Raymond and Anna Royce, Super Seniors serving their community
Young at heart
Ray Royce grew up and lived in Windsor, Connecticut, but has deep roots in Norwich. His grandfather Harvey Blanchard was one of several residents instrumental in starting the Beaver Meadow Chapel.
At the age of 18, Ray entered the US Navy on Dec 4, 1944 during World War II.
He completed boot camp at the USNTS Sampson Naval Base and World War II training center in New York, and was later stationed in San Bernadino, California for 2 years, where he served his country as a pharmacist mate 3rd class.
Ray Royce in the Navy
The facility was established initially by the United States Navy as a Naval Training Station (USNTS Sampson) in 1942. The station was named after Rear Admiral William T. Sampson. The Navy obtained 2,600 acres of former farmland and also vineyards for the facility on the east side of Seneca Lake, New York. Construction of the facility took 270 days to complete. Along with the training station, a 1,500-bed hospital was constructed. The mission of USNTS Sampson was Naval basic training for large numbers of new recruits. During the war, over 411,000 recruits were trained at the station
In conjunction with the building of Sampson, the United States Army established its Seneca Army Depot adjacent to the Naval Station which was used to store a wide variety of Ammunition.
An earlier graduating class from the Sampson USNT Center
American Legion Post # 8
Ray was ‘recruited’ if you will to join the American Legion Post # 8 by Earl Thompson a dedicated legion member and long time adjutant of the post. According to Ray it was more like getting drafted. Ray, a 33 year member of the Legion has served as the Post # 8 chaplain for many years. I guess you could say that Earl knew what he was doing when he recruited Ray.
Chad Finer provided the next 7 photos for this story
In this photo Ray is in the Army jeep that will lead the Memorial Day parade in 2013
Not sure who is congratulating who but it looks like a good time had by all
Ray Royce and a boy scout member pay tribute to the US Navy by releasing the wreath into the water during the 2013 Memorial Day parade.
In Connecticut, Ray worked for Pratt and Whitney and retired as supervisor/inspector in the Gear systems department. Anna also worked for Pratt and Whitney in the East Hartford gear inspection and testing department. Ray and Anna met at a coffee shop near the plant. They have six children, four boys Ray Jr, Jeffrey, Gregory and Gary and two girls-Carol and Jane. They have 11 grandchildren and 7 great grand daughters.. Ray is 95 years young and Anna is not too far behind him as she just celebrated her 90th birthday earlier this year. Their wedding anniversary is 5/9/53 and so next year they will be celebrating their 70th anniversary!
Ray in his favorite chair
Ray and Anna moved to Vermont in 1980 and also bought a summer home in Deland Florida. He and Anna spent 15 years there during the winter. They sold it to their relatives about 5 years ago.
Ray at the Royce family hunting camp
Royce Family hunting Camp in 2013
Just kicking back after sharing their hunting stories
Listed below are a few facts about Ray Royce Sr. and Anna:
Norwich Lions Club
Ray joined the Norwich Lions club in 1989 having been sponsored by Phil Wheeler
1995 -1996- King Lion
1996-1997- King Lion with Al Purcel
1992-1993- District 45 zone chairman region 3
1993-1994- District 45 zone chairman region 3
1998 received the highest award that the Lions club can present - Melvin Jones award
Involved with the Lions Club Memory tree event for many years. The Memory tree event was started by Lion Phil Wheeler when he was District Governor in 1979 - 1980
Beaver Meadow Chapel
1988-2018- He served as Chapel president
Anna was by his side guiding him every step of the way during those 30 years
March 9 1995- The Chapel was put on the national register of historical places with the assistance of Elsie Sniffin.
Church Rummage Sales events
For over 68 years, this sale has allowed items that are sitting unused to be re-circulated in the community. Proceeds benefit the programs at five Norwich churches (St. Barnabas, Norwich Congregational Church, Beaver Meadow Chapel, Union Village United Methodist Church and the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Upper Valley).
Anna and Ray worked the church Christmas Bazaars at Tracy Hall for many years with other area churches.
Ray and Anna along with family members working the rummage sale
The above photo includes 4 generations of the Royce family, thus the family affair
Ray and Anna Royce participated in over 30 years of church rummage sales and this became a complete family affair with Anna leading the way. Anyone who has attended the church rummage sale knows that it was Anna’s excellent leadership skills that made this event a success.
In 2019 Ray and Anna received the Micah honor from United Valley Interfaith
Ray and Anna proudly holding the award certificate
Ray and Anna have supported the Lions Club in many ways and would help support the various fundraisers that the club participated in over the years.
This year Ray who I understand is not a gambling man took a chance and purchased a Lions Club meadow muffin deed. He won the first prize of $ 1000.00
He along with other Lions members helped sell these deeds for many years to raise money for the Lions club’s community grants program.
This year’s grand prize winners of the meadow muffin contest
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Demo, this is such a great story on Ray and Anna! Both of them are inspirations to us all.