It is with sadness that we mark the passing of Champion Royce Henson on May 28th at the age of 88.   He grew up in Champion, the oldest son of Ezra and Sylvia Henson.  Ezra was a farmer and later on became the sheriff in Ava.  Sylvia wrote the Champion items from the same place it is being written today.  Royce, his two brothers Kenneth (Hovey) of Houston, Texas, and Andy of Columbia, Missouri, who passed away a few years ago, and their sister Eva Loyce Phillips of Bella Vista, Arkansas, walked the mile and a half from the farm to the school. He was rewarded with a silver dollar for perfect attendance when he was about 10 years old.  Royce said that as a kid in school he would never have imagined that the old building would ever have electric lights and gas heat.  Everything was lit with or run on kerosene in those days and the schoolhouse was heated by a big wood stove.  He went on to higher education at Southwest Missouri State University and along the way married Minnie Jo (Jody) Lorette from up at Oak Forest.  Their children are Valli, Victor, Vaughn and Jan, deceased.  Their grandchildren are Alex and Evan Mills, Whitaker Taryn, Carlyn and Zach Henson, Victoria Henson and Katrina Rute Lynn.  For the last twenty-eight years Royce and Jody have operated their business, Lawn Salon.  Royce was able to mow once this season and he really enjoyed it.  Jody enjoys it too and is taking care of three lawns herself these days.   For several years in a row, he and family members made the “Walk of Ages” tracing the path all the way from Cold Springs, down past the old home place, to Champion to attend the Champion School Reunion.  Covid has interfered with the school reunion the last couple of years, but Jody is hoping it will happen again this year just because Royce always loved it.  He and Jody made the trip from their home in Springfield for every Champion School Reunion, for the Champion Spring Flings and The Pioneer Heritage Festivals. He loved being a Champion.  He brought about twenty of his family members to Champion to celebrate his 80th birthday.  It was a blast, finishing up with a trip to Rockbridge.  His brother, Hovey, and his wife, Dawn, along with Jody and Valli, enjoyed another lunch at Rockbridge on Wednesday after having visited the Historic Emporium on the North side of the Square in Downtown Champion–Looking on the Bright Side!