Major Michael F. Royse, USA Retired, received his final clearance for take-off to soar with the eagles on Wednesday, May 24, 2017. He was born on December 10, 1929 in Dallas, Texas, to his father Frank A. Royse, his mother Mary C. Royse, and his older sister, Polly Ann Royse, from Royse City, Texas. All deceased. The Royse family lived all over the state of Texas; Erie, Pennsylvania; and Buffalo, New York.
Major Royse graduated from Greenville High School, Greenville, Texas in 1947. He received his BA from University of Tampa, Florida in 1971, and his MA from University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida in 1974.
Major Royse enlisted in the United States Marine Corps Reserve in 1948, and was honorably discharged as a Corporal in March 1950. He enlisted in the United States Army in December 1950 and attended the Field Artillery Officer Candidate School. He was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in Field Artillery in 1952. He attended Army Flight Schools and was a Fixed and Rotary Wing Senior Army Aviator and FAA Commercial Pilot. He served in positions all over the United States, Japan, Korea, Italy, Vietnam, and Thailand. He was awarded the Bronze Star Medal, the Air Medal with 7 Oak Leaf Clusters, the Joint Service Commendation Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Army Commendation Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Palm, numerous campaign ribbons, and a Sikorsky Winged S for Rescue. He retired from the Army in 1970 with over 22 years of military service. After Major Royse retired from the Army, he was employed as a Federal Investigator for the Office of Personnel Management until he fully retired in 1971. Also after retirement, he volunteered his services to the Colorado Division of Wildlife rescuing injured and disabled wildlife, and the Colorado Springs Garden of the Gods.
Major Rose married the love of his life, JoAnn Francis in Tokyo, Japan in 1954, when Major Royse was a 1st Lieutenant. They lived all over the United States, as well as Verona, Italy, and Bangkok, Thailand. Their final home was in Colorado Springs, Colorado. They had three children: Lilann M. Royse, Michael W. Royse, and James I. Royse; and two grandchildren: Jessica A. Royse, and Tyler M. Royse.
Major Royse was a 32nd degree Mason, and Shriner. He was a black belt in Judo. He was a member of Mt. Scott Lodge No. 540, A.F. & A.M., the Military Officers Association of America, Vietnam, Helicopter Pilots Association, Army Otter and Caribou Association, Disabled American Veterans, Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion, and National Rifle Association. He enjoyed traveling all over the world with his wife, Jo. He liked camping, nature, animals, and fly-fishing. He will be looking down at us and laugh. Sometimes he will cry.