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Philanthropist Joyce Faith Kincer Herron passes away

Joyce-Herron.jpgJoyce Faith Kincer Herron, wife of Morehead State University retiree Dr. J. Dudley Herron, died April 2. She was 82.

Joyce and Dr. Herron, who retired from the College of Science, established the Herron Leadership Scholars Program, a program designed to aid in recruiting and retention as well as develop student leaders from each Kentucky county in MSU’s 22-county service region.

The Herron Scholars program fully came to fruition in the 2016-17 academic year, with one student selected from each of the 22 counties in MSU's service region. The students were provided a $1,000 annual scholarship and participated in a special First Year Seminar class in fall 2016 for Herron Scholars. The students were each paired with a faculty/staff mentor who met regularly with the student to assist them in the transition to college life and provide direction and assistance when needed. For their next three years, the students are participants in a student organization focused on community service and must meet minimum requirements to maintain their award.

Joyce was born in Mayking in Letcher County and grew up in and around Whitesburg before attending nursing school in Lexington. There she met and married J. Dudley Herron of Providence with whom she spent nearly 62 years. Together, and with their growing family of three boys, they settled in many places throughout the United States, and had the pleasure of living in many countries around the world including Germany, Malaysia, Israel, Scotland and China and visiting many, many others.

She was not shy about sharing her deeply held opinions. She loved seeing trees in blossom and flowers growing in the field and vehemently disliked them being cut down to end their lives in funeral arrangements. She made a point to ask for no flowers at her funeral. 

She is survived by her husband, J. Dudley Herron, of West Lafayette, Ind.; her brother, Ronald Kincer, of Lexington; her sisters, Marsha Banks, of Whitesburg and Karion Amburgey, of Lexington; her sons, Keith Herron (Anne Pasquale) of New York and Alan and Chris Herron of Aurora, Colorado; and her grandsons, Alex Herron of Los Angeles, California and T.J. (Brittney) Herron, of McLean, Virginia.

A memorial service will be held at Federated Church, 2400 Sycamore, West Lafayette, Ind. on Saturday, April 14, at 2 p.m. Plans for a reception to follow the service are still being finalized.

If anyone is moved to make a donation in Joyce's honor, she would be very pleased if you supported the Herron Scholars Program at Morehead State University, or your state’s organ donation advocacy group (Indiana:; Kentucky:

To learn more about the Herron Leadership Scholars Program, watch this YouTube video. To make a memorial contribution to the scholarship fund, visit