Luke W. Royer, Denver H.S. grad, WWII vet, butcher, owned Royer’s Food Store, avid golfer

By on October 17, 2018

Luke W. Royer peacefully passed away at Ephrata Manor on Friday Oct. 12, 2018.

He was born on Oct. 14, 1924 above his parent’s store in Denver. He was the son of the late Daniel Mark and Sue (Wolf) Royer. He was the husband of the late Josephine C. Royer who passed away in 2016. They celebrated 71½ wonderful years together.

Luke grew up in Denver. In his youth, he enjoyed trapping, hunting and fishing. His father took him to baseball games and his favorite player was Jimmie Foxx. When Jimmie was traded to Boston, Luke became a lifetime fan of the Red Sox. However, he always remained loyal to the Phillies. He graduated from Denver High School in 1943, where he played basketball and baseball.

After graduation, he enlisted in the Army Air Corp with several of his friends. He was stationed in England and Belgium. He was a cryptographer with the 9th Air Force in which he was holed up in a room for eight hours a day ciphering secret codes. He was awarded a Bronze Star for decoding a message which resulted in the destruction of 50 German tanks at the Battle of the Bulge. Luke was valuable with the use of his PA Dutch language to communicate with German prisoners of war. During his tour, he met his future Dutch wife, Finny.

After the war, he used the GI Bill to train for his profession as a butcher. He started his career by working as a butcher for his father’s store, Royer’s Food Store. In 1960, he took over the store from his father. “Lukey” was known for his quality meats and cheese. He used a secret marinade, “wiffle dust,” on his meat. His small store specialized in delivering groceries to customers.

He always looked forward to the holiday seasons of the year. Easter, Mother’s Day and Memorial Day, the store was filled with hundreds of flowers. Every winter, he would line the sidewalk and alley with Christmas trees. Luke retired in 2003, at the age of 79, after 58 years of proudly serving the greater Denver community.

Luke had a passion for golf. He learned how to play at Galen Hall golf course. In his younger days, in an effort to learn the sport, he would play 3 rounds on his day off, walking this course. Luke helped to form a league at Lebanon Valley Golf Course. He was a member of this league for over 50 years, ultimately playing with some of the grandchildren of the original league members. His last round was at the age of 90. Luke, as the oldest player, was fondly referred to as “The Kid.”

He was a life time member of the VFW, Richland Legion, and the Denver Orioles.

Luke is survived by two children: daughter, Cynthia; and son, Daniel, husband of Tatiana; four grandchildren: Danielle Stirling, wife of Russell; Richard Royer and wife Malisa; Kiersten Rippley, wife of Craig; and Austin Royer; seven great-grandchildren: Lilah, Ainsley, Sophia, Jaiden, Cooper, Archer, and Shepherd, who will be born in March 2019.

In addition to his wife, he was preceded in death by his son: Marty; a brother: Donald Royer; and his sister: Floy Eshleman.

A viewing will be held on Friday, Oct. 26, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Roseboro Stradling Funeral Home, 533 Walnut St., Denver. An additional viewing will be held on Saturday, Oct. 27 from 10 to 11 a.m. at the funeral home. Funeral services will follow at 11 am. Interment will take place in the Fairview Cemetery.

Our whole family gives a special thank you to the staff at the Ephrata Manor for their kindness and caring for Luke.

Memorial contributions in Luke’s memory may be made to the Red Rose Veterans Honor Guard, P.O. Box 8601, Lancaster, PA 17604-8601.

Arrangements by Roseboro Stradling Funeral & Cremation Services, Denver. Online condolences can be posted to

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