’s life, many individuals made lasting expressions on his heart and truly went above and beyond while caring for him. These folks were angels among us, Dr. Eric Pride, Dr. Jeffery Reider, Dr. Scott Woodfield, Dr. Thomas Appleby, Dr. Steve E. Herndon, Dr. Brian Ralph, Dr. Vonda Calcut, Dr. Jeffery Kramer, Dr. James E. Warmoth, Crystal Poole P.A.; Maurice and his staff at Floyd’s Brace Co., Diane Howe and the devoted staff of NHC, Vickie and nurses of DaVita Dialysis, and Ola Boland. Amedisys Hospice walked the last steps with us and we will forever be grateful to Heather Delonge, Beth Kubik, and Donna Hunter.
Flowers will be accepted, or for those that desire, memorial contributions may be directed in his memory to the following: Billy Graham’s Samaritan’s Purse, Post Office Box 3000, Boone, North Carolina 28607; or donate at: www.samaritanspurse.org; or to the Gentle Giants Draft Horse Rescue, 17250 Old Frederick Road., Mount Airy, Maryland 21771; or donate at:www.gentlegiantsdrafthorserescue.org.
The relatives and friends of the Herndon family are invited to attend the funeral services of the late Donald Allison Herndon, which will be conducted 3 o’clock Saturday afternoon, July 20, 2019, from The First Baptist Church of Walterboro, located in the Historic District, 124 South Memorial Avenue, Walterboro. The Reverend James W. Williams, Jr. and The Reverend Fr. Randy Morgan officiating. Entombment will follow in Glendale Memorial Chapel Mausoleum, 2210 Mount Carmel Road, Walterboro.
The family has respectfully requested that attending members of the South Carolina Funeral Director’s Association serve as honorary escorts; and their presence is requested at the Narthex of The First Baptist Church at 2:30 pm that afternoon.
Family and friends are invited to call during a time of visitation from 5:00 until 8:00 this Friday evening at THE BRICE W. HERNDON AND SONS FUNERAL HOMES AND CREMATORY, WALTERBORO CHAPEL, 1193 Bells Highway, Walterboro; 843.538.5408.
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