Cover photo for Robert Kendrick Herndon's Obituary
1962 Robert Kendrick Herndon 2024

Robert Kendrick Herndon

October 9, 1962 — January 29, 2024

Overland Park

Robert (Bob) Kendrick Herndon, 61, passed away in his sleep on January 29, 2024.  His loss is completely unexpected and is felt deeply by his family and all those who knew him.

Bob was an only child born to Eugene and Anna (Black) Herndon on October 9, 1962 in Hermiston, OR.   He grew up in Overland Park, KS.   After graduating from Shawnee Mission West High School, he went on to earn Business and Accounting degrees at the University of Kansas.  It was there that he met his wife, Raelene (Barton) Herndon.  Knowing that he was “the one,” she strategically pressed him for a marriage proposal while he was trying to study for a final exam.  He agreed just to get her to go away and let him study.  They were married on May 31, 1986 and spent over 37 wonderful years together.

Bob began his professional career at Mayer Hoffman McCann, a public accounting firm in Kansas City.   After passing the CPA exam on his first attempt, he applied for and became a Special Agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  It was his boyhood dream come true.  

Bob was assigned to the New Orleans, Washington D.C., Springfield, IL, and Kansas City field offices.   His FBI career was storied with several high-profile cases.  While in New Orleans, he led a case involving a U.S. District Court Judge convicted of bribery violations.  He and Raelene were selected to work undercover for three years on a National Security initiative in Washington, D.C.  From there, Bob was assigned to the Springfield, IL field office where he investigated a group of international businessmen, to include those from the Fortune 500 company Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), who conspired to fix prices with their competitors.  The case was later detailed in the book “The Informant” written by New York Times writer Kurt Eichenwald.  The book was later made into a movie starring Matt Damon as the Informant and Joel McHale as Special Agent Bob Herndon.

In 1998 Bob and Raelene had the chance to come home to Kansas City where he spent the remainder of his FBI career.  He worked a number of white-collar cases including the investigation of Robert Courtney, the Kansas City area pharmacist who diluted chemotherapy drugs intended for cancer patients.  That case was awarded the Investigation of the Year by the National Health Care Anti-Fraud Association.  Later in his tenure as an Agent, Bob reinvented himself and became Applicant Coordinator and later a Tech Agent.  Those years as a Tech Agent were some of the most fun of his career.  He enjoyed the comradery with his fellow agents and the change of scenery and pace from working white-collar cases.  At the end of his career, he was called on to return to white-collar crime and couldn’t say no.  He spent the final year of his FBI career as the Supervisory Special Agent of the white-collar crime squad.  He won numerous awards to include the National Intelligence Meritorious Unit Citation from James Woolsey, Director of Central Intelligence; the Attorney General’s Distinguished Service award from Attorney General Janet Reno; and Agent of the Year for the Kansas City Division in 2004.

After 28 years with the FBI, Bob retired in November 2014 and joined Walmart as a Senior Global Investigator & Senior Manager in their home office in Bentonville, AR.  He commuted to Bentonville each week for over two years.  He would leave home at 5:00 am on Tuesday, armed with Raelene’s homecooked meals to get him through the week.  He set land records between here and Bentonville, cutting the three-hour drive into less than two hours.  Since he was traveling at the speed of light, there is no actual evidence that would hold up in court!  After he left Walmart, he became a Special Investigator of the BICS unit.  He enjoyed how it kept him connected to the FBI, but at a part-time pace.  He also worked part-time at St. Andrews Golf Course in their outside services.  He loved the physical nature of the job, moving carts and picking golf balls off the driving range, and the perk of free golf.

Bob had many hobbies to include, spending time with his best friend, Raelene, exercising, practicing golf, reading, practicing golf, traveling, practicing golf, going to the movies and more recently, pickleball.  And he practiced golf – always – everyday – in his quest to groove his golf swing.  He would say he wasn’t the best golfer, but he was the best golf practicer.  He was an avid Royals, Chiefs, and KU Jayhawk fan.  He volunteered his time to the Retired Agents Association of Kansas City.   Bob was often called upon by others for his sage advice, his connections (he had a guy for everything and if he didn’t, he would find one) and his never-ending knowledge of just about anything.  He never said no to a request for help.  Doing the right thing, even if it wasn’t the easy thing, was the only option for him.

Bob was also a gifted public speaker.  He has spoken across the country on leadership, morals and ethics to many corporations, organizations and universities.     

Bob’s biggest accomplishment was being a father to his three children, Emily, Matt and Katie.  He would brag about them at every opportunity.   If you know them, you will see Bob in each of them.  He has gifted them with his talents, strength of spirit, unconditional love, wisdom, and generosity.  He never missed a soccer game, baseball game, dance recital or any other activity the kids participated in.  He found great enjoyment and satisfaction coaching Matt’s baseball team, the Marlins, from elementary school through high school.  If you ask any of the Marlins, they will tell you that he shaped their lives in a profound and positive way, setting an example of how to do things the right way, teaching them about being a good sport, a good teammate, a good human, and having fun in the process.  

Bob was big-hearted and vibrant.  He showed us by his example how to love others by accepting and welcoming people as they are. He loved his family fiercely, and he was loved fiercely in return.  He loved life and was taken from us far too soon.   

He is survived by his wife, Raelene (Barton) Herndon, his children, Emily Herndon, Matthew Herndon, and Katherine Herndon, brother-in-law Daniel Barton, sister-in-law Gayle Barton, nephew Nicholas Barton, and all those who knew and loved him.

A celebration of life will be held at Ironhorse Golf Club on Sunday, February 4, 2024 at 11:00 am immediately followed by a reception.   

Memorial contributions in memory of Bob may be given to the Melissa S. Morrow Memorial Foundation - or mailed to

Melissa Morrow Memorial Foundation

5428 Main St.

Kansas City, MO 64112

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Robert Kendrick Herndon, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Service

Sunday, February 4, 2024

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Central time)

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