MORRIS - William E. Royce, 78, of Morris, passed away peacefully, at his home, on Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017, with his loving family by his side.
Bill was born on June 6, 1939, in Pittsfield, and raised by his mother, Margaret Royce.
He served in the United States Navy from 1956 to 1960 on the USS Wahoo as a radioman.
On March 23, 1961, Bill married the love of his life, Marion (Haggerty). He and Marion raised their children and lived in Morris for more than 50 years.
Bill owned and operated Royce International Eyewear and, in 2007, he opened the Light Walkers Baptist Church, a place that he could give back to the community, where he felt the spoken truth from the Bible could be heard.
In his spare time, Bill could often be found sitting on the sidelines cheering on his children, grandchildren and neighborhood kids during Morris Central School sporting events. He had been a member of Rotary and a member of the Klipnockie Beagle Club and was an avid fisherman and hunter. He had once served on the Morris Central School Board and began the "no hat policy."
Bill was a very active man and once raced a 70-mile canoe regatta and completed the race. Above all, Bill enjoyed spending time with his family. He especially had a heart full of love for his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Bill leaves behind his wife of 56 years, Marion; children, Cheryl (Douglas) Ernst, Valerie Birdsall and Dale (Kellee) Gregory; daughter-in-law, Kelly Brigham; 10 grandchildren, Sabra, Seth, Jay, Erica, Josh, Mindy, Shane, Kim, Maggie and Sam; nine great-grandchildren; two nieces and his best friend, Eugene Cole. He was predeceased by his mother, Margaret Royce; and son, Jess D. Gregory.
Calling hours will be from 6 to 8 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 18, at Johnston Funeral Home. Funeral service will be at 2 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 19, at Light Walkers Baptist Church with the Rev Timothy Miller officiating. Burial will immediately follow in Hillington Cemetery in Morris.
Memorial contributions in Bill's name may be made to Light Walkers Baptist Church, 139 County Highway 49, Morris, NY 13808.
Online condolences may be made to the family at www.johnstonfh.com.
Arrangements have been entrusted to the Johnston Funeral Home of Morris.
"He did the best he could."
Published on November 16, 2017