Obituary For My Dad, Royce Roland Humphrey


Written by James Wilson.

Kind and gentle angels reside among us, and today, April 11, 2011, they came to take one of their own home.  Royce Humphrey, surrounded by his family, left this life to join his beloved Geneva, already in the hands of God.

Born in Coloma on June 30, 1920 to Vernon and Cora (Van Buskirk) Humphrey, Royce led a life of giving and of caring for those less fortunate.

Royce demonstrated a lifelong commitment to public service as a Hancock Town Board Supervisor for over 40 years, and dedication as a trustee of the Hancock Cemetery Association.

Royce served honorably in the U.S. Army in the Pacific Theater from November 1941 to January 1946.  Upon returning stateside Royce drove a truck delivering milk to homes in Waushara County, and wedded his sweetheart, Geneva Schwarz in 1947 in Westfield.  They raised three children in the home where Humphrey continued to reside after Geneva’s 2007 passing.

For most of his career, Royce worked for the Waushara County Highway Department, for which he maintained Highway 51 (now 39) in excellent driving condition.  He helped more than one in changing a tire, or getting free of a snowdrift, and would run from those who dared offer pay him for his generosity and time.  All too many holidays when winter struck, duty found Royce plowing snow or salting the ramps, making sure that other families got to their destinations safely while his waited patiently at home.

Royce regaled others with witty stories from childhood, tales of being a young man home from the service, and histories of the cars he had owned.  He was even more widely recognized for being the guy who would buy a pop and some candy for lonely child, or help a fellow service member get home to attend to a family tragedy.  He gave selflessly.

Royce leaves to mourn his children, Gary (Pat) Humphrey, Ginger (Darvin) Pfaff, and Gregory Humphrey with life-partner, James Wilson; grandchildren Troy (Jennifer) Humphrey, Tricia (Jim) Lietz, Katrina, Darrin and Quincy Pfaff; great-grandchildren, Curtis and Elana Humphrey, Paige and Hannah Lietz.  He is survived also by his siblings Vernon (Verna) Humphrey and Florence Rooney; sisters-in-law Mildred and Linea Humphrey, Alene Losey, Lois (Richard) Klein, Lorene (Dale) Allen and Evelyn (Robert Beggs); brothers-in-law Karl (Marcie) and Donald (Theresa) Schwarz.  He was preceded in death by his parents; siblings Athel Dredske, Ivy Clark, Evelyn Ueeck, Robert and Gerald; grandson Trevor Humphrey; and, brother-in-law Dale Losey.

Thank you Royce for representing hard work, integrity, and compassion for these are worth more to us than the gold of the sun and the silver of the stars of the Celestial home where you and mom now reside.

Ernest Tubb “Rainbow at Midnight”

Back in my radio days I ran across this song in the racks in the back of the studio.  I had never heard it before, but it made me think of my dad.  It rattled around in my head over the years.  This morning in the shower it came to mind again.

This is for my dad, Royce Humphrey, who passed away on Monday at the age of 90.