Billy Russell Herndon, born June 22nd, 1946 in Clarksville, passed peacefully surrounded by his family in Traverse City, Michigan on November 14th.
He attended Clarksville High School where his height and agility helped bring the Wildcats to the 1964 State Boys' Basketball Tournament, where they placed second. His passion for sports continued his entire life. Under the tutelage of Earl Walton, Bill became involved with sports broadcasting in the 1970s. As The Voice of the Govs, Bill painted a mental picture of so many wonderful basketball games. He had a talent beyond words that could transport you to the front row. He served as the first Govs Club President and was awarded the Ohio Valley Conference Media Lifetime Achievement Award.
His talent and love for sports were second only to the love and dedication he held for his family. Taking a line from a sports legend, Bill would quickly tell anyone, “I’m the luckiest man in the world.”
He is preceded in death by his parents, Russell and Margaret Herndon. He is survived by his wife, Jan Manning Herndon, his daughters Amy Herndon Spence and Ann Herndon, his brother Maurice (Mary Lee), his grandchildren Sgt Clayton Spence (Kari), Willa Gerring, Oakley Gerring, and many beloved family members, friends, and golfin’ buddies.
A celebration of his life will be held at Neal-Tarpley-Parchman Funeral Home in Clarksville, TN with visitation at 2 PM with service to follow at 5 PM on Sunday, November 20th.
And finally, Bill would want you to have what he would refer to as “A Jimmy V day”, a quote by Coach Jim Valvano that inspired him until the very end. “To me there are three things everyone should do every day. Number one is laugh. Number two is think -- spend some time time in thought. Number three, you should have your emotions move you to tears. If you laugh, think and cry, that's a heck of a day.”