• July 5, 2020

Odessa leader dies at age 83 - Odessa American: Announcements

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Odessa leader dies at age 83

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Posted: Wednesday, June 24, 2020 5:45 am

Royce Bodiford is being remembered as a man who made a difference in his community through public service.

Bodiford died Monday at 83 at Medical Center Hospital following an illness. He was a current Odessa College board of trustees member and had previously served as an Odessa city councilman.

Odessa Chamber of Commerce CEO/President Renee Earls praised his hard work for Odessa.

Royce and his wife, Helen, jumped in feet first when they moved to Odessa from the Panhandle. They quickly sought out ways to get involved and make this community a better place for all. Royce wanted to be part of the solution,” Earls wrote in an email. “That was evident by his willingness to run for office, serving our City and Odessa College. Rather than sit on the sidelines, Royce rolled up his sleeves and found ways to serve. I will certainly miss his passion for Odessa.”

Bodiford was elected unanimously as president of the Odessa College Board of Trustees in 2016. He was on the city council of Odessa for nine years and Mayor Pro Tem for seven years. He has been president on many boards of various organizations in Odessa.

His service to Odessa College will be missed, OC President Gregory Williams detailed.

Royce Bodiford will be missed by me and by our community,” Williams said. “He was a kind soul and he was a gentleman.”

Williams, in an email, said Bodiford was a dedicated man, a committed man, and a man who cared deeply “about the people of our community, his community.”

Williams offered his personal thank you and said that every time he saw Bodiford that “he invested something positive into me. He lifted me up, he encouraged me, he offered advice and he always had high expectations for me and for Odessa College.”

Bodiford was a television and radio broadcaster for more than 45 years. He was also radio general manager at KOCV and also hosted a weekly show “West Texas Journal.” He continued the show for a long while, even after retirement. He was inducted into the NAFB Hall of Fame in Kansas City, Mo.

Born on a family farm in Millsap, he excelled in FFA, serving as chapter president, Texas FFA as president in 1955, and the National FFA Association as Southern Regional vice president in 1957-1958. Royce married his childhood sweetheart, Helen Hayes, while serving as a national FFA officer.

He graduated from West Texas State University with a bachelor’s degree in agriculture, while working at KGNC Radio/TV (1959-1965) in Amarillo. He moved to KEEL (1965-68) Radio in Shreveport, La. serving as Farm Service Director, before he headed back to Amarillo and KGNC to manage a three-person department.

In 1977, Bodiford was named general manager at KGNC and strongly supported farm broadcasting and NAFB. In addition to his broadcasting career, he was active in the community, serving as president of the Amarillo School Board, Amarillo Kiwanis, Amarillo Chamber of Commerce, Tri-State Fair Association and several other civic organizations.

In the 1990s Bodiford moved to public broadcasting and became general manager of KOCV-TV/Radio at Odessa College. He served as president of the Odessa Council for Arts & Humanities, United Way chairman and Odessa city councilman for nine years and mayor pro-tem seven years.

Odessa, TX

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