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THE PASSING OF ROYCE BODIFORD, NAFB HALL OF FARM INDUCTEE
National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB) reports:

Introduced to farm broadcasting through his service as a state and national FFA officer, Royce Bodiford began his broadcast career in 1959 at KGNC Radio/Television in Amarillo, Texas, moved to KEEL Radio in Shreveport, Louisiana, for three years, and then returned to KGNC. In 1977, he became general manager of KGNC until moving to public broadcasting in the 1990s as general manager of KOCV Radio/Television at Odessa College.

His involvement in NAFB included serving as Chats editor, Mid-South Region Vice President, and 1976 NAFB President. He was named 1976 Farm Broadcaster of the Year and was inducted into the NAFB Hall of Fame in 2014. Royce was a 61-year member of NAFB and is best described as a kind, gracious, caring gentleman. Always involved in his community and industry, he left a mark and will be missed.

Odessan Royce Bodiford, age 83, passed away June 22, 2020. Royce was born on the family farm near Millsap, Texas, on November 23, 1936.

Royce chose to be cremated by Hubbard-Kelly Funeral Home of Odessa. His ashes will be taken to Millsap-Poe Prairie Cemetery, and there will be a graveside service. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there will be a memorial service at a later date, in Odessa.

Royce is survived by his wife, Helen, of 62 1/2 years. They have a son Terry and wife, Tracy, of Houston; and one daughter, Michelle and husband, Daniel Olson, of Lubbock. Royce and Helen are blessed with four grandchildren: grandsons Matthew & Hunter Bodiford and Alex Olson; and granddaughter, Hayley Olson.

Royce and Helen sold their home and moved to Lincoln Tower Retirement, Odessa, almost nine years ago. In the past, they were very active and helped chair many projects at Lincoln Tower. Royce was past president of many organizations in Odessa and an outstanding member of Rotary, and he served on many boards.

Royce was sworn in on the Odessa College Board of Trustees for his second 6-year term on May 4, 2019. He had recently been president of the board. Royce was very active since moving to Odessa almost 25 years ago. He was on the City Council of Odessa for nine years and Mayor Pro Tem for seven years. He has been president of many boards of organizations in Odessa. Royce was television and radio general manager at KOCV and also had a weekly TV show, "West Texas Journal."

He continued this TV show a long while after his retirement. Royce was a broadcaster for television and radio and later general manager for more than 45 years. He won many prestigious awards during his career in Amarillo, Shreveport, and Odessa. In the latter part of 2014, Royce was inducted into National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB) Hall of Fame in Kansas City, Missouri; there were more than 400 attendees at that special evening honoring Royce.

Until recently, Royce did a 20-30-minute live broadcast (by phone) each Monday on radio that was streamed on the internet and could be heard globally. As Royce felt his voice capacity wasn't up to par, he discontinued his broadcast. Royce always gave more than 100 percent in everything he undertook; now, after his health issues he had to pick and choose his limitations. Royce traveled extensively in the United States, Europe, and South Africa during his career.

Very few Odessa friends are aware that Royce has been in the Oval Office and met several United States presidents and vice presidents. Royce was a "special guest" of Secretary of Agriculture Earl Butz, along with other journalists and dignitaries, and flew on Air Force II to tour Bolivia for more than a week; he was NAFB president at that time.

Royce grew up on a farm and was very active all his 12 years at Millsap, Texas, Independent School District. He was president of his class each year, starting from 6th grade through 12th grade. He was active in FFA, public speaking. and sports. He was Texas FFA State President and National FFA Officer, which postponed his college for 1 1/2 years. He graduated from West Texas State University, which is now West Texas A&M University, in Canyon, Texas. While touring as Texas State and National Officer FFA, he was seen on many national TV shows. He changed his career path to broadcasting while in college.

Not too long ago, Royce's high school selected him as the first inductee into the inaugural class of its Hall of Honor, which recognizes those who have made selfless contributions to the school. Before moving to Odessa, Royce was inducted into "Texas Panhandle Broadcaster Hall of Fame," Amarillo, Texas. In Amarillo, also, Royce served as president on many, many organizations; serving his community was certainly not new to him! His motto was always, "Count that day lost when you have failed to serve your community!"

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to: Church of Christ, 6th and Jackson, Odessa, Texas; First Presbyterian Church, 1401 N. Sam Houston, Odessa, Texas; Odessa College; or any charity of your choice.


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