Charles Kenneth 'Chuck' Herndon

Charles Kenneth "Chuck" Herndon was born January 5, 1922, in Chanute, Kan., the son of David and Myrtle Alice (Bowker) Herndon. He passed away at Vista Mesa Assisted Living Center in Cortez on Thursday, March 28, 2013, at 91 years of age.

Raised on a small farm in Chanute, Chuck worked on a golf course as a caddy, ball finder, shop attendant, course employee, greenskeeper (sand) and learned to play the game under the supervision of the course owner. Eventually Chuck became efficient as a player and in 1939 became city Cchampion by defeating the defending champion.

Chuck graduated high school in 1939 and joined the U.S. Navy in January 1940 in Los Angeles, Calif. Following his training at San Diego, Calif. in Company 40-3, he was transferred to USS San Francisco in Pearl Harbor, serving in the 4th Deck Division until May 1941. From there he was transferred to signal (visual) division. Chuck advanced to the rank of Chief Signalman (AA) before his discharge on January 5, 1946, at Camp Haywood, San Francisco, Calif.

In January 1944, Chuck married Betty Irene Pruner, and to that union a daughter, Karen Diane, was born November 18, 1944. Betty passed away in December 1962, suffering from heart disease. During 1962, Wilma Laughlin had moved to Cortez after purchasing the Aneth Lodge. Chuck and Wilma were married April 7, 1965.

During Chuck's lifetime he has been involved in employment with office equipment sales, motel operations, auto sales at Cortez Motor Sales, restaurant ownership, a political office and real estate. He had held membership in Cortez Lodge #133 AF & AM, Cortez Lodge #1789 BPOE, American Legion Post #75, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #5241, and Cortez Lions Club.

Surviving Chuck are his wife, Wilma Herndon of Cortez; three grandchildren, Troy Hart, Scott Martin and Tanya Gardner; as well as great grandchildren and great-great grandchildren. One brother, Roy Herndon of Apple Valley, Calif.; and several nieces and nephews also survive Chuck. Preceding Chuck in death were his parents; his first wife, Betty Herndon, and his daughter, Karen Diane Smith.

As were Chuck's wishes, cremation has taken place with no services to be held. Arrangements were made through Ertel Funeral Home. For further information or to send condolences, log on to and click on the obituary section.