Horace “Basil” Herndon, age 93, passed away peacefully at home in Penrose, Colorado. He was born on August 27, 1925 in Kirk, Colorado to Elmer Benona Herndon and Bessie Applegate. Basil, as he was known for most of his life, grew up on a dry land farm near Joes, Colorado during the depression and dust bowl years.
Basil started his working career with his own business, a radio repair shop in North Denver called “Miracle Radio”. Later he worked for the Denver Public Schools in the grounds maintenance department and in Raton, New Mexico for ARF Products, Inc., a pioneer in the cable television industry. His longest lasting career, however, was as a home appliance repairman, mostly working for Ritchies Refrigeration in Denver. When he wasn’t working, Basil was an avid collector of antique and classic cars. He never missed an opportunity to add one more classic to his collection.
Just after high school, where Basil met the love of his life, Ruth, in Edgewater, Colorado, the two ran away to St. Francis, Kansas to be married by a justice of the peace on October 17, 1944. They knew their parents would not allow it with her being only 17 years old and him only 19. Assuming they had to be Kansas residents to get married there, they tried to hoodwink the justice of the peace by using the address of a friend who once lived in Bird City, Kansas when they filled out the marriage application. They spelled Bird City “B-y-r-d”. After the marriage ceremony, the justice of the peace dryly remarked, “Oh, by the way, we generally spell it B-i-r-d here in Kansas”. He was married to Ruth Ellen McVay until she passed away in 1984. He never remarried, nor had any desire to do so.
Basil Herndon is survived by one daughter, Frances Pollock, of Canon City, Colorado and one son, Herbert Herndon of Englewood, Colorado. He is also survived by 9 grandchildren, 19 great grandchildren, 5 great-great grandchildren, 8 nieces, and 4 nephews.
Special thanks to his primary caregivers, Frances Pollock, Lori Ackerman, Mark Pruvost, and Rick Schneider who made it possible for him to die peacefully at home.
An informal ceremony will be held at 1:00 pm on August 4, 2019 at the Senior Center in Penrose, Colorado.