Donovan L. Royal
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Donovan Llewellyn Royal, 85, of Battle Creek and Harbor Springs, Michigan passed away on Sunday, April 27, 2014 at Hiland Cottage in Petoskey with his family at his side. Don was born on January 31, 1929, in Battle Creek, MI, the son of Donovan Emmett and Anne Rachel (Alderson) Royal. His family came to Battle Creek from Athens, MI in 1936. Don was a 1947 graduate of Battle Creek Central High School where he was an All-American swimmer. He also received several varsity letters in football and track. It was at Southwestern Junior High School that Don fell in love with Beverly M. Gruss. Their marriage on August 11, 1951 would span 62 years. Don attended Michigan State University and was a graduate of the Dallas Institute of Mortuary Science. He remained an avid MSU fan and Spartan booster all his life. Don served in the United States Army from 1950 to 1952. During his service, he was a member of the United States Army Swim Team and qualified to compete in the 1952 United States Olympic Swimming Trials in New York. Don failed to make the Olympic team, but the adventure was a success as he was able to spend a week in New York with his new bride Bev. In 1952 he joined his mother and father in business at their family funeral home in Battle Creek. He worked with his father until his passing in 1960 and with his mother until her death in 1970. Don was a licensed funeral director for nearly 60 years. He served the Battle Creek community not only professionally but charitably through many service organizations. Don and Bev enjoyed traveling around the world together and with friends. They discovered Cozumel, Mexico many years ago and enjoyed over 25 years wintering there. Celebrating Carnival in Cozumel was a time that they always looked forward to sharing with family and friends. Don was athletic and adventurous and enjoyed all water and snow sports. In younger days, his lunchtime badminton games with local doctors and other professionals were well known. His love of summer and winter sports became a passion shared by all his family members. Don and Bev provided a family setting for these activities at their home in Battle Creek on Goguac Lake and in Harbor Springs at their first cottage on Round Lake and later at their Lake Michigan home. Don and Bev loved all seasons in Harbor Springs. It has been their second home since 1962 and more recently has become their primary home. The elegance, grace and feeling of well-being that embodies Harbor Springs has always cheered them. Simple pleasures like going out to lunch and beach sunsets with their beloved dog Lilly filled their days. Don and Bev shared a love of nature and God's creatures. The wildlife, natural surroundings and call of the "The Big Lake" at their home gave them constant entertainment and joy. Don's love and spirit will remain with his family in all their years to come.
Don is survived by his beloved wife Bev of Harbor Springs and his sons Donovan D. Royal and Richard L. (Helen) Royal of Battle Creek. "Poppy" also leaves his cherished granddaughter Hannah E. Royal of Battle Creek. Don was preceded in death by two grandsons Alexander G. and Benjamin A. Royal and his sisters Eleanor Andrews and Janet Montgomery
A private committal service with military honors will be held at the family gravesite at Memorial Park Cemetery in Battle Creek, Michigan.
Memorial contributions are encouraged to Little Traverse Conservancy or Little Traverse Humane Society or Calhoun Area Humane Society.
Published in Battle Creek Enquirer from Apr. 29 to May 1, 2014