Colonel Francis R. Royal, USAF Retired.
June 17, 1915 – November 19, 2016.
Francis Robert “Frank” Royal passed away peacefully on Saturday, November 19, 2016 at The Medalion Retirement Community in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He was 101 years, 5 months and 2 days old.
Frank was born in Manzanola, CO to Francis Henry and Rozella (Norton) Royal on June 17, 1915. He was raised on a ranch near Rocky Ford, CO and attended the University of Colorado before entering the Army Air Corps as an aviation cadet in March 1940 at Fort Logan, CO. During WWII, Frank served with the 39th Fighter Squadron in the South West Pacific Area. He was awarded the Silver Star with one Bronze Oak Leaf cluster, the Legion of Merit, the Distinguished Flying Cross, and the Air Medal with two Bronze Oak Leaf clusters.
Upon Frank’s return stateside, he persuaded Mayme Norene “Renee” Beatty to marry him and they wed on September 20, 1943. They spent their first 25 years together while he served in the US Air Force before his retirement in 1968. Along the way, Frank completed his bachelor’s degree from the University of Colorado in 1947.
Upon moving to Monument, CO, Frank and Renee became active in the community where Frank was a member of the D-38 school board and the El Paso County Planning Commission. He was also involved with the Pikes Peak Boy Scouts. Both Frank and Renee were active in the Young Life organization as well as other civic, church and charitable activities. In 2008, Frank and Renee celebrated their 65th anniversary with many family and friends in attendance. In 2013, Frank was one of the D-38 Hall of Fame inaugural inductees honored by the Lewis-Palmer School District.
One of the last things on Frank’s bucket list was to see White 33, a P-38 Lockheed Lightning, fly once again. White 33 was restored by Westpac Restorations and on October 17, 2016, Frank got to ride in a chase plane to watch White 33 and a B-25 bomber, “In the Mood”, fly side-by-side just like they would have during WW II. His only regret was that he was not flying the plane himself as he had done while serving in the Army Air Corps in Australia.
Frank is survived by his five children and their families: Linne (Lyn) Haddock, Michael (Beth) Royal and Randy (Sandy) Royal of Colorado Springs, CO; Rick (Kathi) Royal of Aurora, CO, and Rob (Dawn) Royal of Elizabeth, CO; fourteen grandchildren and seventeen great grandchildren. He is preceded in death by his parents, Frank and Rozella Royal; his wife, Norene Beatty Royal; and his brothers, William Chester and Elmer Norton Royal.
Please note the time change. A memorial service to celebrate Frank’s life will be held at 1:00pm on December 29, 2016 at the First Presbyterian Church, 219 E. Bijou St., Colorado Springs, CO. The time was originally communicated as 2:00pm.
In lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests that memorials in Frank’s honor be made to the National Museum of World War II Aviation, 755 Aviation Way, Colorado Springs, CO 80916.