William Wise Royer, 90, decorated Navy vet, D&E Telephone supervisor, avid train collector

By on August 31, 2016

William Wise Royer, 90, passed away peacefully on Aug. 23, 2016.

Bill grew up in Ephrata, and lived his adult life in Akron. He graduated from Ephrata High School in 1943. The day after graduation, he left to serve his country in the U.S. Navy. He was an original crewman of the USS Lexington, CV-16, a fast attack carrier. During his time in the Navy, Bill was a fire control director of a quad 40 MM anti-aircraft battery. The USS Lexingon saw extensive combat and was torpedoed in 1943 and hit by a kamikaze in 1944. All told, Tokyo Rose reported the USS Lexington was sunk four times during the war. Not only did the Lexington always return to battle, she was the first U.S. aircraft carrier to enter the Tokyo Bay in late August of 1945. Bill was awarded numerous awards including the Star of The Presidential Unit Citation, for extraordinary heroism displayed by the members of the USS Lexington against enemy Japanese forces in the Pacific War area.

After his discharge from the Navy, Bill was employed by the Denver and Ephrata Telephone Company where he retired as a supervisor after 42 years. Bill had a long history of community service, he was an instructor for the American Red Cross in sailing and water safety and an official for the Ephrata swim team. He was a member of the Ephrata Blue Lodge #665 F. & A. M. for 55 years and a member of the board of directors at the American Legion Cloister Post 429 for many years. He loved nothing more than Friday night dinners at “his” legion.

Bill attended Akron Grace E.C. Church. He loved collecting trains and belonged to Train Collectors Association Bill was a proud Navy man, proud husband and father, grandfather and great-grandfather. He was a reminder that requiring tasks to be done properly, created grit, and perseverance. He always greeted people when asked how he was with a smile and “terrific.”

Bill is survived by his beloved wife of 67 years: Helen; two daughters: Rebecca Perruquet, Danville; Roberta, wife of Brad Rabuck, Ephrata; seven grandchildren: Jamie Block, Jessi Ross, Jill Geyer, Scott Perruquet, Josh Perruquet, Mallory Mackey, and William Rabuck; and 14 great-grandchildren: Miela and Olette Block; Brady, Annie, Lila, and Stella Ross; Lucy and Finley Geyer; Marissa and Robbie Mackey; Joanna, Luke, Weston, and Ella Perruquet.

A graveside service will be held Friday, Sept. 2,at 11 a.m., at the Indiantown Gap National Cemetery, Indiantown Gap Road, Annville.

Donations in Bill’s memory may be made to Hospice and Community Care, P O Box 4125, Lancaster PA 17604-4125; or Ephrata American Legion Cloister Post 429, P O Box 337, Ephrata PA 17522.

Arrangements by Stradling Funeral Homes, Inc., Akron/Ephrata. Online condolences can be given at stradlingfuneralhome.com.

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