Cover photo for Herman Colyer's Obituary
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1929 Herman Colyer 2023

Herman Colyer

April 12, 1929 — February 7, 2023

On 7 February, the year of the Lord Jesus Christ (anno Domini nostri Jesu Christi) 2023, Earth lost a great man. Herman Gene Colyer, aka “Papa” and “Buck,” left this plane of existence and slipped into the Great Eternity with the Heavenly Father. Herman peacefully left his earthly jar of clay in his sleep with a smile on his face in the wee hours of the morning. He was 93 years old. Celebration of his life will be 10 a.m. Wednesday, February 15, 2023 at Pecan Grove Funeral Home with Pastor Mickey Fuggitt officiating.

Born on 12 April 1929 in Bloomburg, Texas, he was raised in the Piney Woods of East Texas, where he learned to work hard and play baseball hard at an early age. He could not finish school because he had to help with the family farm. As an older teen and young man, he played semi-pro baseball for the Atlanta Planters and was invited to try out for the St. Louis Cardinals farm system. However, he could not go because he received a draft notice to fight Communists in North Korea.

While in Korea, he was assigned to the 366th Combat Engineers, Aviation Battalion, Fourth Army, 1951-1953. He received a Bronze Star with seven Battle Stars for Gallantry in Action under heavy fire in the delivery of a tanker of fuel to relieve a battalion of U.S. tanks and 750 personnel surrounded by North Koreans. Three previous drivers had perished in the attempt. Private First Class Colyer and eighteen other American soldiers were cut off from the main body of troops. Chinese combatants trapped them from late evening until 14:00 hours the next day. The men dug in on a nearby hill where they successfully defended against repeated enemy assaults, leaving over three hundred enemy combatant casualties.

Herman returned to civilian life in East Texas in 1953, suffering from “shell shock.” He married Karlene Hickman Self in Linden, Texas, on 27 March 1959. He later confided to his children that fatherhood helped him overcome the psychological wounds from the war and violence he saw and carried out against enemy combatants, sometimes within arm’s distance.

Herman was a devout Christian man and a member of Bruceville Baptist Church. He was a friendly and kind soul with no pretense, and he was loved by virtually everyone who knew him. He loved life, loved his family and friends, loved to sing with his sons, lived a great life (in his own words), was a rabid St Louis Cardinals baseball fan, absolutely “salt of the earth,” the descendant of hard-working God-fearing Anglo-Saxon, Scot, and Irish immigrants, and a longtime umpire of little league, summer league, high school, and junior college, and Baylor Bear baseball games.

Herman took great pleasure in life’s simplest things: a bowl of “Post Toasties,” a well-worn baseball glove, a rocking chair on the front porch with his dogs surrounding his feet and on his lap, a small country church filled with the sounds of beautiful hymns, a Sunday fried-chicken dinner, a comfortable and warm home, and being surrounded by his loving family. His earthly legacy is rich. Our loss is Heaven’s great gain. His memories will be cherished by all who knew and loved him, particularly his wife Karlene, his children Shana, Kelly, Stacy, Daryl, and Morris Ray “Bubba”; his grandchildren Wendi, Clint, Holley, Zachary, Courtney, Jordan, and Casey, as well as numerous great grandchildren.
To send flowers to the family in memory of Herman Colyer, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Starts at 10:00 am (Central time)

Pecan Grove Funeral Home

3124 Robinson Drive, Waco, TX 76706

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